CEO’s Message — May 2019

Posted: May 1, 2019

Flying to new heights

CEO Michael S. McWaters
Michael S. McWaters
Executive V.P./CEO

One of the biggest differences between electric cooperatives and other utilities is the role of our members. You are more than just customers and consumers. Each member of Suwannee Valley Electric Cooperative is also an owner with a stake in our system.

Nowhere is the important role of our members more apparent than at the cooperative’s annual meeting. Each year, our member-owners have the chance to meet with the leaders of their cooperative, learn about plans for the future and make their own opinions heard.

It’s a unique experience in the utility world, and one I look forward to every year. This year’s meeting was no exception, and I would like to thank each of you who came out to be a part of it.

If you weren’t able to attend, you can find a brief recap of the meeting in this month’s newsletter. In short, SVEC has made great strides toward improving reliability over the last year, all while maintaining a safety record we can be proud of.

You can also find an update on our exciting new program, Operation Round Up. Even though we are just a few months into raising money through Operation Round Up, SVEC and our members have already made a significant difference to children in our area.

So far, the cooperative has approved 65 grants for a total of $25,420. That money has gone to schools in every county SVEC serves for supplies like books, science lab equipment and math learning aids. Teachers have been overjoyed at the generosity of our members, and we look forward to taking that program to even greater heights in the years to come.

There are probably few people who know more about great heights than the subject of this month’s feature story. SVEC member Clark Dechant has flown across the globe for decades. Be sure to take some time to read about his amazing story and his historic biplane.

Our members in District 3 can also learn a little more about their trustee and board secretary, Sam Roberson. Mr. Roberson is a Suwannee Valley native through and through, and he has been a valuable member of the board since 2010.

Finally, I would like to remind our members that May is National Electrical Safety Month. I encourage each of you to set aside time to reinforce the importance of electrical safety with your family. If you need an update on the latest safety recommendations, you can find useful resources on our website.

By respecting the power of electricity, we can all help prevent accidents. Stay safe, and thank you for reading.