MCMINNVILLE, TENNESSEE — May 26, 2022 — Caney Fork Electric Cooperative Assistant General Manager Ben Newman has been named the co-op’s next general manager, effective May 6 with the retirement of Bill Rogers.
Newman, a Warren County native, came to CFEC in April 2019 as the cooperative’s attorney and was named assistant general manager in August 2021. He’s a graduate of Warren County High School and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Newman earned his law degree in 2009 from the University of Memphis and practiced with the Law Office of Galligan and Newman in McMinnville before becoming CFEC’s attorney. He has also served as McMinnville mayor and city council member.
“I am blessed that the Caney Fork board of directors chose me to take on the leadership role previously held by the esteemed Bill Rogers,” Newman said. “Bill has worked hard for many years to get Caney Fork in an excellent position, and I feel fortunate to learn from him.”
Members of First United Methodist Church, Newman and wife Ashley live in McMinnville. They are the proud parents of 7-year-old daughter Iva and son Stokely, 4.
Newman’s Caney Fork Electric roots run deeper than his employment at the cooperative. His grandfather, Edley Newman Jr., helped establish Caney Fork Electric Cooperative, going door-to-door to register members to receive electric service at their homes in the early 1940s and then serving as CFEC’s general manager.
Newman said that in preparing for his new role leading the cooperative, he has reviewed board minutes from CFEC’s first meetings to learn more about the cooperative’s bedrock principles and met with employees to better understand who they are and the vital roles they fill in service to the cooperative and their communities.
“Caney Fork and its members are fortunate to have some of the best employees around who work diligently to provide the membership with excellent service — often while faced with difficult obstacles — and I plan to keep the high level of workmanship and customer service thriving,” Newman said. “I truly feel blessed to work with the Caney Fork Electric Cooperative family and will give my all to make sure the lights stay on for decades to come.”
Rogers’ retirement brings to an end a 37-year career at Caney Fork Electric Cooperative that began shortly after his graduation from Tennessee Tech University. He began in 1985 as an engineer and climbed the ladder as he gained experience, progressing to chief engineer, manager of engineering, assistant general manager and then general manager in 2008.