Santee Cooper announces promotions

  • Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Santee Cooper Board of Directors authorized three officer level promotions at its recent board meeting.
Ben Fleming Jr., Laura G. Varn and Elizabeth “Babs” Warner have been promoted, the board announced last week.
“Santee Cooper is benefiting from our long standing succession planning as we address the retirement of key executives this summer,” Santee Cooper President and CEO Lonnie Carter said. “All of these individuals are well prepared to join Santee Cooper’s leadership team.”
Fleming has been promoted to the Executive Management team as Senior Vice President of Power Delivery, effective July 1, 2013. He replaces Terry Blackwell, who will retire June 30 after 36 years of service.
In this capacity, Fleming will oversee the planning and power supply, design engineering, transmission technical and transmission operations.
Previously, Fleming served as manager of transmission operations for the past four years. He has been with Santee Cooper since 1992 and has served in a variety of transmission and generation capacities, including superintendent of system substation maintenance, supervisor of mechanical maintenance at Cross generating station, and engineer in operations and maintenance at Jefferies and Winyah generating stations.
Fleming graduated from USC in 1992 with a BS in electrical engineering and earned a master’s degree from The Citadel in 2002. He is married and has two children.
Varn has been promoted to Vice President of Human Resources Management, effective July 1. She will replace Wm. Glen Brown, who will retire June 30 after 35 years of service.
In this capacity, Varn will oversee safety and health, training and development, employee relations, diversity and Wampee Conference Center for the organization’s 1,810 employees.
Varn previously served as Vice President of Corporate Communications for eight years. Previous to Santee Cooper, she served in communications positions with Southern Company, Delta Air Lines and MARTA in Atlanta. She is a Liberty Fellow and a graduate of Leadership Berkeley, Leadership South Carolina and the Diversity Leaders Institute at Furman University. She is on the board of the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce and will serve as its Chair in 2015.
Varn graduated from Ohio University in 1993 with a BS in broadcast journalism and is pursuing her master’s degree at The Citadel. She is married and has two children.
Warner will be promoted to Vice President, Legal Services and Corporate Secretary, effective Feb. 2, 2013. Warner will oversee legal services, land rights acquisition and the office of the corporate secretary. Previously, she served as associate general counsel over litigation and environmental affairs for 11 years at Santee Cooper.
Prior to Santee Cooper, she served at Buist, Moore, Smythe and McGee as a trial and environmental attorney.  She is a member of the South Carolina Bar Board of Governors, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Coastal Community Foundation and Vice Chair of the Trident United Way Women’s Leadership Council. Warner graduated from USC in 1986 with a BS in political science and earned her law degree from USC in 1989. She is married and lives in Moncks Corner.

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