After 43 years of service, SECO Energy’s CEO Jim Duncan announced his plans to retire in January 2022. Mr. Duncan conveyed his plans to the Board of Trustees at this month’s meeting during an executive session. The announcement comes as SECO Energy approaches its 83rd Annual Business Meeting of the Membership in March and as Mr. Duncan approaches his 75th birthday this coming August.
Mr. Duncan has served as the Chief Executive Officer of SECO Energy since 1990 and is one of the longest-serving CEOs in SECO Energy’s history. His career with SECO began in 1979 when he was hired as Director of Accounting and Finance at a time when the cooperative’s meter count was just 37,000. When Mr. Duncan was promoted to CEO in 1990, the cooperative served just 66,000 homes and businesses. Under Mr. Duncan’s purview, the cooperative reached the 100,000-meter milestone in 1999.
Much has changed in the last three decades with Mr. Duncan’s leadership. Reliability improved dramatically as Mr. Duncan recognized the need to invest in the cooperative’s infrastructure and strengthen a vegetation management program to promote the world-class delivery of reliable power. Under Mr. Duncan’s watchful financial eye, rates came down and the cooperative again became competitive in the Florida electric market.
In recent years, SECO Energy surpassed the 200,000-meter milestone and under Mr. Duncan’s leadership became a three-time J.D. Power award winner with scores topping those of all utilities in the nation in 2015, 2016 and 2017. In 2020, the cooperative upheld its title as an American Customer Satisfaction Index frontrunner in Florida and nationally with a score of 91. Without question, Mr. Duncan has built a legacy of customer-service focus that will remain strong long after his retirement next year.
Mr. Duncan and his wife Connie have been married for 53 years. They are avid boaters, travelers and University of Florida Gator fans. The couple has two grown sons and three grandchildren. Mr. Duncan stated, “Connie and I have spent the last few decades dividing our free time between Central Florida, St. Augustine, our home state of Tennessee and amazing scuba diving vacation spots. Though the timing of my retirement was a difficult and emotional decision, we know that it’s time to take the next steps to spend our golden years focused on fun and family.”
With 43 years of service, Mr. Duncan has devoted his life to the cooperative’s success for the benefit of its employees and members – he will be deeply missed. The Board of Trustees is in the process of identifying a recruiting firm to assist with finding Mr. Duncan’s replacement. Internal and external candidates will be considered.
This year’s Annual Meeting will be held on Thursday, March 25, at 4:30 p.m. as a virtual webcast again this year as the COVID-cautious practices continue to protect employees, members and the continuity of electric service. Watch for your invitation to the virtual business meeting in your February or March billing statement.