President Obama may be leaving office in January, but he will keep his imprint on the Tennessee Valley Authority board for the next five years.
Obama is reappointing a third of the nine-member TVA board, including agency chairman Joe Ritch.
The White House announced this week it will appoint for new five-year terms Peter Mahurin of Kentucky, Mike McWherter of Tennessee and Ritch of Alabama. All three were previously appointed by Obama to the TVA board in 2013 and their terms expired on May 18, although TVA rules allow the directors to stay on the board until the end of the year if their successor is not yet selected.
"I am proud that such experienced and committed individuals have agreed to serve the American people in these important roles," Obama said in a statement. "I look forward to working with them."
Ritch, a Huntsville attorney, was elected in 2014 by his fellow TVA directors as board chairman. He has also served as chairman of the Tennessee Valley Base Realignment and Closures Committee since 1994 and as co-chairman of the Tennessee Valley Growth Coordination Group since 2008. From 2005 to 2011, he was a member of the University of Alabama board of trustees.
Mahurin is chairman of Hilliard Lyons Financial Services, a position he has held since 2008. He is also a member of Houchens Industries, Albany Bancorp, First Cecilian Bancorp, Gray Construction and Jackson Financial. Prior to his time at Hilliard Lyons, Mahurin was a high school math and science teacher.
McWherter, an attorney and businessman, is the son of former Tennessee Gov. Ned McWherter. The younger McWherter ran unsuccessfully in 2009 for governor as a Democrat. He is owner and president of Central Distributors Inc., and Volunteer Distributing Co., Tennessee-based beverage distribution companies. He served as chairman of First State Bank of Union City, and on the board of directors of the Jackson Energy Authority.
The nominations for the TVA board must still be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, but on Friday the senior senator from Tennessee voiced his support for reappointing the three board members.
"I am glad the president submitted their nominations to serve additional five-year terms, and I look forward to supporting their confirmations so they can continue their good work on the TVA Board," said U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.