CEO’s Message – Give Your Community a Voice

November 2021

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

This is always the time of year when we take stock of everything we have to be thankful for. Speaking for myself, I know I’m thankful to live in a country full of opportunity, for loving family and friends, and for the chance to be a part of this wonderful community.

During election years, this is also the time when the American people go to the polls to cast their votes for leaders in their state and in our country as a whole. Thankfully, most of us are getting a break from the big races this year, but it’s still important to be aware of the issues that impact our community and of the people who represent us.

Just as individuals and businesses across the country are figuring out how to deal with a changing economy and new challenges, the electric industry is in a state of flux, as well. Environmental concerns, along with the growth of renewable energy resources and electric vehicles, are transforming the way our industry works. All too often, how these changes impact large urban centers gets the bulk of our leaders’ attention.

But as a cooperative, we at Suwannee Valley Electric Cooperative know that those issues have just as much of an impact on rural communities like ours. That’s why it’s important for each and every consumer-member to know about the challenges facing electric cooperatives and that we make sure our leaders hear our concerns.

For that reason, this month we’re providing you a directory of the legislators representing us in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C., as well as information on some legislation that would benefit co-ops and their members. These issues are important for our own community, but they also have repercussions for others just like us all across the country.

I hope you’ll take a moment to read through that feature. Feel free to hold on to it as a reference for the future. Together, we can make sure our leaders hear the voices of rural communities like ours.

Making our voices heard starts with teaching our young people about the important role cooperatives play in this country, and there’s no better place to learn about it than the annual Youth Tour. The deadline for applications to be part of the 2022 tour will be here before you know it, so I encourage every eligible high school junior to apply today. It truly is a one-of-a-kind experience.

Finally, if you haven’t visited the SVEC website in a while, I urge you to do so. Our team has worked hard to give our online home an overhaul that I think better reflects the work we do in the community and makes it even easier to do business with your cooperative. Visit to check out the new look for yourself.