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Greenville Business Magazine

Retiring Charles Dalton Receives Order of The Palmetto

Jan 23, 2018 12:54PM ● By Emily Stevenson

Charles Dalton, 35-year president and CEO of Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative, was presented with the Order of the Palmetto Award, South Carolina's highest civilian honor, during his retirement reception at the Poinsett Club on Thursday, Jan. 11. Dalton retired earlier this month. The Order of the Palmetto is awarded to South Carolina citizens for extraordinary lifetime service and achievements of national or statewide significance.

Dalton first assumed the role of President and CEO of Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative in 1982 when the cooperative was supplying service to 29,000 members. That number grew to 66,000 under Dalton’s helm, providing power to the state’s most-challenging terrain.

Under Dalton’s leadership, the cooperative created its annual charitable fund-raiser, Blue Ridge Fest, which has produced nearly $2.5 million in net proceeds since 1998. The funds have been divided among scores of local human-help agencies during that 20-year period.

Dalton has dedicated his time and energy to serve a number of boards and commissions. He spent two terms on the S.C. Highway Commission, and was elected chairman during each of those terms. Dalton’s additional commitments have included serving as chairman of the Better Business Bureau of Upstate South Carolina, Upstate SC Alliance, and membership on numerous other economic-development agencies’ boards. Further board service included the S.C. Chamber of Commerce, the Central Electric Power Cooperative, the Greenville Chamber, the Peace Center, the Upstate SC Chapter of Red Cross, and Greenville Health System’s Upstate Affiliate Organization board. In 2017, he and his wife, Libby, co-chaired the Upstate American Heart Ball, which raised a record-breaking $1 million.

Dalton served on the board of the co-ops’ nationwide branding organization, Touchstone Energy. In addition, he has been a member of the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina board for many years, and served as chairman of the association’s Communications Committee, which publishes South Carolina Living magazine.

Dalton’s contributions to his alma mater, Clemson University, have entailed serving on the CU Foundation Board, the school’s Board of Visitors, and as a member of the Alumni Association Board. He has also been a member of IPTAY for more than 50 years, serving as its president for 2011-2013. In 2015, Clemson honored Dalton by selecting him to receive the university’s Distinguished Service Award.

Charles and Libby reside in Greenville. They have three children and three grandchildren.