Danny Exum is retiring knowing he left an impression during an interesting and successful career that began in military service and ended at Wiregrass Electric Cooperative.
His first foray into technology management was working on highly classified special projects while evaluating aircraft weapon systems in Germany. Fort Rucker’s Center of Army Aviation later awarded him a special certificate for his work on air missile systems, a document framed in his office next to the college degrees he is equally proud to display.
WEC recruited Exum from the trucking industry. As WEC’s Chief Information Officer, he expertly navigated technological transitions and crises for the better part of the last decade.
“As a not-for-profit, we try to use technology to help everyone be as productive as they can be to keep costs affordable for our membership,” says Les Moreland, WEC’s chief executive officer. “It goes without saying that the person overseeing technology is a particularly important person. Danny was the quarterback for all of our advancements for the last nine years.”
As an electric utility provider for a large geographical region with four offices and several substations, communication and data storage are critical pieces of Wiregrass Electric’s technology infrastructure.
Exum’s duties included overseeing all the co-op’s software systems and managing partnerships with vendors like Entech, which provides computer and cybersecurity support. He led many significant projects to complete technology upgrades that enhanced the productivity of operations.
“I’m proud of what I’ve done here at Wiregrass Electric,” Exum says. “We have built a technology infrastructure that withstood Hurricane Michael, a pandemic that required a remote workforce and a ransomware attack in the last few years — that’s pretty significant.”
While Exum is sad to leave people he met through WEC, he’s confident the timing is right. He’s excited to spend more time at his home in Chipley with his wife, two sons, two granddaughters and 2 great-granddaughters.
“My immediate plans are fishing until I get tired of it, and that may take a while,” he says.
At 67, he will retire at year’s end.
“He’ll be missed,” says Chief Operating Officer Brad Kimbro. “We’re better off as an organization having employed Danny Exum, and we thank him for his time and service. We wish him nothing but the best.”
A Career of Accomplishments
Danny Exum’s efforts as chief technology officer created a more secure, efficient and technology-forward co-op. Here are only a few examples of his career highlights:
- 2 generations of upgrades to WEC’s communications, from microwave transmission to a high-speed fiber network connecting all facilities through a broadband partnership with Troy Cable, or C Spire
- Switched from a landline phone system to a cloud-based system
- Assisted with the development of a product that allows co-ops to turn off streetlights remotely
- Developed a cybersecurity attack protocol that stopped hackers during a ransomware attack in 2021, gaining praise from the FBI