Bill Buchanan has been named president and chief executive officer of Northwestern Rural Electric Co-operative.
Buchanan replaces Mary Grill, who is retiring after 42 years of service to the cooperative with four of those at the helm, Northwestern REC said in announcing the move. The addition of Buchanan was effective Saturday.
“I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with my Co-op family to meet our members’ needs for 42 years,” Grill said in the news release. “Our mission is a wonderful one to support and be enthusiastic about.”
Grill started at the co-operative as billing supervisor, then billing and accounting manager, consumer services and information technology vice president, and finally president and CEO. Grill’s professional achievements include serving on the United Utility Supply Cooperative Board, the Agricultural Advisory Committee for TEAM PA and development of the co-operative’s 501(c)(3) organization, Member to Member Inc.
Grill also has served locally on the League of Women Voters, Meadville Cooperative Preschool Board, Meadville Beautification Committee, Meadville Garden Club, United Way of Western Crawford County Board, Economic Progress Alliance Board of Incorporators and various school booster organizations.
“Mary has done a wonderful job fulfilling her vision for the Co-op,” said Kathryn J. Cooper-Winters, chairman of the board. “The Board is grateful her contributions to the Co-operative, such as rate stabilization and bringing to life Member to Member, Inc. In addition to her focus on our Co-op’s member-owners, her involvement in our local community is reflective of our Co-op’s commitment to the communities we serve.”
Buchanan is no stranger to cooperatives, bringing 28 years of cooperative leadership experience to Northwestern REC. He is a graduate of Western Illinois University, the University of Missouri’s Graduate Institute for Cooperative Leadership and Stanford University’s professional certification in Energy Innovation.
Buchanan has many years of service to co-operative telecom boards and community service organizations, Northwestern REC said. He has served as president and board member of both the Illinois and Colorado rural telecommunications associations as well as the Western Telecommunications Alliance, serving on the transition committee during the merger of two regional associations.
Bill and his wife, Malloree, have two teenage sons; Tyler is in college and Tanner is a senior in high school. The Buchanan family is actively involved in its church, volunteering in various capacities.
Northwestern Rural Electric Co-operative is a distribution electric co-operative providing service to 20,000 members in Crawford, Erie, Warren, Venango and Mercer counties in Pennsylvania and Ashtabula County in Ohio.