Raleigh Henry, president and CEO of Southern Rivers Energy, retired January 31 after nearly 37 years with the local electric cooperative.He began his career as a power use advisor in 1976, became office manager in 1982 and succeeded the late Tom Weldon as general manager in 1990.Raleigh grew up on a dairy farm in Henry County and attended school in Stockbridge through tenth grade. He finished his last two years at Jackson High School, graduating in 1968. From there he attended ABAC and earned an associates degree in agriculture in 1970. While attending ABAC he met his wife, Patty, and they were married and moved to Athens to attend UGA in 1970. Raleigh received a BS degree in agriculture in 1972 and went on to receive a MS degree in education in 1973.While student teaching at Jackson County High School in Braselton, he was introduced to the FFA wiring program and the EMCs. After meeting a former Ag teacher at Jackson who went to work for the EMCs, he knew he wanted a career at an EMC. After teaching vocational agriculture at Newton County High School in Covington for three years, he finally got the opportunity and the rest is history.In retirement, Raleigh and Patty plan to remain in Lamar County, spend more time in their shop, travel, spend time with family and get more involved with church ministry.He credits God with much of his success.’The presence and guidance of God has played the biggest role in all that I achieved. At times when it seemed that, in spite of all we could do things were falling apart, He always pulled it out,’ Henry said.