CEO’s Message: It’s the Little Things

August 2021

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

It’s funny how the little things can add up. Let the dishes sit after a couple of meals and before you know it, the sink is a mess. Make a few extra purchases without thinking and all of a sudden, your budget is in bad shape.

At Suwannee Valley Electric Cooperative (SVEC), it is part of our responsibility to our consumer-members not to lose track of the little things. As a cooperative, fiscal responsibility isn’t just something we talk about — it’s one of the core principles that guides everything we do. We can never lose sight of the fact that every repair, upgrade, and investment we make in the system draws on the funds of the people we serve.

That’s why we take great pains to ensure we use every penny of our consumer-members money wisely. That goes for major improvements to our system all the way down to the nuts and bolts that hold it together.

No one plays a more important role in keeping track of every piece of equipment that passes through our cooperative than the warehouse staff. You may not see them out in front of your house or making repairs on the side of the road, but they keep just about every part of this cooperative ticking by making sure everyone is well supplied.

That could mean making sure our line crews have the bucket trucks and power poles they need to do their job, or paper and hand sanitizer are well stocked in the office. Whatever our cooperative needs to operate, big or small, the warehouse crew keeps track of it all. It’s a crucial part of our work that helps us stay on top of expenses and keep rates affordable. You can learn more about everything the warehouse staff is responsible for and how they keep the co-op running in this month’s newsletter.

When done right, small things can also add up in a good way. That has certainly been the case for our Operation Round Up® program, which has already done so much good for students in our community. By simply rounding their electric bills up to the nearest dollar and donating that spare change, our consumer-members have funded $250,000 in grants that support education in our community.

It’s a milestone that I’m excited we were able to reach in less than 3 years and one you can read more about in this newsletter. I hope all of you are just as proud of what we have accomplished as those of us here at SVEC are. It’s just another reminder of the difference we can make when we don’t overlook the little things.