CEO Message — April 2020

Our cooperative is focused on you

Les MorelandFor more than 80 years, Wiregrass Electric Cooperative (WEC) has worked to provide leadership and be an agent for positive change in our region. It’s a role we take seriously. Part of being a leader is making sure there will be leadership for the Wiregrass in the future. That’s why WEC strives to develop those who will help our communities thrive not just today but in the years to come.

Developing the next leaders of the Wiregrass is one of the many reasons our cooperative participates in programs like Youth Tour, presents scholarships through our charitable foundation, and supports initiatives to educate students about possible careers.

We wish to foster an understanding of the cooperative model, helping today’s young people grasp the power of a system that provides affordable electricity to the place they call home. Also, we want the students in our schools to appreciate the jobs waiting for them at home. They don’t need to leave our community to find meaningful work.

One of the initiatives we support is the Southeast Alabama Worlds of Work. We look forward to this annual event because it gives our employees a chance to explain the mission of the cooperative to 5,000 eighth-graders from Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. They learn how we serve our members, the details of specific jobs, the importance of workplace safety, and more. And they have fun doing it. Please read more about this wonderful event in the April issue of Alabama Living.

The leadership breakfast is another vital aspect of the Southeast Alabama Worlds of Work, gathering the leaders of the Wiregrass to discuss the joint mission of helping our area thrive.

Each year, a guest speaker is invited to speak to this group of leaders, and this year’s message by Dr. Walter Sims, a certified life coach and pastor, resonated with me. “If ever a time or industry needed focus, it’s 2020,” he said.

He discussed a vision of leadership defined by an acronym F.O.C.U.S.:

  • Fix your eyes on your why. Why do you exist? Why are your goals what they are?
  • Own your why. People or companies waste so much time trying to be someone else when the biggest challenge should be being the best you.
  • Cut down distractions.
  • Understand if you don’t do it, it won’t get done. “The saying goes, ‘Knowledge is power.’ No, it’s the application of knowledge.”
  • Seize the moment. “Tomorrow is in the womb. Yesterday is in the tomb. Procrastination is one of the greatest tools of the enemy.”

A recent trend analysis showed that we perform as well as some of the best cooperatives in the country. We participate in this analysis because we want to make sure we provide you the service you deserve.

Another goal is to make sure we work as safely as possible, which includes keeping you safe. Later this month, our cooperative will host an emergency training exercise in conjunction with the Houston and Geneva County emergency management agencies.

This exercise is to ensure that everyone knows how to respond accordingly during an emergency, such as a school bus striking a three-phase power pole.

Because we take safety very seriously at WEC, we’ve made it an emphasis through our “The Wiregrass Way — Just enough isn’t enough” campaign. We have been asked to highlight this campaign during the National Rural Electric Cooperatives Association Safety Leadership Summit in Orlando, Florida, later this month.

You are our focus, and you are the reason why we are committed to our leadership role in the community. Helping improve your life is our goal, and we work hard to do this each and every day.

Les Moreland
CEO Wiregrass Electric Cooperative