March Spotlight

Alabama Living Magazine
Fred Braswell, left, retiring president and CEO of AREA, congratulates new President and CEO Karl Rayborn.

Electric cooperatives welcome
new president and CEO

The Board of Directors of the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives has named Karl G. Rayborn as its new president and CEO. Rayborn, who had been serving as Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at AREA, will replace retiring President and CEO Fred Braswell, who has served in that position for the past 22 years.

AREA is the statewide trade association serving Alabama’s 22 electric distribution cooperatives, PowerSouth Energy Cooperative and the Tennessee Valley Authority.

 The board’s Executive Committee conducted an extensive nationwide search process to fill the president’s position after Braswell announced his retirement in 2020. The committee’s choice of Rayborn was then approved by the full AREA board.

“The goal of our board was to identify, screen and interview as many qualified candidates as possible in order to ensure our organization will continue to maintain its great leadership,” says Board Chairman Daryl Jones, general manager of Black Warrior Electric Membership Corporation. “After more than eight months the task is complete and I congratulate Karl.”

 “I look forward to leading the association to support the electric cooperatives of Alabama through the changing times ahead,” Rayborn says.

 Rayborn, a Brantley native and Auburn University alumnus, has served the association for the last 25 years. Prior to his career with AREA, he worked with Jackson Thornton & Co. Certified Public Accountants.

 Braswell has served the organization since 1999. “It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve the members of Alabama’s electric cooperatives through AREA,” he says. “This is a great program with good people and I will miss serving them.”

Alabama’s 22 rural electric cooperatives deliver power to more than 1 million people, or a quarter of the state’s population, and they maintain more than 71,000 miles of power line.

Archives continues Food for Thought lecture series

Alabama’s unique history continues to be brought to life with the Alabama Department of Archives and History’s popular lunchtime lecture series, Food for Thought. Lectures are always free and are held at 12 p.m. Central Time on the third Thursday of the month.

Upcoming topics and dates: March 18, “I will not move: The story of Alabama suffragist Indiana Little,” presented by Briana Royster (this lecture is virtual only); April 15, “African Americans and higher education in Alabama, 1867-1881,” presented by Bertis English; and May 20, “Gone with the land: Environmental history of the Civil War in Alabama,” presented by Erin Mauldin. 

The in-person lectures are held at the Joseph M. Farley Alabama Power Auditorium at the Archives, 624 Washington Ave., Montgomery. For more information on these and the other lectures planned for 2021, visit

She was a ‘polio pioneer’

I was interested in Hardy Jackson’s article on the COVID-19 vaccine (January 2021). I was a “polio pioneer” in 1954. I am enclosing excerpts from the Alabama Journal as I received my polio vaccine. My grandchildren were shocked to see that first graders were test subjects and met at school by doctors and nurses with  needles. I remember feeling proud to be of service to our country as we battled our own epidemic of polio. I am a member of Central Alabama Electric Cooperative and enjoy Alabama Living each month.

Jan Byrne, Prattville

Take us along

We’ve enjoyed seeing photos from our readers on their travels with Alabama Living! Please send us a photo of you with a copy of the magazine on your travels to:  Please include  your name, hometown and electric cooperative, and the location of your photo. We’ll draw a winner for the $25 prize each month.

Vicki Graham of Foley, a member of Baldwin EMC, took her magazine on a visit to the famous Moonlight Bar-B-Q Inn in Owensboro, Kentucky.
Johnny Hassett, left, of Hope Hull got a photo with his friends Howard Green of Auburn and Dave Stewart of Miramar Beach, Florida, while at Hole Number 8 at the Links Golf Course in San Destin, Florida. Johnny is a member of Dixie Electric Cooperative.
Ronnie Waldrop of Bryant and a member of Sand Mountain Electric Cooperative, got his photo made at Mount Airy, NC, with statues of Andy Griffith (as Sheriff Andy Taylor) and Opie.


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Award-winning Alabama Living is the official statewide publication of the electric cooperatives in Alabama and the largest magazine of its type in the state, reaching some 400,000 electric cooperative consumers.

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