Energy: JOHN HEWA
PRESIDENT AND CEO, RAPPAHANNOCK ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, FREDERICKSBURG
For more than 15 years, Hewa has worked for electric cooperatives in Florida, Texas and Virginia. He holds “a deep appreciation for the cooperative business model,” which, unlike a traditional utility, are nonprofits owned by the members they serve.
Hewa joined Rappahannock, which serves nearly 172,000 members, in 2017 as vice president and chief operating officer and was promoted to the top job in 2020. Throughout his career, he has championed smart grid technologies and energy storage solutions. Before joining Rappahannock, Hewa was vice president of research, engineering and technical services at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, where he worked with cooperatives around the country to adopt smart grid technologies. In December 2021, a Spotsylvania Circuit Court judge ruled in REC’s favor in a lawsuit filed by co-op members seeking more transparent board meetings.
Hewa serves on the board of the U.S. Energy Storage Association, which works with utilities to promote the adoption of energy storage technologies.
He is a registered professional engineer, with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s degree in engineering management from the University of Tennessee. He earned a Ph.D in engineering from George Washington University.