CEO Message — February 2020

Learn about those who serve you

Les MorelandWiregrass Electric Cooperative (WEC) is entering its 81st year, and we’ve seen many changes in that time. Electricity has gone from a luxury to a bedrock of our society. However, one thing has been constant — providing great service to our members. We’ve done that since the beginning, and we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

For 80 years, WEC has done everything it can to go above and beyond to serve you. One way we accomplish this is by making safety a priority. That means making sure our employees work safely so they can go home each night to their families and then return the next day to serve you.

WEC was proud to once again be selected to present our “Wiregrass Way” safety campaign during the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Safety Leadership Summit in Orlando, Florida. You can read more about the campaign in our Safety Campaign to be Highlighted at NRECA Meeting article.

WEC also serves you by working to improve the community we all live in. We do that through our Operation Round Up Charitable Foundation. One of the ways the foundation helps the Wiregrass is by providing scholarships to deserving high school seniors. If you know a high school senior who would be interested in applying for a scholarship, let them know about it.

This is just a small sample size of what we do. We do all of these things because we want to serve you.

You can read our Moving for the Military article, where we also spotlight Jeff Coleman, who is a WEC member and a great citizen of the Wiregrass who knows how to serve this area. He has done so much for this community through his company, Coleman Worldwide Moving, and through his charitable contributions.

You can read about the many ways he has served the U.S. Army, including his recently concluded two-year stint as a civilian aide to the secretary of the Army. He was one of 118 people nationwide who might occupy that role at any one time, and he did a fantastic job in this role advocating for our soldiers. He made the Wiregrass area and his cooperative very proud.

Another important component of our February 2020 issue of Alabama Living is a four-page legislative map with all legislators pictured and information about each. We do this legislative issue annually with AREA, our statewide partner. AREA does an excellent job of sharing information with our members in this magazine’s statewide pages while we work to enhance this coverage in our local pages with articles that touch on issues of particular interest to people living in the Wiregrass region.

I can’t stress how important it is for you as a cooperative member and a U.S. citizen to know who is representing you and what they stand for. I encourage all members to look over our Alabama Living magazine.

I dare say that no industry is affected to a greater degree by the actions of our state and federal government than the electric cooperative industry. That’s one of the reasons you often see legislative updates in the pages of our magazine. We believe it is our responsibility to keep you informed on issues that could affect the cost and availability of electricity in rural America.

Legislative updates have also been important during our Broadband for the Wiregrass efforts. We, along with our partner Troy Cable, work very hard to bring broadband to every WEC member. But ultimately, we are going to need help in Montgomery and Washington to make that happen. It’s important we have legislators who understand electric cooperatives and rural America. This is why WEC is involved with the legislative process. This is why we help produce a legislative issue of Alabama Living and why we share information about WEC and this industry with our elected officials. We want to make sure that they know their decisions will impact you.

I encourage you to get involved, as well. Read our news articles, learn about electric cooperatives, and make your concerns known to elected officials. It can make a difference.

Les Moreland
CEO Wiregrass Electric Cooperative