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NineStar names new president

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Michael Burrow, formerly NineStar Connect's vice president and general counsel, became the co-operative's president and CEO Wednesday. (Photo provided)
Michael Burrow, formerly NineStar Connect's vice president and general counsel, became the co-operative's president and CEO Wednesday. (Photo provided)

GREENFIELD — NineStar Connect has named Michael Burrow as its new president and chief executive officer one week after the departure of Tim Hills, whose retirement became effective March 13.

Burrow’s appointment to the cooperative’s top spot occurred during a special board meeting Wednesday.

Prior to being named interim president and CEO upon Hills’ departure, Burrow had been the company’s vice president and general counsel after NineStar was formed in 2011 by the merger of Hancock Telecom and Central Indiana Power. The co-operative offers telecommunications and electrical services.

Burrow joined Hancock Telecom in 1999 as that company’s general counsel after providing legal services to the company in his private practice.

A lifelong Hancock County resident, it was Burrow’s passion for the company and his community that made him the board’s choice for the leadership position, said NineStar board chairman Steve Vail.

“First and foremost, it was his passion and commitment to NineStar,” Vail said Thursday. “He’s a very community-oriented guy, and being a lifelong resident of Hancock County, he sees the impact we can have here.”

Additionally, Burrow served briefly as interim president for Hancock Telecom and then continued to work with Hills when he joined that company in 2011, so there is a significant amount of continuity that he brings to the post, Vail said.

“He has a rich background in what (NineStar) is doing. He’s excited, we’re excited, the employees are excited, and we plan to rally behind that passion and move forward,” Vail said.

Moving forward is a direction Burrow said the company has been focused on for sometime.

“The board and I talked at length, and the overarching theme was that the company was going in the right direction,” he said. “The board is very community-focused and very strategically forward-focused on where it needs to be next year or two or five years from now.

“So I don’t anticipate a radical change,” Burrow said.

In addition to his professional work, Burrow has been recognized as Businessman of the Year in 2001 by the Greater Greenfield Chamber of Commerce. He received the Sagamore of the Wabash, Indiana’s high honor for contributions to the Hoosier state, from the late Gov. Frank O’Bannon.

Burrow has lived in Brandywine Township since 1972. He is a 1981 graduate of New Palestine High School, a 1985 graduate of Ball State University and a 1988 graduate of Indiana University School of Law.

Burrow and his wife, Cherie, have three children and live in a remodeled farmhouse originally built in 1885.

His roots in the community spur a good deal of his business philosophy.

“I know many of the employees are going to roll their eyes because they’ve heard this before, but I believe a rising tide lifts all ships,” Burrow said.

“If we can deploy more fiber cable and more smart grids that allow people to monitor and save more energy, in the end it benefits Hancock County and makes it a better place to live and work. Then you have more businesses come to the area, and you get this virtual circle that benefits everyone,” Burrow said. “I believe that with all my heart.”

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