Sumter EMC is a not-for-profit, member-owned electric cooperative that was created to provide reliable electric service at an affordable cost. The cooperative relies on a team of dedicated employees who are committed to this mission, and their effectiveness is reflected in very high customer-satisfaction ratings from the cooperative’s members. One of the cooperative’s key employees is Julie Higgins, Vice President of Finance and Accounting, who plans to retire in March of 2023 after over 33 years of dedicated service. As part of a well-planned succession process, she has passed the torch to William (Chip) Hammack and will continue to work alongside him until her retirement date.
Julie graduated from Jacksonville State University in Alabama with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and later obtained her master’s degree from Georgia Southwestern State University. In November 1989, she joined the Sumter EMC team as an accountant and throughout the years has worked various jobs in Accounting, and finally held the position of Vice President of Finance and Accounting, which is the position from which she is retiring.
Julie has been instrumental in the financial success of the cooperative over her 33 year tenure and she has worked countless hours to ensure it is left in good financial standing upon her retirement. Julie has also held leadership roles in her church and community. She has also played a vital role in training and leading employees in the Accounting, Billing and Customer Service departments, as well as the Appliance Sales & Service center while it was in operation.
Julie and her husband, Al, who live in Americus, have two daughters, Kathryn and Rebecca, and four grandchildren. In retirement, Julie plans on traveling and spending more time with her family. She also enjoys sewing and quilting, often sharing her homemade pieces with others.
“I am very proud to have been a part of the Sumter EMC family for 33 years. My time here has been very rewarding and I truly value my coworkers and our members. I am confident in the financial standing of the cooperative as I depart and I have no doubt that Chip’s knowledge, experience, and leadership skills will continue moving Sumter EMC in a positive direction in both billing and finances,” says Julie.
Sumter EMC welcomed Julie’s successor, Chip Hammack, on February 14, 2022, as Vice President of Finance. Chip is a proven professional with over 27 years of experience in multiple facets of the operations and management of electric cooperatives including customer service, billing, collections, finance and accounting, information systems, project management and cooperative governance.
Throughout his career, Chip has served in various senior-level financial capacities at Pataula EMC, Flint Energies, Southeastern Data Cooperative, Cape Hatteras Electric, and Booth & Associates, LLC. No doubt his experience and expertise are of extreme value to the cooperative, and he has transitioned into the leadership role at Sumter EMC with ease. “I am blessed to be a part of the Sumter EMC family and look forward to many years here. I am thankful to Julie for guiding me and prepping me for my new role,” says Chip.
Chip and his wife, Vida, have one son Noah. They reside in Chip’s hometown of Butler, Georgia and will relocate to Americus by the end of the year.