The 84th Annual Meeting will be held virtually on Aug. 26 at 9 a.m. During that time, the three-year terms for three districts will be up for election:
Columbus Jeffers, Incumbent
Columbus Jeffers has served District 1 in Halifax County since 2011. He also has received Credentialed Cooperative Director Certification (CCD), Board Leadership Certification (BLC), and Director Gold Credential Certification from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) in Arlington, Va. In addition to his role at Roanoke Cooperative, he serves as a Tarheel Electric Membership Corp (TEMA) board member.
He attends First Baptist Church in Roanoke Rapids, where he serves as chairperson of the deacon board and continues to be actively involved in its outreach ministry. He is involved in helping the elderly, where he offers transportation, friendly visits, and other necessities. A native of Halifax, he graduated from Halifax County Technical Institute, where he studied business administration. For 38 years, he worked for Dominion Energy and retired as a Senior Safety Coordinator.
Question 1: Mr. Jeffers, what are the major challenges for electric cooperatives today, and how do we plan for the future?
“As a co-op, we must strive for affordability, not only for electricity but also for broadband services. Electric co-ops must find innovative ways to provide products and services that meet the diverse needs of our member-owners. And we must continue our long history of standing out as a pillar in the surrounding communities.”
Question 2: Mr. Jeffers, what is one of the most rewarding aspects of serving on the cooperative board?
“The most rewarding aspect for me is knowing that this Board works hard to provide affordable electricity and broadband services for our member-owners. Especially broadband services which provide internet services to some of the most rural areas in eastern NC.”
Kenneth R. Jernigan, Incumbent
Kenneth Jernigan has served District 5 in Gates County since 2005. Mr. Jernigan’s roles on the Roanoke Cooperative board have included Assistant Secretary-Treasurer. He also has received Credentialed Cooperative Director Certification (CCD), Board Leadership Certification (BLC), and Director Gold Credential Certification from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) in Arlington, Va. In addition to his role at Roanoke Cooperative, he served as a Gates County commissioner for 8 years.
A native of Whiteville, NC, Mr. Jernigan moved to Gates County in 1973, where he worked for the school system for 32 years.
Question 1: Mr. Jernigan, what are the major challenges for electric cooperatives today, and how can we plan for the future?
“As for the future, I see the co-op moving in the right direction. One of the main elements of Roanoke Cooperative’s success is our core values. This is a company that really cares. It is always looking out for its employees and serving the best interests of its member-owners. And that builds a solid foundation for tackling any challenges that arise in this ever-changing business.”
Question 2: Mr. Jernigan, what is one of the most rewarding aspects of serving on the cooperative board?
“I want to thank the coop members for their support and allowing me to serve on the board of Roanoke Cooperative. I’ve always voted for what I thought best for the employees and Cooperative’s member-owners and will do my best for them.”
Cynthia Vaughan, Incumbent
Cynthia Vaughan has served District 9 in Northampton County since 2022. She also has received the New Director Certification from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) in Arlington, Va. In addition to her role at Roanoke Cooperative, she also:
- serves on the social committee at Sandy Run Baptist Church in Roxobel
- she is president of Roxobel Community Center
- owns and operates Roxobel Mini Storage
- and has various hobbies and community involvement activities such as event/function planning and decorator
Vaughan is a resident of Northampton County. After attending Louisburg College, she began her 29-year tenure in the banking industry serving in the capacities of Branch Manager, loan officer, customer service representative, and teller. Vaughan is now AVP/Community Banker of Southern Bank in Windsor.
Question 1: Ms. Vaughan, what are the major challenges for electric cooperatives today, and how can we plan for the future?
“There are challenges every day in the Rural Electric Co-op world, with the changes that approach us daily, we are doing our best to keep up with those changes and to inform our member-owners of all that is out there that can meet their needs. Whether it be security, the next best electrical device, or the next new way to conserve energy. I encourage our member-owners to take pride in their co-op and to get involved with all we have to offer. We strive every day to keep the lights on for our member-owners, and the employees do an excellent job. It takes time and the commitment of all our employees to keep the ball rolling. Without their commitment, we would not be able to service our communities. So, plan your future by teaming up with us at Roanoke Cooperative to make a difference.”
Question 2: Ms. Vaughan, what is one of the most rewarding aspects of serving on the cooperative board?
“I am honored to be a part of such an innovative organization and represent the member-owners of District 9. My vision is for us to continue to make decisions that will benefit the member-owners and local communities that we serve.”