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Brian Heithoff

Chief Executive Officer & General Manager


Brian Heithoff has been Trico Electric Cooperative’s CEO/General Manager since April 2021.

Mr. Heithoff has worked for electric cooperatives for more than three decades, including 23 years as a CEO. Prior to Trico, he has served for 10 years as the CEO and General Manager of High West Energy, Inc., which serves members in southeast Wyoming, western Nebraska, and northern Colorado, including the Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Prior to his service at High West Energy, Heithoff served in numerous positions in the electric co-op industry, including:

  • CEO/General Manager at Consumers Energy in Marshalltown, Iowa.
  • CFO at United Power in Brighton, Colorado.
  • CFO at Morgan County REA in Ft. Morgan, Colorado.
  • CFO at Clay-Union Electric in Vermillion, South Dakota.

Brian has four children ages 26 and 22 – he has two sets of twins.  He has also been actively involved in the communities where he has lived serving on the governing boards of local chambers, hospitals, economic development organizations, Rotary clubs, a local bank and several non-profit organizations. 

Brian is a proven CEO and General Manager adept at leading innovative and team-oriented cooperative organizations. He has demonstrated leadership collaborating with employees, members, communities, and public officials.

“Trico has a reputation for having a strong culture of service, trust, and accountability; these will continue to be our focus. Our members deserve the best service possible, and I feel honored to help navigate the future of our cooperative,” said Mr. Heithoff.

Eric Hawkins

Chief Operations Officer & General Counsel


Eric Hawkins is the COO and General Counsel at Trico.  Eric’s duties include oversight of the Power Supply, Marketing and Communications, IT, Environmental, Land Use, Legal, Regulatory, and Corporate Planning sections at Trico. Most recently he acted as the project manager for Trico’s new Chirreon Solar (10MW) and Battery Storage (15MW/30MWh) Facility. Eric served as Trico’s Board Counsel for five years before joining Trico in 2020.

He earned his bachelor’s degree and Juris Doctorate at the University of Arizona. He represents Trico on the Cooperative Performance & Research Committee at Touchstone Energy, and has presented at multiple conferences on utility scale renewable energy projects.

Eric is a lifelong resident of Southern Arizona and serves on the Audit & Ethics Committee for the United Way of Southern Arizona and on the Board of Trustees at the Tucson Museum of Art.  

James Freeman

Chief Financial Officer


James Freeman assumed the Chief Financial Officer role at Trico Electric Cooperative in November 2022.  Prior to Trico, he had served in several financial roles at electric utilities, Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative and Omaha Public Power District.  James came to Trico bringing more than 35 years of finance, information systems and consulting experience.  He is charged with responsibility for all financial functions, and oversees budgets, capital expenditures, investments, strategic financial planning, and is the primary financial liaison with regulatory agencies, external tax and audit entities.

James is a certified project management professional (PMP).  James received a Strategic Master of Business Administration from Bellevue University, Bellevue, Nebraska and a bachelor’s degree of science in business administration in accounting from University of Nebraska in Lincoln, Nebraska. 

In community service, James previously served as Vice Chair of New Community Development Corporation (NCDC) a non-profit, economic development focused organization.  James also is retired from an extensive career of military service with the National Guard, U.S. Army and Reserves.