Former Electric Cooperative trustee wins Pathfinder Award

Former Central Alabama Electric Cooperative Trustee Ruby Neeley of Clanton was awarded the Pathfinder Award at the Alabama Rural Electric Association’s Annual Meeting, which was held in Montgomery on April 22-23.

The Pathfinder Award, created by AREA’s Board of Directors in 2006, has been presented to four additional recipients and is given to a person whose life has had a profound and lasting effect on the foundations of the rural electrification program in Alabama or the nation.

Ruby Neeley (left) receives the Pathfinder Award from AREA Board Chairman Patsy Holmes and AREA President and CEO Fred Braswell.

Ruby Neeley (left) receives the Pathfinder Award from AREA Board Chairman Patsy Holmes and AREA President and CEO Fred Braswell.

The recipient of the Pathfinder Award may or may not be well-known to others outside his or her own cooperative, but will have had a documented history of serving the program in a developmental capacity. Further, the recipient should have a long-lasting commitment to the program or to his or her cooperative.

Neeley and her family were among the first people to receive electricity in the Chilton County community of Union Grove, and she was well-known for the country store she owned and operated in the Mineral Springs community.

She was appointed to CAEC’s board in August of 1979, and in April 1994 was elected to serve as secretary/treasurer; a position she held until her retirement in 2014.

“Mrs. Neeley was the first trustee at Central to earn the Credentialed Cooperative Director Certificate,” AREA President and CEO Fred Braswell said in a release. “She also served on PowerSouth’s board of directors for 22 years, serving on five committees, and was also PowerSouth’s delegate to the AREA board. Over her 35-year tenure on Central’s board, Mrs. Neeley earned the friendship and respect of the members, trustees and employees, and her willingness to serve will be sorely missed.”

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