Energy 2023: JOHN D. HEWA
PRESIDENT AND CEO, RAPPAHANNOCK ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, FREDERICKSBURG
In late April, residents in Louisa and Goochland counties were connected to broadband internet through a partnership between Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, Firefly Fiber Broadband and the two counties. The project’s completion marked significant progress in state efforts to digitally connect rural, underserved regions.
Hewa, who became the cooperative’s president and CEO in 2020, expects service to be available to several thousand member-owners by the end of the year. “All members in Louisa, Goochland, Greene, Madison and Albemarle … [will have] internet access from Firefly by 2025,” according to a Teknologic report.
Hewa, who holds a doctorate in engineering from George Washington University and is a registered professional engineer, joined Rappahannock in 2017 as vice president and chief operating officer. He previously held positions at cooperatives in Florida and Texas.
He serves on several regional boards, including those for the Virginia Chamber of Commerce and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. Hewa also serves as co-chairman of the Coalition for the Advancement of Reliable Electric Systems (CARES), a national electrical industry advocacy group created in 2022.