REC President and CEO, John D. Hewa, Honored with Prestigious Diversity Champion Award
March 13th, 2024

Hewa - AwardFredericksburg, Va.—Rappahannock Electric Cooperative’s (REC) President and CEO, John D. Hewa, was recently recognized for making outstanding contributions to lead and promote diversity, equity and inclusion at the Cooperative.

Hewa was honored with the Curtis Wynn Diversity Champion Award by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), which also recognized Betty Jo Kiesow, vice president of engineering and administration at Dakota Electric Association in Farmington, Minn., as a co-recipient.

“I am humbled and honored to receive an NRECA award that bears Curtis Wynn’s name,” Hewa said. “For me, receiving this award is beyond motivating to uncover what more I can achieve with our fantastic team of employees, Board members, and caring culture at Rappahannock Electric. Each of us are remarkably similar and unique in the same moment.”

Hewa led the development of REC’s diversity, equity and inclusion plan, which focuses on leadership and strategy, employee education and awareness, and recruitment and retention. The plan has increased employee engagement, collaboration and a sense of belonging.

“While we can’t possibly envision the great things to come, we at REC are thankful that our DEI plan makes way for the critical discussions, and has us pointed in the right direction,” Hewa said.

He noted that REC’s diversity, equity and inclusion plan supports not only the Cooperative’s employees, but also its members.

“Thoughtful DEI leadership is about embracing both those similarities and differences and bringing the ideas and principles represented by our employee team forward in a considerate way that furthers our mission in serving the membership. I greatly appreciate NRECA’s emphasis on diversity and inclusion as the fabric of organizational success.”

Added NRECA President Tony Anderson: “John and Betty have demonstrated exceptional achievements as they worked to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion within their cooperatives. Each has worked to foster cultures of belonging that enabled employees to feel valued and empowered.”

The award is named in honor of Wynn, NRECA’s president from 2019 to 2021. He is currently the CEO of SECO Energy in Sumterville, Fla., and previously served as president and CEO of Roanoke Electric Cooperative in Aulander, North Carolina.

REC provides electric service to over 177,000 connections in parts of 22 Virginia counties. With its general office in Fredericksburg, Va., the Cooperative operates and maintains more than 18,000 miles of power lines through its service area, which ranges from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay. For more information about REC, please visit Follow REC on Facebook, X, Instagram, and YouTube.