Bradley McNeill

Ashe County resident Bradley McNeill is retiring from the Blue Ridge Electric Board of Directors of after 15 years of service, according to the cooperative.

LENOIR — Ashe County resident Bradley McNeill is retiring from the Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation Board of Directors after 15 years of service, and the cooperative will select another Ashe resident to fill his seat, according to a news release from BRE Public Relations Director Renee Whitener.

McNeill was first elected to the Board in 2004, and his retirement is effective at the conclusion of his 3-year term ending during the annual membership meeting June 27, Whitener said. At their meeting on March 26, Blue Ridge Electric’s Nominating Committee will select one or more nominees for McNeill’s Ashe District board seat — as well as nominees for three other board seats in the cooperative’s other districts of Caldwell, Watauga and Alleghany up for election in 2019, according to Whitener.

“In addition to nominations made by the cooperative’s nominating committee, members can have their name placed on the 2019 proxy and ballot through the nomination by petition process,” Whitener said. “The cooperative’s bylaws require that nominations by petition be made no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, April 1, or at least 60 days prior to the Annual Membership Meeting being held June 27 this year, and be signed by 20 or more cooperative members — five from each of the four directorate districts.”

The list of nominees will be posted at each Blue Ridge Energy office and provided in director election kits sent to members on May 29.

Members interested in being considered as a candidate for the Board of Directors must complete and submit a director application packet by contacting CEO Julie O’Dell at, or 1 (800) 451-5474, ext. 3202. When going through the Nominating Committee process, the application packet is due by 5 p.m. on Friday, March 1, and for members using the nomination by petition process, the deadline is by 5 p.m. on Monday, April 1, Whitener said.

In his role on the BRE Board of Directors, McNeill served on various committees, including compensation, finance and rates, in addition to serving as chair of the Ashe Facilities Committee and chair of the state conference for cooperative directors, according to Whitener.

During his tenure, McNeill achieved top level Board leadership certification and credentials as a cooperative director, both of which required training and competencies in areas including understanding multi-faceted operations in the electric utility industry, strategic planning, finance, governance and director duties and liabilities, Whitener said.

A graduate of East Tennessee State University, McNeill received his master’s degree from Appalachian State University and retired from a career in education as principal of Ashe County High School, Whitener said.

McNeill previously served on the Board of Trustees of Ashe Memorial Hospital and as president of Ashe Chapter of the N.C. Community Foundation, and is a board member of the Wilkes-Ashe-Watauga Scholarship Endowment and member of West Jefferson First Baptist Church. He resides in West Jefferson with his wife, Pat.

Detailed information on the nomination processes can be found in the cooperative’s Bylaws, available at any Blue Ridge Energy office, or on the cooperative’s website at, Whitener said.

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