Jackson EMC board member Ray Jones retires, is succeeded by Steve Blair

Ray Jones and Steve Blair

(JEFFERSON, Ga., May 4, 2015) – Ray C. Jones is retiring from the Jackson Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) board of directors after nearly 40 years of service. He is succeeded by Steve Blair, who is well-known in Hall County for his community and board service.

A member of Jackson EMC since 1954, Jones spent his professional career in Georgia’s poultry industry, serving as president of Crystal Farms, Inc., and Crystal Farms Mills, Inc., and president of J & S Farms, Inc., as well as director of the Georgia Poultry Federation, director of the Georgia Egg Association, director of the American Egg Board, and secretary and director of the National Egg Company. He was selected for “Who’s Who in Georgia” and “Who’s Who in the South and Southwest.”  He is a graduate of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Education from the University of Georgia.

In addition to his professional affiliations, Jones has been very involved in the Gainesville/Hall County community, serving as a trustee of the Northeast Georgia Medical Center, a trustee of the Gainesville College Foundation, a director of the First National Bank of Gainesville, member of the Executive Advisory Committee of the Georgia Department of Transportation Commuter Rail Study, charter president of the South Hall Kiwanis Club, member of the Gainesville Kiwanis Club, member of the Gainesville Rotary Club, and deacon, elder and Sunday School superintendent and teacher of the Chestnut Mountain Presbyterian Church. He was named to the Jackson EMC board in December 1976.

“Jackson EMC couldn’t have had better representation from Hall County than Ray Jones. His business experience and deep ties to the farming community made him an asset to the cooperative. During his years of service on the board the area he represents, and Jackson EMC as a whole, have experienced tremendous growth and welcomed new business and industry. And Ray has been an integral part of making sure the people he represents had reliable, affordable power they needed to support that growth and development,” said Jackson EMC Board Chairman Otis Jones. The cooperative had 37,953 members and 4,290 miles of energized wire when Jones was named to the board. Today the cooperative serves nearly 217,000 meters and has more than 13,600 miles of energize wire.

Jones’ successor, Steve Blair, is a graduate of Georgia College & State University with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and a master’s degree in Business Administration. Blair was an accounting instructor at Gainesville State College (GSC) from 1973 to 2010, and continues to teach at the University of North Georgia part-time.  He has served on the Jackson EMC Foundation board of directors since September 2011.

“Steve has all the attributes that will make him a very effective Jackson EMC board member. He is highly qualified with his expertise in financial analysis. He knows the cooperative’s mission well, with his prior service as nominating committee chairman and current service on the Foundation board. Steve is an excellent choice for our cooperative,” said Jones.

Blair served on the Hall County School Board from 1990-2002, working on a committee lobbying for legislation that would allow special purpose local option sales tax revenues to be used for capital expenditures.  He currently serves as a member of the Hospital Authority of Hall County and as a deacon at Chestnut Mountain Presbyterian Church.  Father of three and grandfather of six, he and his wife, Merry, reside in Gainesville.

Jackson EMC is a member-owned electric cooperative serving 10 Northeast Georgia counties.