Harvest is in full swing, the nights are cooling off, and soon we will celebrate October as National Cooperative Month. My sincere thanks to everyone who attended our annual meeting. Your attendance is greatly appreciated. Having just celebrated our 21st annual meeting, this is the perfect time to reflect on some of the cooperative principles that have stood the test of time and provide a framework for your cooperative’s future.
Just like all cooperatives, Central Electric was formed out of necessity. There was a need that was not being met and a group of people banded together to organize a cooperative to meet that need. Membership to Central Electric is open to everyone in our service area which follows the principle of “Voluntary and Open Membership.”
As demonstrated at our annual meeting, Central Electric is locally governed. Each member has a voice and a vote to elect their representation on Central Electric’s board of directors. This also means members have a say in how the cooperative is operated and each member has one vote. Our board establishes policies and long-term priorities for the cooperative and they live here. This follows the principle of “Democratic Member Control.”
Every member contributes equitably to the capital of Central Electric Cooperative. At least part of the cooperative’s revenue is used for co-op programs, investments and the support of various activities approved by the board of directors. This follows the principle of “Members Economic Participation.” Education and training for members, directors and employees is important to serving the members of Central Electric.
“Education, Training and Information” is another cooperative principle. Your employees and directors are continuously learning about our industry, new technologies and methods we can use to better serve you. The cooperative places great emphasis on communications to inform our members about their cooperative and the programs we have in place.
Working together through local, national and regional training, your cooperative can improve services, help our local economy, and deal more effectively with social and community needs. By attending meetings with other cooperatives, employees are able to build a network of peers and better serve our members. Operation Round-Up, the NRECA Youth Tour, scholarships, and the Basin Bus Tours are great examples of ideas that Central Electric adopted from other cooperatives. These activities fall under the principle of “Concern for Community”.
Our connection to our members and communities helps us gain perspective to make informed decisions. Because we are guided by these cooperative principles, it’s not just about dollars. It’s about providing opportunities for everyone and practicing fairness when engaging with our members. The cooperative business model is a values-based, democratic way of conducting business.
Our mission is to provide reliable energy and services with a commitment to safety and member satisfaction. As you complete the work of the fall harvest, please make a commitment to staying safe. Be aware of your surroundings at all times, be prepared for what may happen and come home each night to your family.
Until next month, be safe!