CEO Message – January 2021

New year, new approach

Les MorelandAt Wiregrass Electric Cooperative (WEC), we constantly evaluate our operations to ensure that we serve our members to the best of our abilities.

We analyze our technologies and workflow so members receive consistent electrical service. We train and encourage our member services representatives to respond quickly and compassionately whenever a member encounters any issue. We even consider new and better ways to invest in our communities, whether economically, culturally, or otherwise.

This spirit of evaluation prepares us to implement changes when needed — whether they arise out of necessity or simply to better the cooperative. Members will see the fruits of one of those adjustments in the coming months.

Late last year, the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives decided it could not safely conduct the annual Montgomery Youth Tour in 2021 due to coronavirus concerns. The Youth Tour program, which educates high school juniors about our state’s history and electric cooperatives’ role in it, is one of the highlights of our year.

The decision was disheartening — but it didn’t deter us. Our staff worked to develop an alternative plan, and it was unanimously approved by our board.

WEC will conduct its own version of a Youth Tour, though little travel will be involved and it will stay local. The 10 high school juniors selected for the tour will learn about WEC and our local area in various presentations. They also will receive another great benefit: All who are selected for the tour will receive a $1,500 scholarship, thanks to the generosity of our board of trustees.

“The Youth Tour always creates meaningful experiences and builds long-lasting relationships between the chosen delegates,” says WEC Manager of Communications and Public Relations Jennifer Ward. “We are thankful we can adapt the program so it emulates past experiences and provides for the education of tomorrow’s leaders.”

For more details on the new Youth Tour, see our article on our My Hometown Power page.

While the Youth Tour will change for 2021, our commitment to better serving you will not. A significant event in November shows that commitment.

We commissioned a new substation in the Fadette community near Slocomb, and the project dramatically improves our service in the area. It also provides economic development opportunities and a safer working environment for our personnel.

You can read more about the substation project on our Alabama Living page. We thank our energy provider, PowerSouth Energy Cooperative, for helping us invest in and create the new facility.

Most of all, we thank you, our wonderful members. Sometimes changes happen quickly, like with the Youth Tour. Sometimes they take time, like the construction of a new substation.

Through it all, you remain patient and support us. It makes implementing necessary changes — and serving you — that much easier.

Les Moreland
CEO Wiregrass Electric Cooperative