CEO’s Message — March 2020

2019 Was a Very Good Year

CEO Michael S. McWaters

I sometimes think of all the ways other businesses and organizations could benefit from adopting values similar to the cooperative principles. How much better would it be if the company you bank with was dedicated to helping you understand its industry? Or if serving the local community was a core value of the place where you buy your groceries?

Perhaps no other principle would be as beneficial as the commitment to open communication that cooperatives have. As important as it is for our members to know what is going on at their cooperative, it isn’t just about transparency. It’s also about being answerable to the people we serve.

That sense of responsibility to members is one of the many reasons I’m proud to work for an electric co-op. At Suwannee Valley Electric Cooperative (SVEC), we aren’t accountable to a group of shareholders living somewhere across the country — we answer to you alone.

This year, we have a lot to be proud of, not least of which is the strong financial footing our cooperative continues to maintain. In this month's newsletter, you can find SVEC’s financial statements for 2019, along with the minutes of last year’s annual meeting. I think you’ll be able to see for yourself that our cooperative is in a healthy position to continue providing safe, affordable and reliable electric service now and into the future.

But we were also able to achieve so much more in 2019. Together, we raised more than $100,000 to support our local students and ensure they have the materials they need in the classroom. We continued to provide opportunities for high school students with our Youth Tour and scholarship programs.

We were able to give back to the United Way of Suwannee Valley through the Suwannee Valley Cornhole Tournament and the Touch-a-Truck event. And all the while, we found new ways to improve reliability on our system, achieving an average service availability of 99.97%.

2019 was another fantastic year for SVEC and, as always, we couldn't have been successful without the backing of our trustees and support from you, our consumer-members. It's an honor to serve you.

Michael S. McWaters