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Broad River Electric "Shares Success" with United Way

Cooperative Care Foundation also receives $2,000

Chris Koon of the Electric Cooperatives of SC with Broad River Electric's Daniel Gilfillan

United Way's Tammy Bright with Broad River Electric's Rodney Butler.

The United Way of the Piedmont received $3,000 from a Colorado-based company, thanks to its partnership with Broad River Electric Cooperative. 

CoBank’s “Sharing Success” program matches contributions by their cooperative customers to nonprofit organizations. In 2016, Broad River Electric employees donated $3,000 to United Way of the Piedmont, an amount matched by the cooperative. CoBank matched that with another donation of $3,000.

CoBank also matched the cooperative's recent $2,000 gift to the Cooperatives Care Foundation, a fund run by the Electric Cooperatives of SC that assists victims of natural disasters in South Carolina. 

CoBank is a national cooperative bank serving industries across rural America. The bank provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states. 

United Way of the Piedmont is a private, not-for-profit organization serving Cherokee, Spartanburg and Union Counties whose mission is to connect, engage and inspire people to transform their community. 

BRE honors charities, ORU visionary at banquet

Broad River Electric CEO Terry Mallard presents Tom Upshaw, the visionary behind Operation Round Up, with an award in recognition of his leadership. 

A banquet Thursday night at Broad River Electric Auditorium honored local charities and a visionary leader whose early morning idea has helped fund their causes. 

Broad River Electric Cooperative and its philanthropic subsidiary Broad River Electric Charities celebrated the innovative program Operation Round Up, which rounds up the monthly bills of most of its members to the nearest dollar. The extra change is collected into a benevolent fund. Since 2011, the program has benefited dozens of local charities. Representatives of many of those organizations were in attendance. 

“You take action to improve the quality of life to those in your communities,” Broad River Electric CEO Terry Mallard told them during his presentation. “You are taking seriously the concept of being an agent and instrument of change. For that we are thankful.”

Those in attendance had the opportunity to thank the person who created the Operation Round Up program, former Palmetto Electric Cooperative CEO Tom Upshaw. Palmetto Electric, which serves Hilton Head Island and parts of the adjacent mainland,  launched Operation Round Up in 1989. Since then it has spread to cooperatives and other businesses across the nation and even into Canada and the United Kingdom. 

Among South Carolina cooperatives, the program has donated over $38 million. The nationwide total, just among electric cooperative distributions, is estimated to be at least $250 million.  Broad River Electric has donated over $700,000 to local charities through Operation Round Up. 

“It was one of those four o’clock-in-the-morning-when-you-can’t-sleep ideas,” Upshaw explained. “I had no idea it would spread like it has.”

Upshaw, already a recipient of the Order of the Palmetto, the state’s highest civilian honor, was presented an award from Broad River Electric Charities Thursday night in recognition of his visionary leadership and selfless legacy.

Barbara Whitney, Chair of the Broad River Electric Charities Board, opened the event by highlighting the impact Operation Round Up has on Upstate South Carolina communities. 

Broad River Electric Charities, Inc. is a non-profit organization that quarterly disburses funds from Operation Round Up for charitable purposes in Cherokee, Spartanburg and Union Counties. The fund is managed by a 7-member governing board appointed by Broad River Electric Cooperative Board of Trustees. The Charities board consists of Daisy Lemmons and Nancy Jordan of Cherokee County, Jane Rhinehart and Barbara Whitney of Spartanburg, and Carolyn Belue and Carol Smith of Union. Terry Mallard is the ex-officio as CEO of Broad River Electric Cooperative.


Thank you to our sponsors


Two local gridiron stars named Mr. Football finalists


Colton Bailey


The field of athletes vying to be South Carolina’s top high school football player is down to five and two are from the Broad River Electric service area.

On Wednesday, Oct. 11, the South Carolina Athletic Coaches Association selected the finalists for the 2017 Mr. Football award. Chapman High quarterback Colton Bailey, who led his team to state title last season, and Spartanburg High linebacker Connor Shugart were among the five chosen.

All five players will be recognized during halftime of the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Bowl on Saturday, December 9, in Myrtle Beach, followed by the introduction of this year’s award recipient.

Finalists for the 2017 Mr. Football award are:

  • Amir Abrams
    Running back
    Newberry High School
  • Colton Bailey
    Chapman High School
  • Dakereon Joyner
    Fort Dorchester High School
    Committed to the University of South Carolina
  • Connor Shugart
    Spartanburg High School
  • Channing Tindall
    Spring Valley High School

The S.C. Athletic Coaches Association established the Mr. Football award in 1995. Seven former recipients have played or are currently playing in the National Football League.

