The directors of the Russellville Electric Plant Board announced the hiring of a new superintendent and general manager on Friday.
Beginning next month, Robert L. White, a lifelong resident of Johnson City, Tenn., will replace outgoing general manager Larry Willcut, who has worked for the EPB for over 40 years.
“I’m really looking forward to being a part of the community there in Russellville,” White said. “I’ve got some big shoes to fill though, because Larry is respected not only in that community, but in the whole TVA region. He’s been nothing but supportive for me since I have decided to take that position.”
White comes from the Johnson City Power Board where he has served in various capacities for nearly 30 years and is currently serving as its chief public relations officer.
His first day on the job will be on May 13.
Willcutt notified the board early last year of his plans to retire as soon as the Board found a successor. The Board began its search in October and not only included the local area, but also the whole Tennessee Valley region and beyond. The Board begin to interview candidates in February and quickly realized they had found an individual that not only was capable of guiding the EPB in the future and continue its long history of providing reliable electric and broadband service, but also a person that will bring a new and varied prospective of leadership to the community.
White began his career with the Johnson City Power Board in 1984 as a meter reader, soon after he graduated from high school. While working there, he completed his undergraduate work at East Tennessee State University with a BBA in operations management and earned his MBA from Milligan College in Tennessee. He has also completed the course work to earn the distinction as a Tennessee Valley Public Power Associtation Certified Power Executive along with other courses offered by TVPPA and the American Power Association.
White has been active throughout his career in his community, having served on boards and holding office in civic organizations, Chamber of Commerce, United Way and local planning and development. He has also served on several regional and state-wide committees. He currently is a Commissioner and Chairman of the Audit Committee of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, appointed by Gev. Bredesen in 2007, serves on the Advisory Board of SunTrust Bank in Johnson City and serves as vice-chairman of the APPA Business and Finance Section. In addition, he has been recognized with many awards for his service and involvement, most recently he was recognized for “Outstanding Support in Education” by ETSU Black Faculty and Staff and Leader in Christian Service” by Milligan College.
White describes himself as a “life-long learner.” He is currently serving on JCPB’s negotiation and project managment team preparing JCPB to offer the same broadband services now being provided by the EPB.
White is married and his wife, Karen, is a third grade teacher in the Johnson City School System. They have one adult son, who lives in the Atlanta area. They will be relocating and moving to Russellville in the near future.
Once the Whites have moved in to the community, a reception will be held to allow everyone to meet and welcome them.