Today, North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation (NCEMC) announced the retirement of Mike Burnette, its Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Burnette’s retirement will occur in mid-2021, following a smooth transition to a successor, and it will punctuate a 33-year career of faithful service to electric cooperatives, their members and communities.
As COO, Burnette has led NCEMC, one of the nation’s largest generation and transmission cooperatives, through an industry transition that leverages investments in central generation with the emerging capabilities, technologies and opportunities located on local distribution grids.
“Mike’s experience and commitment to the cooperative purpose was instrumental in forming our Brighter Future vision,” said Joe Brannan, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives, the family of organizations including NCEMC that collectively serves the state’s electric cooperatives. “Although he will be leaving us next year, the impact of his contributions will be felt for generations to come as the network of electric cooperatives works to achieve a Brighter Future goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 while also upholding a commitment to reliable and affordable electricity.”
Burnette’s early experience as part of the Public Staff for the North Carolina Utilities Commission prepared him for an accomplished career at NCEMC, where he has exceled in roles including operations and management, power production, transmission planning, rate development and innovative energy services. In each of these roles, Burnette has been a strong advocate for the needs of rural North Carolina and the efforts of co-ops to partner with members and build community.
“I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work for and with each of North Carolina’s 26 electric cooperatives and look forward to now observing the new ways cooperatives can strengthen their local communities through partnerships with members, economic development and the delivery of reliable, affordable, sustainable electricity,” Burnette said.
A native of Raleigh and graduate of N.C. State, Burnette has also served on a variety of boards and committees at the state and national level, including the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster, E4 Carolinas, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Business and Technology Services Strategic Advisory Council, ACES, and most recently, as Board President of the National Renewables Cooperative Organization.
“As a network of cooperatives, we are driven by our service to people and communities,” Brannan said. “It will be important that – in searching for Mike’s successor – we identify a leader with strong vision who can balance a heart of service with the pace, demands and opportunities of the rapidly evolving energy industry.”
With Burnette’s notice providing ample lead time, NCEMC will utilize an executive search committee to immediately begin conducting a search for a successor and ensure a smooth transition of leadership.