“We want to thank our committee who came in to choose our Mr. Football candidates,” said Shell Dula, executive director of the S.C. Athletic Coaches Association. “We feel that the finalists are not only outstanding football players but also outstanding young men. They certainly represent the state of South Carolina in a very positive way.”

The 2017 Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Bowl, North vs. South All-Star game is played at 12:30 p.m., Dec. 9, at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium in Myrtle Beach. Players chosen to compete in this year’s contest will be announced on Monday, October 23. Tickets can be purchased at

October is National Cooperative Month

Co-op MonthBroad River Electric is celebrating National Cooperative Month in October, along with 40,000 other cooperative businesses serving more than 120 million people nationwide. “Cooperatives Commit” is the theme of this year’s celebration, when cooperatives across the nation engage in efforts to make more people aware of the advantages of the cooperative business model.

As member-owned and member-controlled businesses, cooperatives commit to meeting the needs of their members and communities, rather than generating returns for distant investors.    

Cooperatives Commit to Community

The seventh cooperative principle is Concern for Community. Cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through employee involvement in local organizations, through charitable contributions to community efforts and through support for schools. 

Cooperatives Commit to Jobs

Cooperatives generate jobs in their communities, keep profits local and pay local taxes to help support community services. Cooperatives often take part in community improvement programs, ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to benefit from the cooperative experience.

Cooperatives Commit to Trust

Most co-ops strive to adhere to seven key cooperative principles, which combine to help build trust between the co-op, its members and the community.  For example, the first principle is Voluntary and Open Membership, which means that we are a voluntary organization open to all people to use our services and willing to accept the responsibility of membership. The second principle, Democratic Member Control, gives members a voice in the cooperative’s policies and decisions. Through the fifth principle, Education, Training and Information, we enable members to contribute to the development of our cooperative.

Cooperatives Commit to a Better World

Through all of the above ways, cooperatives build a better world.



Co-op sending care packages to deployed service members

As Veterans Day approaches, Broad River Electric wishes to not only honor the sacrifices made by the men and women who have protected our freedoms, but we also want to recognize those who are currently serving in the military.

Broad River Electric will send a care package to cooperative members or family members who are currently deployed. Each package will also contain a personal note from one of our staff expressing appreciation for their service. The care packages will be mailed the week of Veteran’s Day, November 11.

The deadline to register a service member for the package is November 3.

Parents, grandparents, brothers or sisters of a service member may nominate them to receive a Broad River Electric care package. Multiple family members can receive a care package, but only one package per individual.

For tips on how what is needed for military addresses, visit this helpful page



Crew assisting Blue Ridge Electric

Four Broad River Four Broad River Electric lineworkers are helping Blue Ridge Electric restore parts of their system impacted by Hurricane Irma.

(Pictured left to right) Lineman apprentice Garen Murray, lineman apprentice Luke Robbins, groundman Daniel Sams, and crew foreman Lee Yarborough left early Wednesday morning to assist the neighboring cooperative, which had 9,354 members without power as of 8:30 a.m. Broad River Electric also released some its contract crews to support Blue Ridge Electric.

Blue Ridge Electric serves 64,200 homes and business in Greenville, Pickens, Oconee, and Anderson Counties. 

Broad River Delivers Book Bags to Local Students

Broad River Book Bags


Combined efforts from Broad River Electric Cooperative employees and its members have provided 3,000 book bags to elementary students across the upstate of South Carolina.

“There is a need for these backpacks and supplies throughout our area,” explained Barbara Whitney, chair of the Broad River Electric Charities Board and a retired school administrator in Spartanburg County. “We wanted to help our children begin their school year equipped, not just with supplies, but with the knowledge that their community supports them.”

The funds used to purchase the packs came from Operation Round Up® program, a Broad River Electric program in which the cooperative’s members round up their monthly bills to the nearest dollar. The extra change accumulates into a benevolent fund that is distributed to local charities and causes. This is the fifth consecutive summer that the fund has provided supplies and necessities to local students.

Broad River Electric employees and Broad River Electric Charities Board members assembled at Broad River Electric Auditorium in Gaffney on August 8 to stuff the 3,000 backpacks. Since then, Broad River Electric representatives have been hand delivering the bags to the dozens of schools and community centers in the area.

