CEO’s Message: An Attitude of Gratitude

November 2020

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

This year, in addition to celebrating the holidays that usually define the month of November, much of the country will eagerly await the results of an important national election. What many may not realize is that the custom of voting in November actually goes back to this country’s farming roots.

Back in the 1800s, voters often traveled long distances to their polling places, so elections needed to be held when they would have the least interference with the farming season. Spring and early summer would get in the way of planting, and late summer or early fall elections would conflict with the busy harvesting season. November was thought to be the sweet spot: late enough to complete the harvest but early enough to avoid harsh winter weather.

Personally, I’ve always thought it was appropriate that our elections fall in the same month we celebrate Thanksgiving. Whether you’re pleased with the results of this month’s election or not, I think we could all use the opportunity to spend time with family and focus for a moment on how much we have to be thankful for.

It’s also fitting that this month we celebrate Veterans Day, giving us the chance to honor those who have served this country. We should all be thankful for the sacrifices brave Americans have made throughout our history to preserve the values of our nation.

We’re fortunate to have many veterans in the SVEC family, and this month we wanted to highlight one in particular. James Poole is a veteran of World War II and the grandfather of our manager of fleet maintenance, Raymond Poole. He served his country from 1943 to the end of the war, witnessing German submarines firsthand and rubbing shoulders with the likes of Gen. George S. Patton. You can read more about Mr. Poole’s story in this newsletter, but I would like to take this opportunity to thank him and all of our veterans for their brave service to this country.

You can also learn about two of the newest members of the SVEC team. Crystal Ecker joins as the cooperative’s general counsel & director of administrative services, while Ross Wood is our new mechanic. Both are excellent additions to our cooperative, and I hope you’ll join me in giving them a warm welcome.

Also noteworthy is that last month we held the third annual Suwannee Cornhole Tournament. The event continues to grow, and this year it raised more than $5,000 for United Way of Suwannee Valley. Thank you to everyone who took part in what is rapidly becoming one of our favorite traditions each year.

As we approach the end of the year, I hope all of our members are able to make time for family and reflect on the many things we have to be thankful for. As always, we are grateful for the privilege of serving you.