CEO of Energy Authority in Tennessee Identified as Victim in St. Croix Drowning Incident

Energy authority mourns the sudden passing of a dedicated CEO and community advocate

  • Ernice Gilbert
  • April 05, 2024

Chuck Bowlin. By. WGRV

ST. CROIX — The man who reportedly drowned while snorkeling off the coast of St. Croix has been identified as Chuck Bowlin, president and CEO of the Greeneville Energy Authority. The tragic incident occurred during a vacation in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where Bowlin was accompanied by his wife and close friends.

According to the V.I. Police Department, the St. Croix 911 Emergency Call Center received a distress call at 1:06 p.m. on Thursday, alerting authorities to a male snorkeler missing for several hours. Friends snorkeling with Bowlin at Sugar Beach Vacation Rentals noticed his absence and initiated a search. Despite efforts, Bowlin was found unresponsive near the Colony Cove area later that afternoon and was confirmed dead on arrival by emergency medical services.

Bowlin, 56, was known as a very fit individual with no known medical conditions, and he did not exhibit signs of illness before entering the water, the police report stated, citing Bowlin's family and friends. His unexpected passing has left the Greeneville community and the broader energy sector in mourning, according to WGRV News, a media house headquartered in Greeneville, Tennessee.

Assuming leadership of Greeneville Light & Power in July 2020, Bowlin succeeded Bill Carroll, continuing a legacy of dedication to the community and innovation in public utilities management, according to WGRV. Under his direction, Greeneville Light & Power transitioned into Greeneville Energy Authority, focusing on critical advancements such as broadband access, renewable energy, and economic development.

Bowlin's commitment to community service was evident through his role as President of the Boys & Girls Club of Greeneville & Greene County and his recognition as Tennessee Boys & Girls Club Board Member of the Year in 2023, according to local media reports. He also made significant contributions as a member of the Greene County Partnership Board of Directors.

In response to the news of his passing, the Greeneville Energy Authority released a statement extending condolences to Bowlin's family and announcing interim leadership would report to Sarah Webster, Chair, and Tim Teague, Vice Chair, until the Board of Directors addresses the tragedy.

Greenville, Tennessee leaders, including Greene County Partnership President Jeff Taylor, Town of Greeneville Mayor Cal Doty, and Greene County Mayor Kevin Morrison, shared heartfelt statements reflecting on Bowlin's profound impact on the community and his visionary leadership. Tributes highlighted his deep faith, dedication to family, and his strategic approach to enhancing Greeneville and Greene County's infrastructure and quality of life.

Correction: April 5, 2024 at 7:49 p.m.

A previous version of this story stated that Chuck Bowlin was CEO of Greeneville Energy Authority in South Carolina, however the correct location is Greeneville, Tennessee. We've updated the story to reflect this change.

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