McEntire Retiring from Newnan Utilities
From Special Reports
After over 33 years, Dennis McEntire is retiring as the General Manager of Newnan Utilities.
During his tenure with Newnan Utilities, Dennis has been responsible for the management of all organizational departments including electric, water, and wastewater. When he started as General Manager, it had 58 employees and 7,000 customers. Today, Newnan Utilities has 100 full-time employees and serves over 10,000 electric and over 19,000 water customers.
“I’ve seen a lot of changes in this organization and our community through the years,” said McEntire. “It is a testament to just how great our community is. People come and they want to stay.”
Dennis led one of the most groundbreaking initiatives in the organization’s century-long history when in 1996, Newnan Utilities launched a cable and internet service that revolutionized the market in this area. While continuing to provide electric, water, and wastewater services, Newnan Utilities also built a loyal customer base of over 18,000 cable and internet customers, the highest market penetration rate of any provider in the area. With the innovative high-speed fiber that Newnan Utilities made available, Newnan and Coweta County became more attractive to industries and businesses such as Cancer Treatment Centers of America and Piedmont Healthcare. After 13 years, the business was sold to an investment firm, allowing Newnan Utilities to become stronger than ever in its core electric, water, and wastewater operations. It continues to serve its customers with the some of the most reliable utility services in the state.
In 2007, Newnan Utilities renewed its commitment to the environment when it began its state-of-the-art compost operations, which keeps over 5,000 tons of biosolids out of the landfills and combines it with 115,000 cubic yards of tree debris annually to create a product useful for landscaping, gardening, and topsoil remediation.
Over Dennis’ tenure, the electric, water, and wastewater departments have been recognized state and nationwide for outstanding practices and service. The organization’s employees are recognized daily for their contributions to the community, their outstanding service, and their professional and friendly way of doing the work they do.
“I can’t take credit for making Newnan Utilities what it is,” said McEntire. “I’ve been so fortunate over the years to work with very talented people who are experts in their respective fields. They do all of the hard work and are the ones who make Newnan Utilities one of the most respected organizations in the community. I’m just lucky enough to know and work with them.”
Not only are Newnan Utilities’ employees known, but as the organization’s leader, Dennis has become a fixture in the community through his involvement in over 15 organizations of varying interests over the years. He has seemingly been involved in almost every facet of the community including the Chamber of Commerce, schools, banks, and healthcare.
“To be part of a community, you need to be a part of the community…you need to be active in something that helps the greater good,” said McEntire. “I’ve participated in things that have been of interest to me and things that I feel make Coweta a great place to live. My wife Sally and I love this community and have been proud to raise our children here, and they have chosen to stay and raise their children here. It is a great place to live because of so many people who work hard to make it that way. I feel it is important to give back.”
The theme of giving back is prevalent throughout Newnan Utilities’ practices. During Dennis’ tenure, the construction of Carl Miller Park was completed in 1990, providing a free place for children and families in our community to enjoy quality time outdoors. In 1997, Kids Castle was built by over 1,400 volunteers on the Carl Miller Park property. Newnan Utilities renovated Kids Castle in 2021, and it continues to be a place for families to make memories.
Dennis and the organization’s leadership encourage a spirit of service that has made Newnan Utilities a fixture in the community. Employees are encouraged to help in any way they can, whether it is donating to a cause, helping at a food drive, mentoring a student, running in a charity road race, or coaching a little league team. One would be hard pressed to find an event in this community that Newnan Utilities hasn’t touched in some way.
Though Dennis is officially retiring, he doesn’t plan to sit on the back porch and watch the birds. He was recently honored with an appointment to the Georgia Department of Transportation Board of Directors, representing District 3.
“Being on the GDOT board is something I’m really excited about. I never thought in a million years that I’d be honored with this kind of position serving on a state board, but it is a new way for me to help people, and I’m looking forward to this new, challenging chapter,” said McEntire. “I just want to thank Newnan Utilities’ employees for their friendship over the years and the Newnan Water, Sewerage, and Light Commission for trusting me, putting up with me, and allowing me to lead the best organization in the world,” said McEntire. “I consider all of these fine people family. I’ll miss seeing them on a daily basis, but I’ll never be too far away.”