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Former Southern Rivers Energy Director Named 2017 Distinguished Cooperator

Thursday, March 9, 2017  
Posted by: Terri Statham
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(TUCKER, GA., March 9)— For dedicated support and service to cooperatives and their unique business principles, long-time electric cooperative champion Sauney Pippin was recently named 2017 Distinguished Cooperator by the Georgia Cooperative Council.

 “Mr. Pippin’s love of people and community fueled his passion for helping lead a community-minded operation at Southern Rivers Energy,” said Michael McMillan, President/CEO of Southern Rivers (SRE).

“The cooperative business model was at the heart of every decision he made, always looking out for the best interests of the membership and employees.”

Pippin served as a board member with SRE for 31 years, 17 of which were spent as vice chairman. Under his leadership, the co-op built and moved to its current office building in 1998, changed its name from Lamar EMC to Southern Rivers Energy and established the Operation Round Up® community grant program in 2005.

In addition, during his tenure, SRE moved to a digital mapping system in 2009, implemented an automated metering program in 2013, and restructured the format of SRE’s annual meeting which boosted attendance by 30 percent.

Pippin was born in Orlando, Florida in 1945. In 1948 he and his family moved back to their family farm in Lamar County in the Redbone Community. The Pippin Farm was worked by his father and grandfather and has been in the family for more than 230 years. Pippin graduated from Milner High School in 1963 and joined the U.S. Air Force in 1966. After serving four years, he and Geraldine, his wife, returned to the family farm in 1970 to farm full-time. 

Nominees for distinguished cooperator may be a director, agent, professional, public official, or other individual who deserves recognition for his or her commitment to cooperatives and efforts on behalf of a cooperative.

The Georgia Cooperative Council is a statewide, non-profit cooperative with members representing marketing, supply, financial, electric, telephone, cotton, poultry and service organizations. The Council promotes the cooperative movement through proactive programs in education, communications, and public relations and recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to cooperative businesses.

Georgia EMC is the statewide trade association representing the state’s 41 EMCs, Oglethorpe Power Corp., Georgia Transmission Corp. and Georgia System Operations Corp.  Collectively, Georgia’s customer-owned EMCs provide electricity and related services to 4.4 million people, nearly half of Georgia’s population, across 73 percent of the state’s land area.


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