On June 2, 1986, Jim Moss entered Northern Neck Electric Cooperative’s offices for the first time. On Feb. 23, Moss leaves NNEC for a well-deserved retirement after 36 years of leadership and service.
On that June day, Moss’s first project was digitizing maps and working with the brand-new supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system. NNEC was just beginning its digital transformation, and Moss was in a unique position having just graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute, now called Virginia Tech. He had the skills necessary to help NNEC through the transition. Pat Henry, vice president of engineering, and Moss would work in the hallway of the former NNEC offices on a shared computer.
Digitizing the over 1,500 miles of line would stick with Moss as one of his favorite projects, because he became intimately familiar with the entire service territory. This experience prepared Moss well. In 2005, he moved from the Engineering Department, planning the lines, to leading the Operations Department where he manages the line crews during maintenance and construction, as well as during outage events.
In this new role, Moss would help lead the technology transition from the office to the trucks. “Technology has been the biggest change that I have seen here in my time at NNEC,” says Moss. “We went from a few computers shared by departments, paper maps and radios, to iPads in the trucks with the latest and greatest software to manage outage events, metering and substations.”
Moss’s role also transitioned to leading the co-op’s outage restoration events. Before a storm, he would monitor weather and begin coordinating equipment and mutual-aid crews, if necessary. During the event, Moss would be in NNEC’s operations department helping direct crews, trucks and equipment to get members’ power back on as safely and as quickly as possible.
Managing through a crisis would prove to be one of Moss’s best talents. In 2011, Hurricane Irene would challenge both Moss and the co-op. “About 90% of our members lost power. We had a devastating amount of damage,” says Moss. “Before we built the new warehouse facility, there were so many mutual-aid trucks and workers in our fenced lot in the morning and evening that it was difficult to move from one side of the yard to the other.”
“Jim always did his very best for the members, and he always thought of them when making decisions,” says Bill Clark who retired after working with Jim for over 15 years. “He was very easy to work for, because he always di what was right for the co-op.”
“In some of our darkest days as a co-op, Moss provided leadership and was able to bring the light back to our communities. I will miss his insight and wisdom on my executive team, but he has earned this retirement and I wish him all the best,” says Brad Hicks, president and CEO of NNEC.
In retirement, Moss is looking forward to watching his family grow, staying busy helping his church and community, and boating and fishing, but he will miss making contributions to NNEC. He says, “I wish my coworkers well, and I am proud to have worked at Northern Neck Electric Coopoerative.”