Our Story
“Brothers and sisters, I want to tell you this. The greatest thing on earth is to have the love of God in your heart, and the next greatest thing is to have electricity in your houses.” (Farmer giving witness in a rural Tennessee church in the early 1940’s)In 1936 Congress approved the Rural Electrification Administrative Act. This was born out of the need to provide electricity to the many families who lived in rural America. Many of these people lived in sight of the towns and could see the city lights. Rural life was a grim struggle and had few rewards and little conveniences


Concordia Electric had its beginning shortly after the passage of the REA Act of 1936. It was the vision of the community leaders, County Agents, the Extension Service, Farm Bureaus and individuals that began the hard work to what they had long dreamed of.

Families were told all across America, from local power companies, that rural electrification would never be profitable or practical. So they turned to REA and with their help began holding meetings to organize home-owned, non-profit cooperative.

Some of the local pioneers of Concordia Electric included Country Agent C. P. Seab, L. F. Marks, S. L. Winston, Jr., Maybel M. Denham, John Dale, Jr. and Sam Calvert. They worked long, hard hours getting Concordia Electric established under Louisiana laws on July 24, 1940.

At this point, it was little more than a dream and a pioneer spirit to see the lights turned on. They had no office or equipment and worked hours to obtain the members needed. These organizers paid their own expenses and often paid or loaned the $5.00 membership fee needed to assure the three members per mile that REA required.

The first REA loan was received on April 11, 1941 for $120,000.00 for the construction of 140 miles to serve 344 members in the Black River and Lake St. John communities. One of the most historic events in northeast Louisiana followed when the first lines were energized serving 205 members. On hand for the celebration were board members, S. L. Winston, Jr., President; L. R. Alwood, Vice-President; Sam Calvert, Secretary; Cliff B. Godbold, Treasurer; Edwin Ford, Warren P. Cross, Sam E. Dale, Mrs. Lucille Otey Godbold, and Mrs. H. W. Moreland. Today Concordia Electric has 2,496 miles of line, 8,690 Members and more than 12,000 meters. Concordia Electric Cooperative, Inc. territory covers part of 8 parishes. They are Caldwell, Catahoula, Concordia, Franklin, Grant, LaSalle, Rapides and Tensas Parishes.

The first manager was Elton Barnette. Along with Mr. Barnette there were two employees, Clara Rabb and E. M. Stanley. There was one point of delivery or substation at Clayton and one service vehicle. Today there are 60 employees and 33 vehicles and four points of delivery and ten sub-stations. That first year the members used an average of 53.9-kilowatt hours per month…today an average bill is 1000 kWh for a single residence. But where our early members used only 53.9 kWh per month, now we sometimes use more than that in one day. It was considered a luxury to have electricity in the 40’s, 50’s and in some areas in the early 60’s. Today, electricity is a commodity necessary for our everyday living.

In the early years Concordia Electric operated its main office in Ferriday, LA, later opening a branch office in Jonesville and Jena. The office in Jena was closed in the early 1990’s and in 1993 the headquarters was moved from Ferriday to Jonesville. This placed the office in the center of its service area and all of the operations under one roof.

Ownership and control of Concordia Electric is still in the hands of its membership. It is the members who vote for the nine board of directors, who in turn pass the policies that govern most of the everyday procedures at the cooperative. The Board of Directors then hires the CEO and General Manager to take care of the everyday operation of the co-op.

There have been 11 General Managers from the beginning of the Cooperative to present date. The current CEO and General Manager is DeWayne Bailey.
Board Members
DAVID WADE, I live at 1654 Hwy 565, Jonesville, La with my wife, Sharon. We have three children and seven grandchildren and I currently work for McCartney Oil. I have been a resident of Concordia Parish all my life and a member of Concordia Electric for many years. I was appointed to the Board of Directors in May 2004 and consistently re-elected since then to continue serving the membership. I have received my Credentialed Cooperative Certificate from NRECA. I was recently elected as Board President.

JUNE PLUNKET, 156 Spring Creek Road, Jena, LA. I am a retired school teacher. I was first elected to the Concordia Electric Board in 1994; I currently serve as Secretary and have for many years. I have earned both a Credentialed Cooperative Director Certificate and a Board Leadership Certificate. As Co-op director, I continue to make customer service the Number One priority; clearing the right-of-ways, reducing number and length of outages; and lowering our electric bills. I have two daughters and enjoy spending time with my grandchildren.

KENNETH W. FORD, 200 Uncle Johnie Rd. Jonesville, LA. I have lived in Catahoula Parish almost all my life. I am a licensed sewer treatment plant installer and backhoe operator. I serve as a Board Member of the Sandy Lake Water System and am a member of the Sandy Lake Pentecostal Church. I am married to Libby Ford and we have three children and a host of grandchildren. I have served as Director since 1994, holding the offices of Secretary and, currently, as Treasurer. I hold a Credentialed Cooperative Director’s Certificate from NRECA.

