Bowling Selected As CEO Of Arizona’s Largest Electric Cooperative

Bowling Selected As CEO Of Arizona’s Largest Electric Cooperative

By Terri Jo Neff |

Jason Bowling will become Chief Executive Officer of Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative (SSVEC) on May 31, the date longtime CEO Creden Huber retires, it was announced Wednesday.

According to SSVEC President Curtis Nolan, Bowling’s selection came after a nationwide search initiated last October when Huber announced his intent to retire this year. The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association assisted SSVEC in recruiting industry professionals and other management leaders interested in helming the 40,000-member, not-for-profit company which serves much of southeastern Arizona.

“I’m pleased with the diligence of our board members in identifying Jason Bowling as the best candidate to take over a position that has benefited from 27 years of great leadership under Creden Huber,” Nolan said of Bowling’s selection. “I’m also confident that this transition will be smooth, and that the Cooperative will continue to serve the best interests of our members.”

SSVEC is the largest of the six electricity distribution cooperatives across Arizona.

Bowling, a 16-year employee, has served the last five years as the company’s Chief Administrative Officer. His position with the company prior to that was as Human Resources Manager.

Bowling, a University of Arizona alumnus, hold an MBA from Southern New Hampshire University. He said he is humbled and excited for the opportunity to serve SSVEC’s members as CEO at a time when the industry is facing unique challenges.

“We have phenomenal employees at SSVEC,” Bowling said. “They are experienced, dedicated, and hard-working professionals. This gives me great confidence.” 

In addition to his work for SSVEC, Bowling serves as a board member for the Sierra Vista Area Chamber of Commerce and also Arizona@Work.

Created in 1938 to serve 266 members in rural northeast Cochise County, SSVEC’s 5,700 square mile service territory now covers most of Cochise County as well as parts of  Graham, Pima, and Santa Cruz counties, including the communities of Benson, Bowie, Elfrida, Huachuca City, Patagonia, Pearce-Sunsites, St. David, San Simon, Sierra Vista, and Willcox.

Huber has served as SSVEC’s CEO since 1995. He added his endorsement of Bowling’s selection.

“I’m confident that the organization will continue to meet and exceed the expectations of our members and the industry under Jason Bowling’s leadership,” Huber said.

SSVEC covers its expansive service area with more than 4,100 miles of energized line supported by 32 substations. The company recently achieved 51 percent equity for its members, installed a state-of-the-art metering infrastructure, and improved its financial standing with an “A” rating from an established Wall Street ratings firm.

Rep. Gail Griffin Receives Outstanding Service Award

Rep. Gail Griffin Receives Outstanding Service Award

By Terri Jo Neff |

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association has recognized Arizona State Rep. Gail Griffin with the organization’s 2021 Regional Award for Outstanding Service. The award recognizes outstanding service at the regional or state level to electric cooperatives. 

Griffin (R-LD14) serves areas of Cochise, Graham, Greenlee, Graham, and eastern Pima counties. She was nominated for the award by Grand Canyon State Electric Cooperative Association (GCSECA) and Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative (SSVEC).

In nominating Griffin, SSVEC Chief Executive Officer Creden Huber touted the representative’s myriad efforts to assist Arizona’s Cooperatives, including her protection of the capital credits program, her willingness to work together to solve policy problems, and her understanding of cost and maintenance concerns involving pole attachments by cable and telecommunication companies. 

Huber also noted Griffin’s appointment as chair of House Natural Resources, Energy & Water Committee gives her responsibility for ensuring legislation that may negatively impact Cooperatives is addressed in committee. Griffin previously chaired the Senate’s NREW Committee.

 “For the past 20 years, your guidance, passion and dedication to the electric co-op family gained you a reputation as a great leader in the electric cooperative program,” NRECA CEO Jim Matheson wrote in the award notification. “Your strong commitment to the seven cooperative principles and work on advocacy, education and training had a profound effect throughout the State of Arizona.”

Griffin takes pride in being a strong proponent of Arizona’s electrical cooperatives throughout her time in the Legislature.

“They are consumer owned, not-for-profit entities that ensure their members are provided with reliable and affordable service,” she said upon receiving the award. “I will continue to champion electrical cooperatives for the vital role they play in strengthening rural Arizona.”

NRECA represents more than 900 consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives, public power districts, and public utility districts across America.