A longtime leader with Jackson EMC’s Gainesville District has been named general manager of a Texas electric cooperative.
David “Mark” McClain will take the job with Big Country Electric Cooperative in Roby, Texas, starting Jan. 22 after 14 years as Jackson’s director of office services in Gainesville and 19 years with the corporation.
“McClain’s strong leadership skills, excellent interpersonal skills, strong educational background and extensive cooperative industry experience, along with his personal traits and values that reflect Big Country’s strong culture and work ethic, make him an outstanding choice to lead Big Country into the challenging times ahead,” board President Roger Blackwelder said in a news release. “He has proven that he is committed to the cooperative principles of doing what is best for our members. We are very excited to have him lead our cooperative in the days ahead.”
The search to replace Fredda Buckner, who is retiring at Big Country, included numerous candidates, days of intensive interviews and lasted for months.
“I am truly humbled and grateful for the trust the board of directors has placed in me and honored to be given the opportunity to serve as the next general manager at Big Country,” McClain said. “ ... I understand that the most important thing in life is not what position you hold. I manage from a servant leadership platform because to serve is to show the greatest leadership.”
McClain began working at Jackson as a field service representative in 1993 and completed his bachelor’s degree in business administration at North Georgia College & State University, according to a news release. He was promoted in 1996 to district warehouse coordinator before being promoted to his most recent position in 1998.
He also went on to earn a master’s degree in management from Brenau University, with help from the cooperative’s education assistance program, graduate from the National Rural Electric Corporation Association’s Management Intern Program and also has completed 76 hours toward a master’s degree in divinity from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
“Mark hit the ground running when he got here and has done a great job ever since,” Gainesville District Manager Bill Sanders said. “He has a great way of dealing with employees and customers alike, and was very active in our community as well. We hate to lose him, but congratulate him on his new career.”
Big Country is a member-owned electric distribution cooperative serving rural communities in 12 west Texas counties. It serves 12,340 electric meters compared to Jackson’s Gainesville District at 43,000 meters.
Big Country has 5,281 miles of energized line, $27 million in annual revenues, a total utility plant investment of $76 million, 55 employees and one subsidiary. Big Country Development Corp. was created to provide funding for local economic development projects.