Rod Cotton has been at his new job for a month now, and this week he made his first major public appearance when he spoke at the Farmers' Electric Cooperative's annual meeting Tuesday at the Dickinson Performance Arts Center with a crowd of 600 plus members and guests on hand.
Rod Cotton has been at his new job for a month now, and this week he made his first major public appearance when he spoke at the Farmers’ Electric Cooperative’s annual meeting Tuesday at the Dickinson Performance Arts Center with a crowd of 600 plus members and guests on hand. However, Cotton is not new to the cooperative world or to FEC. Prior to coming to Chillicothe and Farmers’ Electric Cooperative two years ago as its chief financial officer and assistant general manager, he worked for Grundy Electric Cooperative, Grand River Mutual Telephone Corporation and Green Hills Telephone Corporation over the years. When former General Manager Mike Sanders announced his retirement late last year, the search by the board did not have to go to great lengths to find its new GM. He was right in the same building and was serving as the electric company’s CFO and assistant general manager. Cotton is a Certified Public Accountant and has completed the Cooperative Financial Professional Certificate Program and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s New CEO Orientation. Cotton has been a valuable contributor to the Farmers’ Electric Cooperative team in his previous role as General Manager/CFO. His experience and education provide him with extensive expertise in several areas, including: employee development, organizational management, managerial accounting, operating and capital budget creation, economic development and both debt and risk management. Mr. Cotton is a native of Eagleville, Mo., and has resided in Trenton with his wife Missie for 21 years. There are two children, Cassidy, who graduated this spring from Trenton High School, and Connor. Cotton’s hobbies include coaching youth basketball and attending the sporting events of his children. Mr. Cotton joined FEC in July 2013 as its chief financial officer and GM. Mrs. Cotton is a member of the faculty at North Central Missouri College in Trenton. The Farmers’ Electric Cooperative staff has seen continuity in leadership as the Cooperative moves forward in its primary mission to serve its members with rates that balance safety, reliability, service quality and financial strength for the Cooperative Membership. Sanders, who officially retired from Farmers’ Electric Cooperative on May 15, wrote his last column for Rural Missouri magazine in May. In the member magazine he said, “I want to thank you and the Board of Directors for granting me the privilege of serving you as the General Manager of the Cooperative for the last eight years. I’ve enjoyed my time here at Farmers’, but it is time to start a new chapter of my life. You have a great board of directors, and dedicated employees that strive to provide you with safe, reliable electric service and helpful member service.” In closing his personal column in May in Rural Missouri, Sanders announced that Rod Cotton had been chosen to be the next General Manager. “I’m sure that he will work hard for you and that the cooperative will continue to prosper under his leadership.” Cotton becomes the fifth general manager in the cooperative’s 76-year history. Sanders followed Dan Bryan, who retired in 2006 after serving 24 years as the FEC General Manager. Sanders came to the FEC in 2004 as Chief Financial Officer before being named GM two years later upon the retirement of Bryan, who continues to reside in Chillicothe with his wife Mary.