Rick Wood, Presidente
Rick Wood is a business leader with deep roots in agriculture, rural telecom and electric cooperatives in the southeast. He is a lifelong resident of Habersham County in the foothills of Northeast Georgia, where he currently lives with his wife of 42 years. Active in his church and community, Rick has served on various public service boards including the Department of Family and Children’s Services and the Habersham County Chamber and the Small Business Access Partners Board of Directors.
After graduating high school, he took over his father’s custom home and commercial construction business, which he successfully ran until other opportunities arose in 2001. At the same time, he began investing in the development of the car wash industry, which later evolved into Snappy Premium Express Wash, a computer-driven, brushless system that rapidly expanded across the southeast to become a $30 million dollar asset company.
Rick is equally as passionate about farming. His family farms over 275 acres and specializes in extensive Embryo transfers to produce the best seed stock, resulting in cattle with high all-purpose index EPD’s from his purebred Simmentals. The family also operated poultry houses, until June 2019, producing approximately 240,000 broilers a year.
For 30 years, Rick has and continues to serve as Director on the Habersham Electric Membership Corporation Board. During this tenure, he helped lead the formation of Georgia Energy Cooperative (GEC) along with 13 other electric cooperatives when Oglethorpe Power restructured in the late 1990’s, ultimately divesting into the family of companies.
A progressive leader within the electric coop community, Rick is an early adopter of leveraging leading edge technologies such as introducing fiber optic broadband networks as a tool for economic growth and development within rural communities, school systems and medical facilities in the region.
Focused on building the regional economy, Rick provided oversight to the development of the North Georgia Network (NGN), a state-of-the-art, low-latency, digital optical network, for technology‐reliant businesses and organizations with access to speeds as fast as those in the largest, busiest cities in the world.
Rick currently serves as Board Chairman of the North Georgia Network where he helped facilitate Georgia’s first gigabit to the home internet connection and the development of the state’s first Education Exchange. The Education Exchange is Georgia’s only regional 10-gigabit private cloud for exclusive use by school systems. Schools participating in the Exchange govern their content, activity and access to this cloud, empowering them to create an education experience without boundaries.
Rick has extensive experience with securing funding through the SBA, RUS, US Department of Commerce and private lending institutions including Co-Bank. He is a hard-working, self-made businessman who strives to better the communities through his leadership in economic growth and development.