CEO’s Message – October 2022

Working for you in a changing world

Les Moreland headshotThe founding of Wiregrass Electric Cooperative in 1939 brought a revolution to a farming area dotted with small towns and rural homes. Where large for-profit power companies saw a place unworthy of investment, residents who appreciated the potential of electrification created this member-driven co-op, a cornerstone responsible for decades of residential and commercial growth.

Times have changed. While the Wiregrass remains rural, the region has grown, adding industry, businesses and residents. But even in changing times, WEC’s mission remains as rock solid as the day the cooperative was founded — meeting the needs of our members.

For example, engaging our elected officials is a point of emphasis. They keep us informed about relevant developments at the local, state and federal levels. Meanwhile, these positive relationships create opportunities for WEC to advocate on behalf of our members and communities.

As part of building these connections, we create opportunities for members and our leadership team to meet with elected representatives at events like Conversations with Coach. WEC was a proud sponsor of this event hosted by the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce. During the gathering, U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville took time out his busy schedule in Washington, D.C., to share updates and insights on issues important to our great nation and our members.

Serving on the agriculture committee, Tuberville supports family farms and the agricultural industry. He also uses his position on the veterans committee to advocate for service members and vertical lift training programs at Fort Rucker, the Army Aviation Center of Excellence. These efforts are vital, because farming and the military are huge drivers of the

Wiregrass economy, creating thousands of jobs and contributing billions of dollars to our area. WEC’s work, however, goes beyond a single event. Our team members take key leadership roles throughout the community. During the last year, WEC Chief Operating Officer Brad Kimbro served as the chairman of the chamber of commerce’s board. We thank Brad for taking the helm to help provide valuable input to board decisions that benefit our members and the greater Wiregrass area.

WEC even hosts its own events designed to aid our community-driven efforts. Our inaugural golf tournament benefiting the Operation Round Up Foundation epitomizes this cooperative’s concern for the community. We’re excited about the tournament’s successful debut and look forward to making it an annual tradition that will uplift the Wiregrass through Operation Round Up grants to worthy causes.

The Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce hosted the Conversations with Coach luncheon. Participants included, from left, WEC Board of Trustees members Danny McNeil and John Clark Jr.; U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville; WEC COO Brad Kimbro; and WEC Trustee Randy Odom.

These are only a few examples of how your co-op continues its decades-long mission. In this issue, you’ll read about our new Safety Legacy campaign. We plan to use this campaign to communicate WEC’s long-standing safety goals and inspire workers to make safety on the job their own personal goal.

Finally, I hope you’ll participate in this year’s annual meeting by tuning into Facebook at noon on Oct. 21 for a progress report. I’d also encourage you to read the 2022 Annual Report mailed to your address. It’s a chance to learn about the many ways that WEC benefits you. The theme of this year’s meeting is Working for Everyone — a sentiment as strong now as it was when the first power poles went into the ground more than 80 years ago.

Les Moreland
CEO Wiregrass Electric Cooperative