North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives announces the retirement of Rick Feathers, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the family of organizations that provides materials and wholesale power, as well as trade association and energy services to North Carolina’s 26 local electric distribution cooperatives.
Feathers, who has served cooperatives, their members and communities for more than 18 years, will be succeeded by Charlie Bayless at the end of the year. Bayless has been an integral part of North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives legal team since 2010 and currently serves as Vice President and Senior Regulatory Counsel.
“The depth of legal and utility industry knowledge Rick possesses and has applied over the last 18 years has been instrumental in shaping policy and advocating for the needs of electric cooperatives and their members in North Carolina and beyond,” said Joe Brannan, Executive Vice President and CEO of North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives. “His dedication to the mission of electric co-ops will have an impact on co-op communities for generations to come.”
Feathers, a Wake Forest University graduate, earned a law degree from the University of Virginia following six years of service in the United States Army, punctuated by assignment to Fort Bragg’s 82nd Airborne Division. Upon completion of law school, Feathers practiced law for firms in Virginia and North Carolina, leaving the firm currently known as Womble Bond Dickinson to join North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives in 2003.
“I grew up in a rural, cooperative-served community in Virginia, and I carried those experiences with me to this role,” Feathers said. “Our state’s rural people and communities deserve the same access to affordable, reliable electricity and energy innovation as anyone, and it has been a privilege to advocate on their behalf.”
Bayless, who graduated from Virginia Military Institute and the West Virginia University College of Law, following 5 years of service in the U.S. Air Force, was selected for the role of Senior Vice President and General Counsel because of his experience on state and national energy issues and to provide a smooth transition within the network of North Carolina’s electric cooperatives.
“As a network of cooperatives, we are driven by our service to people and communities,” Brannan said. “Charlie is a strong leader and is capable of balancing service to cooperative members with the pace, demands and opportunities of the rapidly evolving energy industry as we worked toward our commitment of building a Brighter Future for North Carolina.”