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Relationships

Relationships (1)

Article was added on Sunday, January 01, 2017

One of the greatest aspects of working for an electric cooperative is the relationships.  There is a closeness here that you will be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.  The Board of Trustees, the employees, and the members - we all live in the same communities, go to the same churches, shop at the same grocery stores, and cheer for the same little league teams.  I do not think I would ever like working for a large utility … because I would lose all of that.  Let me give you a couple of examples.

Hurricane Matthew hit us all very hard, but the cooperation and fellowship that followed were truly wonderful.  I had a lot of opportunity to get out in the field during our restoration efforts, and the outpouring of appreciation and encouragement that I saw was a true blessing during a very difficult time.  Just in the area my team was working in, I saw a church dedicate their announcement sign to encouraging all passers-by to pray for the safety of the linemen.  School children made us cards, some wonderful folks were kind enough to feed us a fine meal at a local community center, and people stopped us left and right to offer food and drinks to us.  I am certain that what I saw was repeated many times over throughout our territory.  I would like to say thank you - from the bottom of my heart - for every act of kindness you showed to the SEC employees.

Although the storm kept us from having all of them during October, we were able to have a very successful Member Appreciation event at all five of our locations before the end of 2016.  I was thrilled to be able to attend all of them.  In fact, if you got a hot dog, I was probably the guy on the grill!  The opportunity to spend time with the membership was truly good for all of us.  I was so fortunate to have an abundance of volunteers from the Santee Electric team to work those events, and we thoroughly enjoyed it.  On many occasions, people would stop and ask how much we were charging or what we were selling.  The reaction - when we simply said "It's free.  We just want you to know that we appreciate you." - was beyond words.  Our society, as a whole, could use more of that.  No charge - just because we appreciate you.

We hope to be able to make these Member Appreciation events a regular occurrence.  I hope that 2017 is treating you well.  I hope that you realize how much we appreciate you, how much we appreciate your support, and how much we appreciate … the relationship.  Have a wonderful month!

Robert G. Ardis III
President and Chief Executive 0fficer


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