DAVID J. COLE, My wife, Opal, and I have four children and a host of grandchildren. We live at 185 Cole Warren Lane, Jena, LA. I was first elected to the Board of Directors in 1995 and received my Credentialed Cooperative Director Certificate in 1998. I served on various committees over the years and currently serve on the Board of Directors of Louisiana Rural Electric Association. I retired in 1994 as District Manager for Petrolite Chemical Sales. I enjoy raising cattle, gardening and traveling in my RV.

BOBBY CREEL – 1557 Highway 3101, Jonesville, LA. I was appointed in August 2012 to the Concordia Board of Directors. I’ve lived in the area and been a member of the coop all of my life. Early on, I worked as a lineman for Tullos Construction who was contracted out by Concordia Electric. I own my own business, C&C Garage and Body Shop. I am currently attending classes to receive my Credentialed Director’s Certificate. I have three children and several grandchildren. I enjoy deer hunting and spending time with my family.

CHRIS FREEMAN, I was born and raised locally and currently reside at 2386 Hwy 84, Jonesville, LA with my wife, Amy. Together we have six children. I’ve been a a farmer for more than 28 years and I own & operate Freeman Feed Mill. I serve as President of the Black River Water Board and I’m part owner in CC Planter’s Gin. I was appointed to the Concordia Electric Board recently and plan to pursue my Credentialed Cooperative Director Certificate to better serve the consumers of our cooperative.

DON HAMILTON, 8270 Hwy 129, Monterey, LA. I was appointed to serve on the Board of Directors in November of 2010. I’ve since attended classes to receive my NRECA Credentialed Cooperative Director’s Certification. I have been a resident of Monterey, LA all my life and a farmer for many years. I am married to Jana B. Hamilton and we have one daughter, Kate. I was recently elected by the Board to serve as Vice-President. I think we have a great co-op and I welcome the opportunity to make it even better.

BRAD COCKERHAM, 815 OId Jena Road, Jonesville, LA. I was appointed to serve on the board in July of 2016. I’m currently attending classes to receive my CCD certificate to better educate myself and further advance the cooperative. I am honored to serve you as a dedicated director. I am a life-long resident of Catahoula Parish and member of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church where I serve as deacon and song leader. I am a barber by trade and own a shop in Jonesville. I am married to Wanda Cockerham and we enjoy spending time with our children and grandchildren.

BRENDA HIGDON, 865 Hwy 923, Jonesville, LA. I am a lifelong resident of Catahoula Parish. I have a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Northwestern University and I’ve spent the past 27 years in the school system, the last 8 as Principal of Harrisonburg High School. I’m married to Joe Higdon and, together, we have 4 children and one grandson. I plan to begin pursuing my Credentialed Cooperative Director certification from NRECA in order to better serve as Board Director. I’m honored to have this opportunity and look forward to learning more about our Cooperative.

Staff
Like any business, our employees are a big part of our business assets. Concordia Electric Cooperative’s current employees are some of the finest it has ever had. Whether they have been working one year or, are veteran employees with many years of service, they all work together in the every day operations of the Cooperative to serve our members’ needs. Our Key Employees and staff work hard to ensure that the one commodity we sell is reliable and is there when you need it.

General Manager & CEO, Dewayne Bailey
318-339-7969 or 800-617-6282 (within 318 area code) Ext. 115 Email: [email protected]
Operations Supervisor, Billy Joe Davis
318-339-7969 or 800-617-6282 (within 318 area code) Ext. 141 Email: [email protected]
Executive Assistant, Lori M. Jackson
318-339-7969 or 800-617-6282 (within 318 area code) Ext. 116 Email: [email protected]
Manager of Office Services, Catherine Regan
318-339-7969 or 800-617-6282 (within 318 area code) Ext. 118
Accountant I, Lindsey Russell
318-339-7969 or 800-617-6282 (within 318 area code) Ext. 119
Billing Supervisor Dawn P. Dodd
318-339-7969 or 800-617-6282 (within 318 area code) Ext. 125
Purchasing Agent, Mark Brandenburg
318-339-7969 or 800-617-6282 (within 318 area code) Ext. 137
Right-Of-Way Foreman, Odis Byrnes
318-339-7969 or 800-617-6282 (within 318 area code) Ext. 139
Staking Specialist & Safety Director, Lane Watson
318-339-7969 or 800-617-6282 (within 318 area code) Ext. 144
Operations Supervisor, Buddy Watson
318-339-7969 or 800-617-6282 (within 318 area code) Ext. 138