CEO’s Message — May 2020

Extended Learning

CEO Michael S. McWaters

Everyone has principles guiding the decisions they make. For some of us, those rules were instilled at a young age, and we have held on to them. For others, those guiding principles may have changed with life experiences.

At Suwannee Valley Electric Cooperative (SVEC), our principles have always been out in the open for everyone to see. They’re the same principles that guide every cooperative, and I think they give us a clear roadmap for how best to serve our consumer-members.

If you have been with the cooperative for a while, you have received a return of capital credits and know about our principle of economic participation. Many of you also take part in SVEC’s democratic process at our district and annual meetings, nominating and voting on who will represent you on our board of trustees.

One of the principles you might not think about as often is our commitment to providing education and training for consumer-members, elected officials, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the cooperative. It’s also why we send out this newsletter each month to keep you up to date on how we work.

Having the right information is important no matter what decision you are making. It’s especially important for our local farmers, whose choices at the beginning of the growing season can have a big impact on their financial prospects when it comes time to harvest.

Many of them turn to the agents and staff of their county extension office for help. These local experts provide insight into the research being done at land grant universities and how farmers can use it to solve problems on their land.

Even if you don’t run a farm, the county extension has a lot to offer, from homebuyer assistance to weight management and diabetes prevention programs. You can learn more about the Suwannee County Extension and how it can be a valuable resource for you in this month’s newsletter.

You can also learn about this year’s SVEC scholarship recipients. Ever since the board of trustees established SVEC’s scholarship program in 2015, we have been proud to support continuing education for graduating seniors in our community. This year, we were once again able to award $1,000 scholarships to 11 local students. Congratulations to all of our recipients, and best of luck as you continue your education.

Finally, I’d like to remind everyone that May is National Electrical Safety Month. I encourage all of you to set aside some time to reinforce the importance of electrical safety with your family. If you’re looking for safety tips to share with your kids and guidelines for around the house, visit the “Safety” tab on our website for the latest recommendations. Stay safe, and thank you for reading.

Michael S. McWaters