John Hewa Named Pedernales CEOBy Michael W. Kahn | ECT Staff Writer Published: June 18th, 2013
The leader of NRECA’s Cooperative Research Network is heading to Texas to take the reins at an electric co-op that Lyndon Johnson helped found.
John Hewa will be the new CEO of Pedernales Electric Cooperative, effective July 22. Headquartered in Johnson City, Pedernales is the nation’s largest distribution electric co-op.
Hewa has been NRECA’s vice president of research, engineering and technical services since 2011. In that capacity, he has led CRN as it continues its smart grid demonstration project.
“PEC has a long-standing reputation of excellence in an industry that is now undergoing significant change,” said Hewa. “My mission is to work closely with members to understand what they are experiencing and how PEC can improve service. I appreciate and I am honored that the board selected me to lead this co-op at this critical time.”
NRECA CEO Jo Ann Emerson said Hewa will be missed.
“He leaves in his wake a wealth of relationships, a vast reservoir of expertise and a singularly positive appreciation for the NRECA purpose and mission,” Emerson said. “He has brought the Cooperative Research Network to new pinnacles of achievement and built new, productive working relationships with the Department of Energy and the National Laboratories.”
Kathy Scanlon, PEC board president, said the co-op board was impressed with Hewa’s “knowledge of new technologies that can create efficiencies while improving services.” And, she added, Hewa’s leadership will allow the co-op to implement “progressive programs that improve our members’ experience while still controlling costs.”
Hewa and the Pedernales team will be responsible for 250,000 meters spread over an 8,100-square mile service territory. Pedernales marks a return to the local co-op world for Hewa, who was general manager of Quincy, Fla.-based Talquin Electric Cooperative from 2006 to 2011.
Hewa succeeds R.B. Sloan, who left Pedernales in March. Frank Skube, the co-op’s former chief financial officer, has been acting as interim CEO.
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