CEO Message — June 2020

Posted: June 1, 2020, 12:00 am

Entering summer with thanksgiving.

Les MorelandIt’s hard to believe we’re approaching the halfway mark of 2020. In some ways, this year has seemed like three. In others, it feels like we just started a few days ago.

We’ve faced a pandemic, record unemployment, and fear for our families and neighbors as the coronavirus spread across our country. But Wiregrass Electric Cooperative (WEC) has adapted to deal with these new challenges. We have doubled down on our already existing practices that create a safe environment for our employees and members. And we successfully ensured our members are well-served with reliable electrical service.

During the stresses of 2020 — and the pandemic is certainly not the only one — I recall the Bible verse 1 Thessalonians 5:18, seemingly penned for moments like these: “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Jesus Christ.” Then I remember the words of an energetic, yet reverent, hymn: “Count your many blessings. Name them one by one.”

These verses inspire a spirit of thanksgiving, so I am taking a moment to name some of the things we at WEC have appreciated in the last few months.

First, we are thankful to serve some of the best people in the world, our members. Your extraordinary patience during recent storm-related outages — coupled with your social distancing efforts — shows the spirit of community and caring that makes our area special.

We are thankful for the brilliant, selfless service of those in professions like health care, emergency response, and service industries like grocery stores and delivery companies. We know many of you work in these jobs, and we are extremely proud to serve you during a challenging, stressful time.

In the spirit of Lineman Appreciation Day, which occurs this month, we are thankful for the selflessness of our linemen and all of those who support their efforts. While many of us enjoyed time with our families on Easter, for instance, some linemen spent the day responding to storm-based outages.

We are also thankful our linemen are versatile enough to educate school and community groups on how to safely interact with the electrical grid through our Education Power Station.

We are thankful for the willingness and dedication of our member services and accounting departments to assist members in tough financial times — not just during a worldwide pandemic.

They have embraced our “Just Enough Isn’t Enough” commitment when serving members. If you have any issues with service or with paying your bill, reach out to our member services department. They will help as much as possible.

We are thankful that WEC leadership, particularly from our board of trustees, has allowed development of policies to aid members in trying times. The policies reflect the heart of the very word we’re founded on: cooperative.

We are thankful state leaders such as Sen. Donnie Chesteen have supported significant investments in the expansion of rural broadband internet. We are thankful that Troy Cable has agreed to partner with us in helping connect so many of our members to high-speed services, and we are even more thankful our partnership has led to two large state grants.

We could fill our Alabama Living magazine with all of the things we at WEC cherish, but I must stop to allow you to learn about the other great things occurring in our area and our state. We are thankful we have a wonderful platform like Alabama Living to connect with you. Most of all, we’re thankful for our members, our reason for doing what we do.

Everyone at WEC is blessed to serve you.

Les Moreland
CEO Wiregrass Electric Cooperative