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Leadership Louisa June 2023

Thursday, June 8, 2023 (2:00 PM - 6:00 PM) (EDT)


After six months of enhancing their leadership skills and connecting with leaders throughout the county, the Leadership Louisa Class of 2023 will graduate on June 8 at Callie Opie's Orchard Restaurant & Barn. The Louisa Forward Foundation and the Louisa Chamber of Commerce invite the community to join us as we celebrate these local leaders.

Beginning at 2 p.m., the participant teams will show off their skills in Shark Tank style presentations for their Community Action Project for three local organizations: Adult Community Education, Giving Words and The Journey Home. 

At 4 p.m. commencement ceremonies will begin. Special guest John Hewa, President & Chief Executive Officer will join us for the commencement address.

Immediately following the ceremony we invite you to celebrate with the graduates, guests, sponsors, Chamber members and community with light refreshments and cash bar.  Callie Opie's Orchard Restaurant will be open for dinner and is offering a Leadership Louisa special. 

Attendees are encouraged to register in advance, no cost to attend with beverages available for purchase. Register at via COMMUNITY CALENDAR. 

Callie Opie's Orchard
4533 Zachary Taylor Highway
Mineral VA 23117

2 pm - 4 pm Community Action Project Competition 

4 pm - 6 pm Leadership Louisa Graduation Ceremony 

Special Guest John D. Hewa is REC's President and Chief Executive Officer. Hewa has more than 20 years of leadership experience in the electric utility industry with an emphasis in technology and management of public and cooperative power utilities. His experience also spans technical and executive roles managing electric, water, wastewater, and wireless and fiber optic telecommunications systems.

Hewa holds a deep appreciation for the cooperative business model. He has served as the CEO of electric cooperatives in Texas and Florida and as vice president of research, engineering, and technical services at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) in Arlington, Virginia. At NRECA, Hewa and his teams worked to advance the adoption of beneficial smart grid technologies among the nation's electric cooperatives focusing on reliable, resilient and clean and distributed energy tech adoption. At NRECA, he also worked with federal agencies including the RUS and DOE to address co-op technical regulatory issues. Prior to his cooperative career, Hewa managed the utilities department for the City of Manassas, Va. and served as director of engineering for BTES, an electricity distributor in the Tennessee Valley region.

Hewa serves as immediate past chairman of the Board of Directors of the U.S. Energy Storage Association, a non-profit organization in Washington, working with utilities, industry, and stakeholders to promote the adoption of energy storage technologies. From 2013-2020, he also served on the Board of Directors of the Smart Electric Power Alliance, an educational non-profit headquartered in Washington, DC, working to advance the integration of clean energy solutions and smart technologies into the grid. Hewa is a director on the Board of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce looking out for Virginia's businesses interests, and is a Board member of the Fredericksburg Regional Alliance, and Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce promoting economic development across the region.

Hewa holds a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering and a Master of Science in engineering management from the University of Tennessee. He also earned his Doctor of Engineering at George Washington University focusing on engineering management, researching and modeling energy storage for electric cooperatives in the PJM structured wholesale electricity market. Hewa is a registered professional engineer.

Callie Opie's Orchard
4533 Zachary Taylor Highway
Mineral, VA 23117 United States
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Thursday, June 8, 2023 (2:00 PM - 6:00 PM) (EDT)
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