Friends and family honored Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative (CCEC) CEO and General Manager Craig Conrad at a Jan. 11 retirement dinner, celebrating his nearly four decades of service to electric cooperatives.
Conrad served as CEO and general manager of the Newport-based co-op beginning in 2000. He represented North Carolina cooperatives on a variety of state and national committees, and has had great satisfaction leading the co-op through changes including its merger with Harkers Island EMC, AMI deployment and other technology improvements.
During Conrad’s tenure, CCEC grew from 32,211 meters to 40,218, with a plant value that has more than doubled to $139 million. His career serving electric co-ops began in 1980 as a project engineer with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Electrification Administration.
Conrad’s service to CCEC has been more than managing the nuts and bolts of the co-op. While he has served as CEO, CCEC employees have raised more than $325,000 through the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and distributed more than $75,000 to those in need through the Harold Anderson Jr. Memorial Fund.
“There is no single organization in the local area that provides or gives back like the cooperative,” Conrad said. “Through the employees themselves in their private lives, our Harold Anderson Jr. Memorial Fund, the members’ generosity through Operation RoundUP®, and the Carteret-Craven Electric Foundation and employee groups that work toward raising money for a variety of charities – CCEC is truly committed to bettering our community.”
CCEC’s Jake Joplin has taken over the leadership reins following Conrad’s Jan. 15 retirement. Joplin is a native of Rutherford County, and if the name sounds familiar, that’s because he is the son of Forest City-based Rutherford EMC CEO Joe Joplin.
A graduate of NC State University’s School of Engineering, Joplin has worked for CCEC since 2000. He has served as staff engineer, vice-president of engineering and operations, and most recently as chief operating officer. In addition to his engineering degree, he has also earned his professional engineering certification.
“I have every confidence that the level of service our members will receive will only get better in the future,” Joplin said. “We have a great family of employees working day-in and day-out to bring safe, reliable, and economical power to member’s homes and businesses. As we go forward, our members can be assured that we will continue to respect the traditions of the cooperative and its founding principles, while exploring innovative energy solutions that meet changes in the industry and in the needs of our members.”
Joplin and his wife Magan live in Morehead City and have three children: Kaitlyn, Isaac and Nathan.