Roanoke Electric appoints Cherry as co-op’s president and CEO

Published 5:44 pm Tuesday, February 15, 2022

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Roanoke Electric Cooperative’s Board of Directors has appointed Marshall Cherry as the cooperative’s new president and chief executive officer. He succeeds Curtis Wynn, who stepped down in December to take the helm at SECO Energy in Florida.

Marshall Cherry

“We are fortunate to have Marshall’s skills, vision and operational expertise to effectively lead the co-op at this pivotal time in its evolution,” said Allen Speller, chairman of the board. “With his dedicated service and exceptional track record of executing our strategic initiatives, we believe he is the ideal leader to ensure the co-op’s next chapter of growth and success.”

Cherry’s passion for cooperative governance and business principles took root at an early age. Born and raised in Bertie County, he was introduced to the co-op way of doing business during high school when he was selected to participate in the statewide Cooperative Leadership Camp. While a student at Livingstone College in Salisbury, N.C., he joined the Army National Guard in 1989. After eight years of service, he earned an honorable discharge.

Some noteworthy achievements include graduating from two of the state’s top economic development leadership programs: N.C. Rural Center’s Rural Economic Development Institute and Leadership North Carolina. He also moved up through the ranks, landing in the role of chief operating officer at Roanoke eight years ago.

“I feel like I have been preparing for this moment for a long time. I am honored and humbled,” Cherry said of his appointment. “I have been a student of this business model and industry for many years. I welcome the opportunity to lead the charge to build on the co-op’s many achievements.”

As CEO, Cherry said he does not anticipate any drastic changes, planning instead to stay the course on the co-op’s existing corporate strategy.

“My mission is to ensure the team has all of the support and leadership needed to achieve all the goals we have established,” he remarked.

Key among his stated goals is to complete the buildout of broadband.

“Roanoke Connect is certainly top of mind for me. It is sorely needed in northeastern North Carolina,” Cherry said. “It’s not a task we take on lightly at all. We want to make sure the model that we have developed is sustainable, and we deliver on our commitment to ensure everyone has access to broadband.”

Cherry said he also looks forward to the opportunity to advance a wide range of initiatives that he avows “will play an active part in transforming the region.”

In addition to being well-positioned to meet the growing demand for renewable energy and energy-efficient solutions, the co-op will remain grounded in its commitment to reliable service and community and economic development.

“I am in touch with the needs in this region. And I understand the impact that this organization has on improving the quality of life for those we serve,” Cherry said. “Ultimately, I hope we live up to being a good community partner.”