CEO’s Message: The Beauty of Community

July 2022

By Michael S. McWaters

This time of year always reminds me how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful area. Sure, the Florida sunshine can prove to be overpowering for some. But even on the hottest summer days, we have the Suwannee River to cool us off, the shade of a live oak tree to relax under, and the beach is only a short drive away.

I’m proud to be part of a cooperative that works so hard to bring our consumer-members safe, affordable, and reliable electric service while also looking out for the natural world around us.

One example is that 9% of the power we deliver to you is generated using renewable resources like solar, hydro and landfill gas. Our wholesale power supplier, Seminole Electric Cooperative, continues to add more solar resources to the mix with the goal of bringing that share up to 13% by 2024.

There are others among us who work hard to enrich the beauty of our community. This month, we’re spotlighting Hearthstone Gardens, a nonprofit botanical garden that has been showcasing Florida-friendly and native plants for the last four years.

The gardens give locals the chance to get outside and explore some of the rare plants our Florida climate has to offer. But it also serves as a living classroom where visitors can learn more about flower arranging, attracting wildlife and even growing bonsai trees. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to read about all that Hearthstone Gardens has to offer our community.

You can also find a new installment of our Meet Your Trustee series, featuring our most recent arrival to the board of trustees. Francene Folsom will be representing the consumer-members of District 9, so take a moment to learn more about her and be sure to say hi if you see her out in the community.

Finally, we wouldn’t be doing a very good job of fulfilling our cooperative mission if we didn’t also look after our local youth as diligently as our natural surroundings. This month, we’re excited to share the winners of this year’s scholarships with all of you. These 15 outstanding students will receive a helping hand with their college tuition. We can’t wait to see what they’ll accomplish, so join us in congratulating them.

It’s just one more way SVEC is working to make this wonderful community of ours an even better place to call home. I hope all of you have the chance to get out and enjoy everything the Suwannee Valley has to offer this month. We’ll be here, ready to power it all.