Richard G. Johnstone Jr. concluded his 36-year career with the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives on March 31. His employment was marked by the longest tenure as amember magazine editor (1985-2005) and general manager/CEO (1999-2021) in the association’s 76-year history. He is believed to be the only individual to serve as president of both the National Rural Electric Statewide Editors Association and the National Rural Electric Statewide Managers Association.
Among highlights of his career, Johnstone noted the tripling of the circulation of the association’s member magazine, Cooperative Living, from about 200,000 in 1985 to 600,000 today; growth of the Gaff-n-Go Lineworker’s Rodeo into one of the largest regional utility rodeos in the nation; creation of a scholarship foundation that’s helped over 800 deserving young people in its 21 years; and the opening in 2019 of a state-of-the-art regional training center in Fluvanna County to provide continuing education to lineworkers, other co-op professionals and board members.
Johnstone, 65, graduated summa cum laude from the University of Richmond in 1978, with a B.A. degree in both journalism and speech communication. He and his wife, Blair, reside in Midlothian and have two adult children.