CEO’s Message: The Engine that Drives Us

April 2021

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

Here in Florida, we don’t have to contend with severe winter weather as our friends do in the northern states. It is extremely rare for us to face any snow at all, much less suffer through sub-zero temperatures. And yet, it is always a joy to welcome the first days of spring and feel the chill leave the air.

We are fortunate to live in a beautiful part of this country, and that’s especially true this time of year. We enjoy great weather, plenty of sunshine and a fantastic way of life. But we aren’t without our own severe weather threats. And as wonderful as spring in Florida is, it can be a season of storms.

While it’s too early to expect hurricanes, here at Suwannee Valley Electric Cooperative (SVEC) we are always working to make sure our system is prepared for storms, big and small. An important part of that is making sure our crews have the equipment for the job and that everything is always in working order when they need it.

That’s where our fleet maintenance team comes in. These professionals don’t just ensure that each of the cooperative’s 60 vehicles is ready for our employees when they need them. They also work every day to make sure each pickup, bucket truck, and digger derrick can carry the tools and equipment the workers need to do their job.

In this newsletter, you can read more about our fleet operations and the crucial support they offer our crews. That support is all the more evident as we celebrate Lineworker Appreciation Day on April 12.

Those of you who are regular readers don’t need me to tell you about all the important work linemen do for this community. You also don’t need me to tell you how crucial they are to keeping the lights on in your home and preventing outages before they happen. You have probably even seen them yourself, performing maintenance on lines dozens of feet in the air or making repairs late at night after a storm comes through.

We have all enjoyed the benefits of linemen’s hard work, which often calls them away from friends and family at a moment’s notice. So this month, I hope you’ll join us in saying thank you to the people who sacrifice so much to serve our community.

Speaking of community, you can learn more about what Operation Round Up has already done for local students in 2021 and enjoy a few photos from last month’s Arc North Florida Lawn Mower Race in this issue. They’re just a couple of examples of how SVEC, together with our consumer members, is giving back to the place we call home. Until next month, thank you for the privilege of serving you.