Prentiss County Electric Power Association has announced a change in leadership.
Longtime power association manager Ronny Rowland plans to retire at the end of this year.
To fulfill their duties of continued leadership almost five years ago the Board of Directors of Prentiss County EPA chose Robert Dodson to be the Assistant General Manager with plans to replace long-time General Manager Ronny Rowland at his retirement. This transition was delayed about three years when the Board of Directors had the opportunity to vote to borrow money and build a fiber network on the existing powerlines to not only greatly improve the electric system but to provide high-speed internet to all PCEPA members.
Dodson and Rowland were each hired by previous General Manager James Witt Abernathy after graduating at Mississippi State University (MSU) with degrees in Electrical Engineering. Rowland retires after working for PCEPA for 50 years and 7 months. Dodson has worked for PCEPA for 40 years and still going.
Rowland grew up on a family dairy farm in the Blackland/Oak Hill community attending school at Blackland, Wheeler, Northeast MS Community College and MSU. Dodson grew up in southern Lee County attending school at Shannon, Itawamba Community College and MSU.
PCEPA was organized by local citizens of this area in 1935 to bring much-needed electricity to rural homes and farms. PCEPA was the 3rd electric cooperative organized in the United States, following closely behind citizens in Alcorn (1st) and Pontotoc (2nd) Counties. The succession of General Managers have been; Roger Scott (1935-40), H. G. Gangwer (1940-4), Roy Bonds (1944-59), Percy White (1959-60), Witt Abernathy (1961-82), Ronny Rowland (1982-2021) and now Robert Dodson.
PCEPA helped families in the 1930’s to 1950’s move to a better life from using candles and coal oil lamps to see at night; wood and coal cook stoves; washing clothes by hand in lakes and streams; and those who could afford and lived close enough to town for daily ice delivery to keep food cool. In a similar way PCEPA over the last 18 months has built a system of fiber and is providing high speed broadband services to all of the PCEPA member owners no matter how far out of town they live.