Youth Summit peaks at Governor's Office

Forty-six high school students representing 15 electric cooperatives around South Carolina spent three days in the Columbia area July 26-28 on the first statewide Cooperative Youth Summit.
Broad River Electric sponsored Emma Kate Moore of Dorman High School and Avery Goff of Boiling Springs High School on the trip. Youth Summit attendees got an introduction to co-ops and the cooperative business model. 
They visited the Statehouse, where government relations staff from the state association of electric cooperatives explained co-ops’ lobbying efforts on behalf of their members. They met a judge and a legislator, toured the Richland County C&D Landfill’s gas-to-energy facility, went to Riverbanks Zoo, and enjoyed a catered dinner at the historic Robert Mills House.
One of the tour’s highlights came when a quick chat with Gov. Henry McMaster turned into an impromptu 45-minute personal visit and tour of the governor’s office. 
The students operated their own Soda Pop Co-op during the trip. At the end, they were surprised to learn that, by doing business the cooperative way, they had earned $3 per person as their capital credit refund.
“The Youth Summit trip really opened my eyes to the amazing complexity of our state government,” Moore stated in a note to the cooperative. “Who would’ve thought that I would have been able to take a picture with our Governor.”


Broad River Electric to hold Shred Day in Boiling Springs

Free to public service this Saturday
​9 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Gaffney, SC, August 22, 2017:  Unnecessary and unwanted documents can put our privacy in peril. That’s why Broad River Electric is hosting a Community Shred Day on Saturday, August 26 in front of our Boiling Springs office at  5535 Highway 9. This free to the public service will begin at 9 a.m. and last until 1 p.m. that day. 

Identity thieves thrive on tax returns, bank statements, pay stubs, and anything else that has personal information. Just tossing those documents in the trash puts you at risk, making document shredding a business and personal necessity.

Broad River Electric has partnered with the same company that provides its shredding service to offer its proprietary crosscut shredding technology that turns sensitive paperwork into confetti-sized pieces. They’ll be set up with their mobile unit to shred your documents while you watch.

Broad River Electric Cooperative, Inc. is a non-profit, member-owned electricity distribution cooperative providing services to more than 20,000 members in Cherokee, Spartanburg, Union and Newberry counties in South Carolina and Cleveland, Polk and Rutherford counties in North Carolina.

Broad River Electric sends 3 local students to D.C.

(l-r) Nicholas Gilbert, Macy Gault and Trenton Dawkins

Rising seniors participated in the Cooperative Youth Tour

Three local students recently returned from the nation’s capital following a trip sponsored by Broad River Electric Cooperative.

Macy Gault, Nicholas Gilbert, and Trenton Dawkins participated in the Electric Cooperative Washington Youth Tour from June 10 until June 15. They joined other rising seniors from across the country to learn about our government, electric cooperatives, and leadership.

All three students excel in the classroom and are active in their schools, churches and communities. Gault is a student at Gaffney High who plays tennis and is involved in mission work with her church. She is a Cherokee County Chamber Junior Ambassador and is interested in political science and law. Gilbert attends Dorman High School where he is an honor student and plays clarinet in the honors band. He is also interested in government and politics. Dawkins attends Boiling Springs High School, plays lacrosse and takes Culinary Arts at the Swofford Career Center. He is active with his church youth group and wants to be a forensic accountant.

“We are proud to have these exceptional young leaders represent our cooperative and our community,” said Terry Mallard, President and CEO of Broad River Electric. “The Cooperative Youth Tour is not just a great opportunity for these students. It is also an opportunity for us to invest in the future of our national well-being and ensure that cooperative principles like commitment to community, education and democracy are carried on.”

The tour is coordinated by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) and The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina (ECSC). Broad River Electric is among 20 local cooperatives that select students to represent their service area.

During the tour, delegations of students follow state-planned itineraries, which include time with their state’s Congressional delegation and visits to monuments, memorials, and museums. The students learn about government, the cooperative business model and the importance of rural electrification.

South Carolina Youth Tourists also compete for the $5,000 Robert Bennet Community Service Scholarship. The students must plan and coordinate a new service project in their community to be eligible. 

The Electric Cooperative Youth Tour has brought high school students to Washington, D.C. for a week in June every year since the late 1950s. Over 50,000 students from rural areas and small towns across America have participated in this program.

Broad River Electric Cooperative, Inc. is a non-profit, member-owned distribution cooperative providing services to more than 20,000 members in Cherokee, Spartanburg Union and Newberry counties in South Carolina and Cleveland, Polk and Rutherford counties in North Carolina in order to improve the quality of their lives.


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