Illinois pioneers of rural electrification
Robert R. Wagner served as the AIEC Board President from 1959-64. Following the retirement of AIEC General Manager A.E. Becker, in December 1960, Wagner acted as the interim manager during the management search. Under Wagner’s leadership, the AIEC and its programs were broadened and strengthened to better serve its member cooperatives.
Wagner was also instrumental in improving the exchange of communications between the AIEC, its staff and member-cooperatives. One method initiated was publication of an informal weekly newsletter mailed to all directors, managers and employees of AIEC member-cooperatives. The “Flash” kept personnel updated about events and happenings of importance and interest to the cooperatives.
Representing the board of Western Illinois Electrical Coop., from 1949-1984, Wagner also served on the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation board from 1971-79.
In celebration of the AIEC’s 75th anniversary, this is fourth in a series of profiles on Illinois’ rural electric pioneers.