Recently, I was visiting with a close friend and we were discussing our children. We both were very thankful for the fact that our kids are living independently and, in our biased opinions, making good decisions and contributing to their communities. We talked about how their teachers, friends, family and others have influenced who they have become. The comment made by my friend to sum up our conversation was “It takes a Village.”
According to Wikipedia, “It takes a village” is an African proverb that means that an entire community of people must interact with children for those children to experience and grow in a safe and healthy environment. Some say it means that many people must cooperate to achieve a goal.
As I walked away from that conversation, it came to me that it also takes a village to guide and operate your electric cooperative. Our village consists of you, the board members, the employees and a long list of other cooperatives in our family that share our principles and goals. Many people and organizations cooperating so that we can achieve our goal of providing reliable energy and services with a commitment to safety and member satisfaction.
What role do you have to help your cooperative be successful? Is it to give one of our trucks a pull out of the snow, to participate in a member program, or to sign an easement when we need to build across your property? Those are very important ways to support your cooperative but in my opinion, it goes beyond that.
Each year your cooperative invites you to participate in member meetings. This year the District Meetings will be held in June and the Annual Meeting will be held in September. These meetings give you an opportunity to provide your input as to how the cooperative operates and to listen to what others are saying. Every three years you have an opportunity to run for a board seat or to vote who will represent you on the board. These meetings also provide an opportunity for directors and employees to listen so they can consider your input when making decisions.
In June, a director election will be held in Davison County. In September, an election will be held for the Director-at-Large during the Annual Meeting. We already know our village will be seeing some change. Butch Morrison, Director for Davison County, and Jim Headley, Director at Large, have announced they will not be seeking re-election.
Butch has served our membership since 2003 and has been an important part of our village over that time. When Butch became a board member the cooperative had just gone through a merger, and over the past 18 years many decisions were made to determine its future.
Jim has served our membership since 1996 and he helped guide the cooperative through the merger process in 2000. Jim was also a key player in Basin Electric’s successful efforts to bring the first cooperative-owned wind farm to South Dakota.
Butch, Jim and the rest of our board members have many accomplishments and are important members of our village. It is hard for me to put into words how important they are to me and our cooperative. Their thoughtful advice, experience and active participation at our local, regional and national meetings has helped me so much and has greatly contributed to Central Electric’s success.
As a member-owner, you can call me or your board representative at any time to discuss your cooperative’s operations. I would encourage you to also attend your District Meeting in June and the Annual Meeting in September. While you are there, visit with us, thank your board member for what they do and enjoy good food and fellowship. Your cooperative’s future is filled with many opportunities and challenges and we need a strong village if we are to continue to be successful. I hope to see you there.
Until next month, stay safe!