51 years and counting
James B. Brooks is closing in on 51 years of service as a Central Electric Membership Corporation board member. The 81-year-old Siler City farmer holds the secretary-treasurer position on the Central EMC board and says he doesn't plan on giving it up anytime soon.
Jim Brooks was elected to the CEMC board in 1961 and has been re-elected to represent Chatham County ever since. He says there have been ups and downs along the way, but overall it's a decision he's never regretted. One of the reasons, he says, is that Central EMC board members know how to be a team. He says it's been a pleasure to watch the cooperative grow over the years from 6,000 to 21,000 members.
Earlier this year the cooperative board dedicated the Jim Brooks Substation at Siler City. That station was Central's first wholly-owned facility.
Jim Brooks worked 33, years as a rural mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service in Siler City. He and his brother also raised dairy cows. Nowadays he raises hay and small grain. He also enjoys bird hunting, square dancing and clogging. While all of these hobbies are important to Jim, square dancing is probably the most. He promenades whenever he can. One year he led a few do-si-do's at the Central EMC annual meeting.
Jim Brooks also pursued educational opportunities to enhance his service as an elected board member, earning him a Board Leadership Certificate and distinction as a Credentialed Cooperative Director.
"Regardless of where he is," said the co-op's CEO and general manager Morris McClelion, "Mr. Brooks is a devoted individual who gives all he can to the cooperative cause. Central Electric is truly blessed to have a person so committed."