As an electric cooperative, our top priority is always to provide reliable, affordable energy to you, the consumer-members we serve. Because we are a co-op, our mission is to enrich the lives of our members and serve the long-term interests of our local community — and this mission has never been more critical than in recent months. One of the seven principles that guide all co-ops is “concern for community.” To me, this principle is the essential DNA of Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative, and it sets us apart from other electric utilities.
October is National Co-op Month, and electric cooperatives across the country are highlighting the many ways we “Power On.” Keeping this theme in mind, I recognize the essential role we play in serving a special community like ours.
Who would have fathomed in March that the COVID-19 virus would amount to a test of our community and our nation? The changing circumstances due to the pandemic have created both challenges and opportunities. Over the past several months, we’ve all been challenged to operate differently, and SVEC has stepped up to help our members and strengthen the safety net for our more vulnerable neighbors.
And while we certainly missed visiting with you in person, we found new ways to stay connected. We provided internet hotspots/broadband services in our Marion County service area, partnered with the Tennessee Valley Authority and local food banks to increase our normal donations to feed members of the community, increased social media engagement efforts, held our 81st annual meeting online and, as you will see in this edition, partnered with many community businesses, organizations and agencies to carry on the mission of our annual Cooperative Month service to our senior members, the SVEC Senior Expos.
In an effort to protect the health of our senior population and our employees, we cannot hold the Senior Expo health and information fairs “in person” this year, but we know that our most vulnerable population is in need of much of the information that we usually provide during these events. In exploring how we could accomplish this goal, we reached out to businesses and agencies that normally participate as exhibitors and speakers. They came back with the suggestion of recording our speakers and airing the content on local access television where available and on the SVEC website and social media. See the following pages for more information on our 2020 virtual Senior Expos.
I tell you about all of these efforts not to boast about Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative but to explain how much we care about this community — because we live here, too.
We’ve seen other local businesses rising to meet similar challenges during this time because that’s what communities do. While the challenges caused by COVID-19 have been daunting, I’m heartened to see how everyone is pulling together.
In 1939, Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative was built by the community to serve the community, and that’s what we’ll continue to do — Power On.