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Souther to Retire, Evans Promoted to Operations/District Manager of Blue Ridge Energy’s Alleghany District
Joel Souther, 36-year employee with Blue Ridge Energy, is retiring in October as operations/district manager of the cooperative’s Alleghany office and John Evans has been promoted to serve in this role.
Souther, who has led the Alleghany office the past seven years, joined Blue Ridge Energy 1984 as an installer of load management systems while attending Wake Technical College to become a line technician. As a line technician, Souther was promoted to crew leader in 1990 where he remained until 2007 when he became a construction layout technician with responsibilities for planning the path of power lines.
Souther has also been heavily involved in the community, including serving on the Blue Ridge Business Development Board and Alleghany Hospital Foundation committees in addition to responsibilities for overseeing the cooperative’s Alleghany Member Advisory Committee and Community Leaders Council. He lives in the Twin Oaks/Elk Creek community with his wife, Pam.
“It’s been an honor to serve the membership of Alleghany County over my 36 years with Blue Ridge Energy,” said Souther, who is now serving in an advisory capacity. “I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by our supportive, hard-working Blue Ridge family and my co-workers have shown me what true teamwork and commitment are all about.”
Evans, who most recently served as crew leader in Alleghany district, moved into his new position of operations/district manager of Alleghany district office in late August.
With responsibilities for electric reliability, power restoration, and member/customer service for nearly 10,000 members in the Alleghany service area, Evans is leading a staff of 11 line technicians, technical personnel and energy specialists, along with oversight of sales and customer service for the cooperative’s propane and fuels operations in Alleghany district office. He also has responsibilities for the cooperative’s Alleghany Member Advisory Committee and Community Leaders Council.
Evans joined Blue Ridge Energy in 2003 as a line technician after working for Pike Electrical Contracting for five years, two of which were spent in Ashe County. He also worked briefly for the Forest Service. During his time at Blue Ridge Energy, Evans worked with the co-op’s automated metering system, staking, committees for safety and reliability, and has been involved with the Sparta Streetscape Project.
Evans graduated from Appalachian State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology. He and his wife, Andrea, live in the Piney Creek community near the New River.
Blue Ridge Energy is a Touchstone Energy cooperative utility serving some 76,0000 members in Alleghany, Ashe, Watauga, Caldwell, Wilkes, Avery and Alexander counties. Its heating fuels subsidiary provides propane, heating fuels and hearth products to customers in a service area stretching from Alleghany County to the foothills. Find more information at BlueRidgeEnergy.com.