District 3 - Willard Swift
336-244-2092 or 336-366-2120
Willard has been a member of Surry-Yadkin EMC for 56 years, and has served on the board of directors for 23 years. He serves in the role of board vice president and is a member of the board's Finance & Accounting Committee and the Economic Development Committee. He also is on the statewide executive committee for REAP (Rural Electric Action Program) and ACRE (Action Committee for Rural Electrification).
His awards and certificates include the Credentialed Cooperative Director (CCD) and Board Leadership Certificate (BLC).
He graduated from Appalachian State University. During his time at college, he became a Christian and a member of the Men's A Club, an athletic fraternity, for which he served as chaplain until his graduation. He was a teacher and coach at East Wilkes High School for six years, worked four years as assistant director for YVEDDI (Yadkin Valley Economic Development District Inc.), and worked 27 years as human resources manager for Abitibi-Price (Louisiana Pacific). In addition, he serves on the Surry County Natural Resources Committee and the Surry County Exension Advisory. He previously was on the American Red Cross - Surry County Chapter Board of Directors, the Stone's Throw Christian Ministries Board of Directors and was previous director for the Surry County Beekeepers Association and the Surry County, Wilkes and Yadkin County Cattlemen's Association. He also has taught Sunday school at his church, Grassy Creek United Methodist Church, for more than 50 years.
"I always loved serving others and being involved in community growth and development. I think Surry-Yadkin is wonderful in that it initially provided power to rural communities that wouldn't otherwise have been given this service from for-profit companies," said Willard. "President Roosevelt passed the Rural Electrification Act, which allowed the cooperative electric business to form and meet the needs of the rural population.
"I like being a member of Surry-Yadkin EMC because you can communicate directly with them. They provide outstanding service, second to none," he said.
Willard is married and has three children - a daughter who lives in Murfreesboro, TN and owns a company called Simple Pleasures; a son who is a counselor at Mallard Creek High School in Concord; and a son who is health director in Forsyth County. He also has five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren on the way. He raises beagles for rabbit hunting and enjoys hunting as well. He has been an heirloom gardener and a beekeeper, and also raised bantam chickens at one point. He loves nature and the outdoors.
As a student at Mountain Park High School, Willard was an athlete, playing both basketball and baseball. He was selected as a member of the all-Northwest basketball team. His senior year, he was pitcher for the baseball team, and the team enjoyed a 7-0 record. He had college scholarship offers in both sports. He chose Appalachian State University, where he played for four years. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree. After he began teaching and coaching at East Wilkes High School, Willard established a summer recreation program for children, which included a Little League program, swimming and gym activities. After six years in education and recreation, he spent four years with the Head Start Neighborhood Youth Corps, and manpower development activity programs. He also was inducted into the Surry County Sports Hall of Fame.