John C. Lee, Jr.

Interim President & CEO


John C. Lee, Jr. is Interim President and CEO of ODEC, and President and CEO of Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative, EMPOWER Broadband, Inc. and EMPOWER Telecom. He has managed the Southside Virginia electric distribution cooperative since January of 2008, and the fiber-to-the-home Internet Service Provider since February of 2018. He is a graduate of Mississippi State University with a BS degree in Business. John began his cooperative career in 1992 as ODEC's Community Relations Specialist for the Clover Power Station in Halifax County. During his 16-year stint at ODEC, he served as Director of Economic Development, Manager of Administration, and lastly, Vice President of Member and External Relations.

His work experience prior to joining the cooperative family included a seven-year run as the Managing Editor of The News-Progress, a bi-weekly newspaper serving Mecklenburg County.

Lee currently serves on the ODEC Board of Directors where he is the immediate past board chairman. At ODEC he has also chaired the Power Supply, Strategic Planning, and ODEC CEO Search Committees. He now serves as a member of the Power Supply, Strategic Planning, and Human Resources Committees.

Lee is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives (VMDAEC) where he chairs the Finance and Gaff-n-Go Lineman’s Rodeo Committees and serves on committees for Safety and Training Services, and Human Resources.

He is chairman of the VMDAEC CEO Advisory Committee and was a director and officer (vice chairman) of the Board of Directors for Regional Headquarters, Inc. (RHI), an organization that manages the headquarters property of ODEC and the VMDAEC. He is also the former President and CEO of RHI.

He is a former President, and member, of the Board of Directors of the National Cooperative Services Corporation (NCSC), a member-owned multi-billion-dollar finance cooperative based in Northern Virginia.

Lee served as a member of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Board of Directors where he represented the state of Virginia and served on the Business Technology Strategy Committee. He has also chaired both the NRECA Region 1 Nominating and Resolutions Committees.

Lee is former chairman of the VCU-Health Community Memorial Healthcenter Board of Directors, where he also served on the Finance and Governance Committees and chaired the affiliation committee that resulted in the partnership with VCU Health.

He was appointed by Virginia Governor Northam in 2018 to serve on the Southside Virginia Higher Education Center Board of Directors and served on the Programs and Partnerships Committee. He also served as a member of the Southern Virginia Higher Education Foundation Board of Directors where he was Vice Chairman and served on its Executive Committee, Relationship Strategies, and Finance Strategies Groups.

He is a co-founder of the SVCC Power Line Worker Training School at Ft. Pickett and continues to serve on that school’s Advisory Board.

Lee, an avid hunter and fisherman, and his wife Terri, reside in Clarksville.