COLUMBIA, Miss. - In its 82-year history, Pearl River Valley Electric has had five general managers that have helped guide the cooperative through devasting storms and prosperous times, while leaving their unique imprint on the cooperative. Randy Wallace has been an employee of Pearl River Valley Electric for 43 years, and for 13 as general manager. In his time as general manager, Randy Wallace has overseen the cooperative’s day to day operations and has guided the cooperative through unprecedented growth.
“I’ve been extremely lucky and have worked with some of the greatest co-workers anyone could have,” said Wallace. “Everyone across our company has played a role in my success.”
Before coming to PRVEPA, Wallace, a native of Brookhaven, attended Mississippi College, and earned a Bachelor of Science in accounting. Later, he earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Southern Mississippi. After college, Wallace worked at a CPA firm in Brookhaven before coming to Pearl River Valley Electric.
While Wallace has had many achievements during his tenure, he is most proud of the implementation of the Round Up for Education Scholarship program, which has helped over 1600 students attend Mississippi community colleges.
“We must work to improve the lives of our members and education is the key to that improvement. The Round Up program was a great idea and has proven life changing for many students.”
In 43 years, Wallace has seen countless storms hit the service territory, but one stands out. During Hurricane Katrina he oversaw the housing and feeding of employees and extra crews who were working out of the Columbia district. He spent days sleeping in his office and still marvels at the work accomplished by PRVEPA employees.
“Originally we thought it would take months to restore power, but we did it in 28 days,” said Wallace. “That is a testament to the employees at PRVEPA.”
Wallace’s last day at Pearl River Valley Electric will be January 4th. Matthew Ware, currently operations manager for the cooperative, will take over duties as general manager following Wallace’s departure.
Pearl River Valley Electric is a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative that distributes electricity to more than 51,000 members in 12-counties in central and south Mississippi. It is headquartered in Columbia and has offices in Hattiesburg, Purvis and Wiggins.