Co-op veteran Michael Fuller hired to lead Berkeley Electric
The Berkeley Electric Cooperative Board of Trustees has hired Michael S. Fuller as president and CEO of the state’s largest not-for-profit utility.
“I am honored to have the privilege and opportunity to take on the role of president and CEO of Berkeley Electric. It’s well known and respected across the country for being a top-notch organization,” Fuller said. “I look forward to serving Berkeley Electric’s wonderfully diverse membership. I believe rural electric co-ops have an obligation to our members to be more than just an electric power supplier. We have to listen to their needs, meet them where they are and be innovative problem-solvers.”
Fuller comes to Berkeley Electric with 31 years of cooperative experience. He has led Pee Dee Electric Cooperative in Darlington, S.C., as president and CEO since 2017. Prior to Pee Dee, he worked 20 years at Consolidated Electric Cooperative in Mexico, Mo., with his final 11 years there serving as their top executive.
“The board was unanimous in our decision to hire Mike,” said Wayne DeWitt, secretary/treasurer of the Berkeley Electric Cooperative Board of Trustees and chair of the search committee. “The cooperative way of life has been his life since he was a teenager hired to park cars for his hometown co-op’s annual meeting. Since then, he has worked his way up through the ranks — he’s down to earth, and he’s someone we can all talk to.”
Fuller begins his duties at Berkeley Electric on Sept. 21. He replaces CEO Dwayne Cartwright, who is retiring after leading the cooperative for eight years.
“The board is so appreciative of Dwayne’s leadership and all he has done for Berkeley Electric,” DeWitt said. “Mike has big shoes to fill, but he is an executive who believes in transparency and putting the members first — just like Dwayne.”
DeWitt was pleased to have received more than 100 applicants from across the country for the job.
“I’ve known Dwayne for 20 years, going back to before we were CEOs,” Fuller said. “Because we both came up on the Member Services side, we share many of the same philosophies, and I anticipate the transition will be seamless. I look forward to carrying on the great work he’s accomplished during his tenure.”
Fuller worked for co-ops throughout college, with stints as a general laborer at Macon Electric Cooperative in Macon, Mo., and Boone Electric Cooperative in Columbia, Mo. He worked in all capacities, including servicing co-op vehicles, building new services, setting and framing poles, trimming trees as part of right-of-way maintenance, and installing heat pumps, water heaters and load control switches.
After college, he was hired as an electrification advisor at Carroll Electric Cooperative in Berryville, Ark., in 1993. Four years later, he was hired at Consolidated Electric as director of member services.
Fuller and his wife, Marla, have two children, Brett, 23, and Ashley, 19. They are active church members and enjoy outdoor activities together as a family.
Having served on numerous national, statewide and local civic and cooperative industry organizations, Fuller graduated summa cum laude with a Master of Business Administration from William Woods University in Fulton, Mo., and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Columbia College in Columbia, Mo. Fuller is a Credentialed Cooperative Director and holds certifications in management, key accounts, electrical distribution and human resource management.
Berkeley Electric is the largest electric cooperative in South Carolina and serves more than 100,000 meters in portions of Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties.