The Warren County REMC board of directors has named an Iowa electric cooperative leader with more than 30 years of industry experience as its next CEO.
The board has hired Charlie Dunn, currently the CEO of Farmers Electric Cooperative in Greenfield, Iowa, as its next chief executive. Dunn will replace Phil High, who is retiring this summer after a 58-year career spanning multiple positions with Warren County REMC. Dunn began his electric co-op career in 1991 with Mountain Electric Cooperative in Tennessee and has served as Farmers Electric CEO since 2014. He also has worked as a lineman, in member services and in economic development positions. He served in the U.S. Army, including during Operation Desert Storm and in Iraq in 2005 and 2006.
“Charlie made a great impression on our board. He has CEO experience, which is incredibly valuable, along with a broad skillset forged by his military service and numerous roles with electric cooperatives during his career,” said Mike Conner, chairman of the Warren County REMC board of directors. “We know that we have a big pair of shoes to fill with Phil’s retirement, and it just seemed like Charlie was the right fit for that.”
Dunn’s experience leading Farmers Electric, which is similar in size to Warren County REMC, will be pivotal in his new role, Conner said. During the interview process, Dunn met with the Warren County REMC board of directors and he was impressed with the co-op’s organizational culture. The board’s concern for the co-op’s employees and membership stood out, Dunn said.
“As CEO, I work for the electric cooperative’s board of directors and it’s one of the most important relationships I’ll have,” he added. “The same things that are important to the board are important to me, and I really felt like it would be a great fit.”
Dunn will begin his new role with Warren County REMC on August 15. He already has been talking with High and Conner to learn more about the co-op and current projects as he prepares for the transition.
“I like the family feel of a small co-op, and I get that feeling with Warren County REMC,” Dunn said. “The co-op world has been wonderful, and I have enjoyed working for a not-for-profit cooperative because we really focus on our mission of supporting members. That’s very important to me.”