RED SPRINGS — Carmen E. Dietrich has been named interim chief executive officer of Lumbee River Electric Membership Corporation.
She replaces Steven Hunt, who had served as CEO for 4.5 years. A statement by the corporation did not mention Hunt or give a reason for his departure.
Dietrich becomes the first female CEO of the corporation, which was established in 1940.
“We are fortunate to have someone of Carmen’s vast experience here at Lumbee River EMC,” said Madie Rae Locklear, chairwoman of the board. “Her experience, not just here at Lumbee River, but in the industry as a whole, will be a great asset to the organization as we set our direction for the future.”
Dietrich has 30 years of experience in the electric cooperative industry, having spent time at Wake EMC and Edgecombe-Martin EMC. She has spent the past 17 years at Lumbee River EMC, serving in various capacities from manager of Engineering to vice president of Member Services.
“It is an honor to serve in this capacity here at Lumbee River EMC,” Dietrich said. “I look forward to working closely with the board of directors to ensure we provide our members with the very best services they deserve and that our cooperative continues to be a great place to work.”
The corporation is currently headquartered on Fourth Avenue in Red Springs, but recently announced it would be moving to a 45-acre track at COMtech on N.C. 711 just northeast of Pembroke. The cost of the construction is projected at $23 million.
Shortly after that announcement, four out of five incumbents on the LREMC board lost re-election during the corporation’s annual members meeting. Locklear said at the time she interpreted that as being a backlash toward the decision to leave Red Springs.
The corporation provides electricity to Robeson, Hoke, Cumberland and Scotland counties while employing about 120 people.
It has six offices, about 51,000 members, about 59,000 accounts, 5,681 miles of line, 77,672 power poles and 27 substations.
Hunt, a 1988 graduate of The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, became the CEO on May 13, 2013, after 21 years of experience in various leadership roles at Campbell Soup, Tredegar, Unilever, and WestPoint Stevens. Before that, he served as a captain in the United States Air Force.
Editor Donnie Douglas can be reached at 910-416-4659 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.