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REC Names Manager of Energy Solutions & Clean Energy

Fredericksburg, Va. — Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) has promoted Karan Patel to Managing Director–Energy Solutions and Clean Energy.

In his new role, Patel will be pivotal in helping members save money by focusing on the integration and expansion of energy solutions and clean energy technologies.

“The work that Patel and his team will undertake is aimed to inform and involve members in embracing technologies that boost their energy independence and resilience, with an emphasis on sustainability,” explained Peter Muhoro, Chief Strategy, Technology and Innovation Officer. “His expertise perfectly aligns with REC’s strategic goals, and he will be fundamental in shaping the Cooperative’s future in energy solutions and clean energy, thereby providing significant benefits to REC’s members.”

Patel has an extensive background in business planning and development, specifically in the energy utility industry. He’s spent many years in the field of power engineering, with previous roles including Field Engineering Manager at Voltus, Senior Engineer in Distribution Automation at Commonwealth Edison, Senior Engineer in Smart Grid, Technology, and Innovation at Pepco Holdings, and Senior Distribution Engineering Assistant in Distribution and Planning Engineering at Patterson and Dewar Engineers.

In his most recent position as REC’s Staff Electrical Engineering Supervisor, Patel provided strong leadership and oversight on the execution of the Cooperative’s Construction Work Plan while managing a team of Planning Engineers.

Patel earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Clemson University. He is a licensed Professional Engineer, a Certified Commercial Unmanned Aircraft System Pilot and serves on Milsoft Utility Solutions’ Advisory Board.

REC provides electric service to over 177,000 connections in parts of 22 Virginia counties. With its general office in Fredericksburg, Va., the Cooperative operates and maintains more than 18,000 miles of power lines through its service area, which ranges from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay. For more information about REC, please visit Follow REC on Facebook, X, Instagram, and YouTube.

CIC Microloan Program Surpasses $4M Since Inception


Charlottesville, VA – Community Investment Collaborative (CIC) infused $1M in capital into the local economy in 2023 through microloans to the small business community, doubling its 2022 total. With a continued focus on under-resourced entrepreneurs, its loan funds span central Virginia and beyond, including making its first loans in Martinsville, Richmond, Fredericksburg, Harrisonburg and Hampton Roads, and include partnerships with local governments, funding from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund, among other sources. 


“As a small business owner, funding is hard to find. Working with CIC for over 3 years has helped me be able to expand my business. The CIC team is friendly, helpful and awesome to work with,” says Cheryl Council, Owner, Relax Cville, Charlottesville’s first boutique medical spa.


Graduates of CIC’s signature program, a 16-week Entrepreneur Workshop, and owners of existing businesses are able to apply for a Contract-based Loan, a Start-up/Growth Loan or an Accelerator Loan, which caps at $10,000 or 2.5 months worth of current revenues, whichever comes first, and is designed to help local businesses optimize operations, purchase equipment or inventory, improve building conditions or support short-term working capital. CIC increased its microloan limit to $50,000 in 2022, shortly after ten years of operations. 


“CIC is excited to continue to accomplish our goal of expanding access to capital to local entrepreneurs, particularly those who have traditionally faced barriers and restrictions because of their credit history, credit scores, time in business, availability of collateral, or the lack thereof.  Hitting the $1M mark in 2023 proves the continued need for the services we provide.  Being a flexible financing source and a certified CDFI positions us to create an entrepreneur ecosystem in our local community that business owners can learn from and build with,” says Stephen Davis, President, CIC.  


Terms across loan products range from three (3) months to five (5) years based on the history of the business, the size and purpose of the loan, with decisions typically offered in 10-14 days for the Accelerator Loan and 4-6 weeks for the Start-up Loan.  Interest rates cap at 9.75% with a lower rate offered to CIC Graduates and long-term clients of the Central VA Small Business Development Center (CV SBDC), an in-house team of professionals, offering free, 1:1 business advising, research assistance and business-centered workshops and events.  Interested applicants should have been operating for at least six (6) months.  


To determine eligibility, apply or learn more information regarding loan types and the application process, please visit or contact Carolina Medina at (434) 218-3481.




Community Investment Collaborative (CIC) is a Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI) with a mission to strengthen the community and contribute to economic development by fueling the success of under-resourced entrepreneurs through education, mentoring, financing, and networking. CIC celebrated its 10-year anniversary in 2022, has over 550 graduates from its 16-week Entrepreneur Workshop and has issued more than $4 million to over 205 entrepreneurs through its microloan program. Learn more about CIC at

REC Names Director–Facilities Management

Fredericksburg, Va. — Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) has named Karen Mills as Director–Facilities Management.


In this role, Mills will oversee the acquisition, construction, maintenance and operations of the Cooperative's facilities and grounds. In addition, she will develop and maintain the Cooperative's facilities management policies and procedures. 


“Mills has more than 15 years of experience leading facilities services teams and executing real estate strategy,” said Tosh Bowe, REC’s Managing Director–Administrative Services/Controller. “Her extensive knowledge and experience will ensure efficient operations and effective resource utilization at the Cooperative.”    


Prior to joining REC, Mills served as Senior Manager of Facilities Services for Washington Gas.


Before working in utilities, Mills supported several growing technology companies, including, where she led commercial space acquisition, lease negotiation, design development, and construction management.


Mills graduated from George Mason University’s School of Management with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing. She has also earned the assessment-based credential Facility Management Professional. 

A Virginia native, Mills lives in the Fredericksburg area with her husband, Chris, and their black lab, Brady. In her free time, Mills volunteers at Lab Rescue LRCP, where she transports dogs rescued from overcrowded shelters to the DC-metro area for veterinary care and, ultimately, adoption.


REC provides electric service to over 176,000 connections in parts of 22 Virginia counties. With its general office in Fredericksburg, Va., the Cooperative operates and maintains more than 18,000 miles of power lines through its service area, which ranges from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay. For more information about REC, please visit Follow REC on Facebook, X, Instagram, and YouTube.

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