President's Message

Appreciating Co-op Roles

By Don Proctor - President, OAEC May 2022
Cotton Electric linemen
Courtesy photo | Cotton Electric Cooperative

Famous radio broadcaster Paul Harvey delivered one of my favorite speeches at the 1978 Future Farmers of America convention. Commonly known as “So God Made a Farmer,” Harvey describes in passionate detail the characteristics that make a farmer a valuable contributor to our nation. 

In beginning my year as president of the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives’ board, I have found myself reflecting on this speech and noting all the contributors and roles it takes to keep your cooperative running smoothly. I especially want to thank my predecessor, Gary Roulet, for his outstanding leadership on the board.  

I have long served as Southwest Rural Electric Association’s District 3 board trustee. I have seen employees behind the scenes giving their all, whether it be restoration efforts or community events. I continue to appreciate the privilege it is to position the cooperative to best serve future generations of consumer-members. Board trustees have many responsibilities that vary from co-op to co-op. In general, trustees guide strategic planning efforts that contribute to the overall direction of the co-op. This includes developing protocol and practices, engaging in analytical thinking and providing financial oversight.

At our core, trustees are always guided by a commitment to cooperative values and the cooperative business model. We never forget we are member-focused, and we consider each consumer-member from those first served to those at the end of the line. 

If you have interest in being a contributor to your electric cooperative, I encourage you to attend your co-op meetings, become involved in your district events and connect with your local co-op’s employees.

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