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Careers Dedicated to Service

Richard Johnstone and Howard Scarboro receive Electric Cooperative Leadership Awards

August 2023

Retired VMDAEC CEO Richard Johnstone, Center, and retired CVEC CEO Howard Scarboro, right, shake hands with current CVEC directors.

By Gregg MacDonald, Staff Writer

When Richard G. Johnstone Jr. began working at the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives in 1985, Ronald Reagan was still in the White House and Back to the Future was still in theatres.

Retired VMDAEC CEO Richard Johnstone and his wife Blair being applauded after receiving the 2022 Electric Cooperative Leadership Award.

Thirty-eight years later, after a 36-year career as a dutiful editor of Rural (now Cooperative) Living Magazine, serving as executive vice president of the association, and ultimately retiring in 2021 as its CEO, Johnstone’s remarkable journey has finally achieved closure.

On July 24, 2023, Johnstone was hailed by colleagues and electric cooperative leaders as he was awarded the 2022 Electric Cooperative Leadership Award–the association’s highest honor–at its annual meeting in Leesburg, Va.

Due to pandemic delays and other subsequent scheduling issues, Johnstone was not able to formally receive the award until this year’s convention.

“Richard’s leadership helped build a solid foundation here at the VMD Association that has enabled us to grow in our support for our members,” says current VMDAEC CEO Brian Mosier.  “Richard was an incredible mentor for me and was a true servant leader that would always do for others.  I can’t think of anyone more deserving of the Cooperative Leadership Award for his distinguished 36-year career.”

Retired CVEC CEO Howard Scarboro saying a few words after receiving the 2023 Electric Cooperative Leadership Award, as VMDAEC CEO Brian Mosier looks on.

During this year’s VMDAEC Annual Meeting, the 2023 Electric Cooperative Leadership Award was also awarded to former Central Virginia Electric Cooperative CEO Howard Scarboro, who retired in 2008 after a nearly 17-year run as that cooperative’s top executive.

“Howard Scarboro was a transformational leader. His vision, ingenuity, and drive lifted CVEC and left lasting positive changes for CVEC members, employees, and for the electric cooperatives in Virginia and beyond,” says current CVEC CEO Gary Wood.

Congratulations to both recipients for their distinguished careers and dedicated service to the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware electric cooperative community.