Brighter World Initiative Volunteers Receive National Honors

The 14 volunteer North Carolina co-op lineworkers who traveled to Bolivia last year have received the President’s Volunteer Service Award. Because of their efforts through the Brighter World Initiative in the spring of 2019, the 120 residents of the remote village of Laphía now have power for their homes and school.

South River EMC CEO Chris Spears (center) presents the President’s Volunteer Service Award to Derek Avery (left) and Timmy Williams (right).

The award, which came with a certificate and a letter from the White House, honors the lineworkers for dedicating more than 100 hours of volunteer service to strengthen communities.

“We are proud of these outstanding volunteers for their commitment to service – these honors are truly deserved,” said North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives’ Senior Vice President and COO Nelle Hotchkiss. “Their efforts are a demonstration of the cooperative purpose, and they represent the power of what can happen when we all work together for the common good.”

Eric Sawyers (front left) and Tommy Brock (front right) are presented with the President’s Volunteer Service Award during a social-distanced gathering of some of the employees of Surry-Yadkin EMC. Making the presentations were Jeff Nixon (back left) senior apparatus technician, and Ricky Bowman, SYEMC vice president of operations.

The 14 lineworkers to receive the award are:

  • Jerry Gregg, Blue Ridge Energy
  • Eddie Stephens, Blue Ridge Energy
  • Sammy Clark, Edgecombe-Martin County EMC
  • Jody Keane, Pee Dee Electric
  • Steve Preslar, Pee Dee Electric
  • Dennis Kidd, Randolph EMC
  • Timmy Williamson, Randolph EMC
  • Jamie Elliott, Roanoke Electric
  • Russ Flythe, Roanoke Electric
  • Derek Avery, South River EMC
  • Timmy Williams, South River EMC
  • Tommy Brock, Surry-Yadkin EMC
  • Eric Sawyers, Surry-Yadkin EMC
  • Randy White, North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives

Since 2003, the President’s Volunteer Service Award has recognized volunteers for using their time and talents to solve some of the toughest challenges facing our communities. Led by the Corporation for National and Community Service and managed in partnership with Points of Light, the program honors individuals who positively impact communities and inspire others to take action.