** FILE **Democrat Bill Renick, is shown in this May 30, 2001 file photograph taken in Jackson, Miss., and who served as Chief of Staff for former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, filed qualifying papers Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2007, to run for governor. Renick, 53, is a former state senator and lobbyist. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Bill Renick, who is serving as the chair of the Commission on the Future of Northeast Mississippi, has been nominated to serve on the nine-member Tennessee Valley Authority board of directors by President Joe Biden.

Renick’s nomination was announced Friday afternoon.

“This is an honor for someone from Ashland,” Renick said. “TVA is such a major player in Mississippi, not just in electricity, but also in economic development, workforce training and education.”

TVA was created during the 1930s to, in part, help bring electricity to rural areas of seven states. In Mississippi, TVA sells electricity to municipalities and electric cooperatives encompassing almost one third of the state’s population. TVA provides electricity in all or parts of 35 counties primarily in the northern part of the state, but stretching as far south as Rankin, Scott and Newton counties in central Mississippi.

Renick would be the first Mississippian on the board since former Oxford Mayor Richard Howorth resigned from the board in August 2020.

Renick will face Senate confirmation.

Renick’s nomination for the post by the Democratic president was praised Friday by both of Mississippi’s Republican senators, Sen. Roger Wicker of Tupelo and Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Brookhaven.

“The Tennessee Valley Authority has long been vital for Mississippi’s power generation and economic development needs, as evidenced by Tupelo being the first TVA city in 1934. It is imperative that our state’s interests always be represented within TVA,” Wicker said. “I am pleased that President Biden has recognized this and nominated Bill Renick to serve on the TVA Board of Directors.

“Bill has a proven record of serving our state first in public office and then as a business and economic development leader.”

Hyde-Smith said, “I’m pleased the president has nominated Bill Renick to serve on the TVA Board, which would restore Mississippi representation on this important body. I look forward to the confirmation process and believe Bill’s experience, aptitude, and extensive record of service to Mississippi will serve the TVA and its customers well.”

Until last summer, the 68-year-old Renick served as director of the workforce division for the Northeast Mississippi-based Three Rivers Planning and Development District.

Renick said he hopes that he can bring to the TVA Board expertise in the areas of economic development and work force training. He said he would strive to reach the president’s goal of energy conservation.

Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley of the Northern District of Mississippi had lobbied the White House to appoint a Mississippian to the TVA Board. He praised Renick’s nomination.

“Bill Renick is a product of the region of America that led our rural areas out of the dark in the 1930s with the help of TVA, and he knows the struggles of working families, senior citizens, and business owners as well as anyone in the entire Tennessee Valley,” Presley said. “President Biden made a smart choice in picking this good man for this job,”

Presley added, “While we fought for two seats on the TVA board, Bill Renick’s abilities, tenacity and work ethic will mean that Mississippi’s voice will be heard loud and clear. I’m proud for my friend, Bill, and even prouder that such an upstanding man will be serving on the TVA board. The Senate should act swiftly in confirming his nomination.”

Renick was elected to the Ashland Board of Aldermen at age 18 and later served as mayor. He also served on the Benton County Board of Supervisors and in the state Senate. Renick was chief of staff to Lt. Gov. Eddie Briggs in the 1990s and later as chief of staff for Gov. Ronnie Musgrove.

Renick also was a hospital administrator.

The TVA term will be for five years. There are currently four vacancies on the board with two more seats becoming open this year. Biden also nominated on Friday Wade White, a Lyon County judge executive in Kentucky, to the TVA Board.

TVA also manages various bodies of water and other recreational and cultural facilities.

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Bobby Harrison, Mississippi Today’s senior capitol reporter, covers politics, government and the Mississippi State Legislature. He also writes a weekly news analysis which is co-published in newspapers statewide. A native of Laurel, Bobby joined our team June 2018 after working for the North Mississippi Daily Journal in Tupelo since 1984. He is president of the Mississippi Capitol Press Corps Association and works with the Mississippi State University Stennis Institute to organize press luncheons. Bobby has a bachelor's in American Studies from the University of Southern Mississippi and has received multiple awards from the Mississippi Press Association, including the Bill Minor Best Investigative/In-depth Reporting and Best Commentary Column.