Blue Ridge optimistic about growth

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

M. Karen Brewer/Photo
Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative CEO Charles Dalton speaks at the co-op’s annual meeting last week. To see more photos of the event, visit

PICKENS — After being hit by the recession for a number of years, officials with Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative are happy with the growth they’ve seen recently.

CEO Charles Dalton spoke at a recent media luncheon hosted by the cooperative.

Dalton began his tenure as CEO at Blue Ridge in 1982.

“I can remember at that day and time, when he came, we had 19,000 members,” Blue Ridge communications manager Terry Ballenger said. “Today we have 65,000. We have really grown under his leadership.”

“Business has been very good for Blue Ridge, starting last year, and then this year we’re continuing to see that growth,” Dalton said. “Since 2008, we have not had a lot of growth. The economic downturn really hit us.”

Last year, the cooperative added 700 net new members to its lines, he said.

“That was a significant increase over what’d we been seeing and we are seeing that growth

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