Cooperative Energy Names Jeff Bowman as President and Next CEO

Cooperative Energy’s Board of Directors recently announced the selection of Senior Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer Jeff Bowman as the company’s new President. Bowman additionally will assume the role of Chief Executive Officer in late 2019, upon the retirement of Cooperative Energy’s current President and CEO Jim Compton.

Bowman, 47, will be only the fourth person to serve as CEO in the in the company’s history. Cooperative Energy is a not-for-profit, Member-owned generation and transmission cooperative that provides electricity to 55 counties throughout western and southern Mississippi.

“Serving as the president and CEO of a large, complex organization like Cooperative Energy is a challenging job,” said Louis Thompson, Cooperative Energy Vice Chairman and acting Board Chairman. “Jeff Bowman possesses the leadership, problem-solving, and communication skills necessary to succeed in this role. Cooperative Energy’s excellent management team and strong organizational leadership will provide him with a great foundation upon which to grow.”

“Our Board of Directors has full confidence in Jeff Bowman as Jim Compton’s successor,” said Thompson. “Jim has been a progressive leader in our industry during his 15-year tenure, and we look forward to the same, ever-improving momentum from Jeff.”

Bowman’s prior service to the Cooperative embodied the characteristics the Board of Directors sought in the organization’s next leader. In his most recent roles as Cooperative Energy’s Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, he was responsible for all of Cooperative Energy’s legal matters, land management, contract administration, facilities maintenance and projects, business information systems, human resources, supply chain, economic development, and legislative affairs.

Bowman also served as Cooperative Energy’s special counsel and Board attorney prior to joining the staff of the generation and transmission cooperative.

“I am humbled and honored with the trust and confidence that the board has placed in me,” said Bowman. “Having worked with and beside Jim Compton for 15 years, his positive impact on our company and the entire electric industry in the state is evident and he leaves big shoes to fill.

“The goal is to continue moving the company forward and providing affordable, reliable and safe energy to our Members in an environmentally-responsible manner. Cooperative Energy will remain Member focused, while working diligently to improve the communities in which we serve and providing our employees a company where they can be proud to work.”

Bowman, a Hattiesburg native, graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in accounting. He earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi School of Law and a Master of Laws in Taxation from the University of Florida.

Bowman served as a captain on active duty in the United States Army and practiced law for 10 years in Hattiesburg, including eight years as the Cooperative Board’s outside counsel.

Bowman will succeed Compton, who became General Manager in May 2004 before ascending to President and CEO. Compton’s retirement in late 2019 occurs after an extensive career in the electric utility industry. Prior to becoming the third CEO of Cooperative Energy, he served as legal counsel for the Board of Directors of South Mississippi Electric Power Association (now Cooperative Energy) for 19 years, as an adviser for rural electric distribution cooperatives, and authored legislation to protect rural electric consumers.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to have led Cooperative Energy through many trials and successes during my service as the company’s Board attorney and in my role as President and CEO,” said Compton. “These past 15 years have been the most rewarding of my career. I had the fortune to follow in the footsteps of two previous general managers who laid the foundation for our organization. Now, I have complete confidence in Jeff to carry on our mission to provide approximately one million Mississippians with affordable, reliable electricity.”