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Conner receives leadership award from electric cooperatives

South Boston News
Robert W. Conner, back row, second from left, is awarded the Electric Cooperative Leadership Award. With him are, from left, back row, his daughter, Katherine Lusk; Conner; his son David; his son Dick;  and John Lee, president and CEO of Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative. Front row, Conner’s wife Lucy; grandson West and granddaughter Emory, both children of Dick Conner. / July 29, 2013
Robert W. (Bobby) Conner has been honored by the Virginia, Maryland and Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives (VMDAEC) with the 2013 Electric Cooperative Leadership Award. This award is the Association’s highest honor and has been established to recognize individuals who have been instrumental in the development of rural electrification within the family of electric cooperatives in the three-state region. He was nominated for this award by Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative.

Conner, who has served as Clerk of Court for Halifax County since 1988, retired last year as Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative’s chairman of the board and director after 30 years of service. In addition to serving on the Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative board, Conner served two terms as chair of the VMDAEC board and was also longtime chair of the Governmental Relations Committee.

“Bobby has been an ambassador for cooperative principles and our business model his entire life and is widely recognized across the state, particularly by elected officials, as a prominent spokesman for electric cooperatives,” MEC president and CEO John Lee said. “Bobby’s also taken the lead in local events that promote Mecklenburg Electric and Southside Virginia, among them the Halifax County Heritage and Antique Machinery Festival.”

The 2013 Electric Cooperative Leadership Award resolution cites Conner’s years of service on numerous boards, committees and groups of influence, including the Halifax Regional Hospital Board, Triangle Volunteer Fire Department and Carter Bank and Trust. A lifelong farmer, Conner was instrumental in forming the Southside Virginia Produce Cooperative as he worked to improve his entire region’s economy.

The Leadership Award was presented at the VMDAEC annual membership meeting on July 22 in Dover, Delaware, by VMDAEC president and CEO Jack Reasor who praised Conner for three decades of dedicated and exemplary service to electric cooperatives. “During his tenure, Bobby exemplified both strength of character and commitment to humanity as well as a never-idle sense of humor, which made him an outstanding leader,” Reasor says.

Conner was thrilled to receive the award as part of a luncheon celebration that included friends from each electric cooperative and many of his family members. “Of all the cooperative meetings I’ve attended over the years, this was the most poignant and memorable!” Conner exclaims.

Conner and his wife Lucy live in Nathalie and recently celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary. They have three children—Katherine Lusk, David and Richard Conner—and seven grandchildren.

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