Area native named General Manager of Benton Co. Electric

June 15, 2021

At the regularly scheduled Benton County Electric System Board meeting on May 27, 2021, Scott Owens was hired and appointed as the next General Manager of Benton County Electric starting July 1, 2021, after current General Manager, Raymond Barnes announced his retirement at the March 30, 2021, board meeting.

Owens serves on multiple boards/committees in the community, including the United Way allocations committee, and other professional committees. He has a true passion for small towns. Before the utility industry, Owens worked in large manufacturing and technical service organizations.

Owens, a first-generation college student, received his Bachelor of Science in Telecommunication Systems Management, and a Master of Science in Organizational Communication from Murray State University specializing in Radio Electronics, Business Administration, and Organizational Leadership. He has called Benton County home since 2010 with his lifelong Benton County wife Amy and daughter Sophia Pearl.

Working with the electric system, starting in a technological role, and advancing to Assistant General Manager, Owens has been involved in all facets of the system. He has been asked to present at multiple local organizations, TVA conferences, and including the Utility Technology Association where he received the Vicky Wilson Excellence award in 2019, nominated by the 154 local power companies’ members of UTA, for extraordinary contributions to the utility industry….”

“The electric system is a complex organization and requires strong business acumen and industry knowledge to ensure it exceeds the expectations of our customers while ensuring the safety of our crews.

“I am honored to work with such a highly-skilled team to serve the citizens of Benton County. I applaud the Board of Public Utilities for their due diligence and commitment to the process and look forward to embracing the challenges and opportunities we have before us as an organization. The public power model commits us to rates as low as feasible, enriching the communities in which we serve, while delivering a service unmatched by any private entity,” Owens stated.

“I also applaud Raymond Barnes, for his 42+ years of service, and his dedication to Benton County and all his accomplishments to deliver reliable power, commitment to a “Safety Culture”, and provide transparency and accountability in all we do. Thank you for your support and to the true mastery of your career, having the ability to pour your expertise and wisdom into the next generation. It has been an honor and a privilege to work beside you all these years. I wish Mr. Barnes and his wife Anita a great retirement and an exciting next chapter.

“I look forward to working with the citizens, board, and employees for decades to come. Every General Manager has faced their unique challenges, and in the words of John Maxwell, “The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.” I look forward to adjusting the sails as we move forward at the electric system,” Owens stated.