Southern Pine Electric’s Board of Directors is pleased to welcome our new President and CEO, Chris Rhodes, to the Southern Pine family.

Chris has a long and distinguished career working with cooperatives. He joined Cooperative Energy in 1996 and has served in various engineering, supervisory, and management roles including plant engineer and then plant manager at the J.T. Dudley, Sr. Generating Complex. He also served as the director of external affairs managing economic development and the delivery of Cooperative Energy’s narrative and position on technical, legislative, and political issues to internal and external audiences.

In his most recent role with Cooperative Energy, Chris served as Senior Vice-president of Administration and oversaw economic development, external affairs and managed the wholesale services and business information systems groups. Chris is a 1995 graduate of Mississippi State University with a degree in mechanical engineering.

“We are happy to have Chris leading our team and look forward to the great things we can accomplish together for our members,” said Billy M. Berry, Chairman of the Board. “His work experience on behalf of cooperatives in Mississippi will be invaluable to Southern Pine and I am confident he will lead us with wisdom and integrity.”

Chris and his wife of 28 years, Laurie, make their home in Petal. They are the proud parents of three children, Olivia, 24, Jacob, 19, and Bella, 10. Chris is an avid runner and enjoys golf in his free time. An active member at First Baptist Church in Petal, Chris has a sincere warmth and concern for people and a strength that promotes a sense of camaraderie and common trust.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to serve as your CEO and to work together with the knowledgeable team of people at Southern Pine as we serve our members,” said Chris. “This is truly a remarkable cooperative with a long history of growth and service to the members and the State of Mississippi. I am grateful for the strong foundation established by those who came before me and offer my sincere thanks to the board of directors for their confidence in me. I appreciate Mr. Don Jordan and all the employees at Southern Pine for their dedication and determination to make Southern Pine one of the best co-ops in the country. With their positive energy and commitment to the membership, our goals align to bring excellent member services while continuing to provide reliable and affordable electricity.”

Southern Pine serves approximately 68,560 meters across eleven counties and has 220 employees, who are eager to welcome, and work with, their new CEO. Though serving at different type cooperatives, one a generation and transmission cooperative and one a distribution, Chris and the Southern Pine team have shared many work experiences that enable us to serve our members and make a difference in the communities and state, joining forces to bring about legislative change, better jobs, and more educational opportunities for our children. “Chris has a vision and plan for Southern Pine and has the courage to follow through, with integrity, honesty, and humility,” said Ryan Robertson, Manager of Accounting. “Chris, the board of directors, and employees share the same values and are committed to working together to achieve common goals,” added Robertson.

We look forward to this new chapter in the life of Southern Pine and to Bringing the Power to our members for many years to come. For more information, email