CEO’s Message: A Bright New Year

January 2021

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

As we welcome a new year, many of our consumer-members are probably setting goals for the months ahead and reflecting on the year just past. With the holiday rush now over, we have a moment to breathe, look back on the challenges and blessings of the last year, and consider what is most important to us moving forward.

We do the same here at Suwannee Valley Electric Cooperative (SVEC), except we have a roadmap, the cooperative principles. Whenever we have big decisions to make or goals to set, we keep these guiding principles in mind and know they will keep our cooperative on course.

Many of you have heard us talk about these pillars of our cooperative. Some of the principles guide the way our cooperative works, such as open membership and democratic control by our members. Others, like cooperation among cooperatives, lay out the responsibilities we have to our fellow electric providers and the help we can expect from them when our system is severely damaged by storms.

Of course, concern for our community is also one of those principles, and one we don’t need to be reminded of very often. After all, each of us at SVEC is a member of this community. We shop at the same stores, go to the same churches, and have kids on the same sports teams as our members. As a result, we are genuinely invested in making our home a great place to live for everyone.

It’s why we’re proud to support organizations like the Florida Sheriffs Boys Ranch in Live Oak. The Boys Ranch provides opportunities for at-risk youth with camps, counseling, and even specialized schooling. Since its inception, SVEC has not only provided affordable power to the Live Oak ranch but has also supported the ranch through sponsorships, donations, and scholarships for graduating students.

You can read more in this newsletter about the important role the Florida Sheriffs Boys Ranch plays in our community and how you can get involved. You can also see photos from one of our favorite local traditions each year: a float in local Christmas parades.

This year, SVEC’s “Christmas Around the World” float won the prize for Best Commercial Float in the Christmas on the Square parade. Thank you to all of our employees who put so much hard work into our float each year and to the Suwannee County Chamber of Commerce.

The last year hasn’t been without its challenges, and I have no doubt that we have a few in store for the months ahead. But as I look ahead, I remain as excited as ever for all that we will accomplish as a cooperative.