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cooperatives, which in turn distribute the electricity to their members— businesses and homes. “WFEC provides reliable electricity at a good cost to our members,”


she says. “By doing that we are helping the community.” Having grown up in another country, Ho says she has learned the value of hard work.


“I didn’t get this opportunity easily so I always work hard and try to do my best,” she says. One of the challenges Ho has faced living in the U.S. is being far from her family.


“I miss my parents and siblings, but I have built a family here too,”


she says, noting that she and her husband have fi ve children of their own. “I have been here longer now than in Malaysia, but there’s still that piece I miss.” Ho explains that in Malaysia three generations of family members often live together. That means many families, including hers, have a tight bond. “We are taught fi lial piety from a young age. It is a very important moral and it entails a strong loyalty and deference to one’s parent,” she says. “Since family is a building block of a country we will be loyal to our country. “This value can be extended to the company we work for with loyalty and respect,” she adds.


Jose Hernandez - Mexican heritage


Jose Hernandez grew up in Oklahoma, the son of fi rst-generation Mexican immi- grants. His introduction to the electric cooperative industry was as a junior in high school. An electric co-op member,


Hernandez applied for the Youth Tour pro- gram. He won the trip to Washington, D.C., and formed valuable relationships during his weeklong trip to the nation’s capital.


After graduating from college, Hernandez remembered a conversation he had with the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives Youth Tour staff about the possibility of applying for a co-op job. Hernandez sent his resume to several co-ops and ended up working


for Northfork Electric Cooperative (NFEC) based in Sayre, Oklahoma. “I chose NFEC because it’s where I grew up and where my parents live,” he says. “Why not work for the community that raised me? I wanted to bring something back to my community.” Hernandez started out as a member services representative and cur- rently serves as supervisor of offi ce services at the co-op. He will graduate with his MBA this fall.


One of the most rewarding aspects of Hernandez’ job has been the opportunity to help those who, like his parents, speak English as a sec- ond language.


“I have always wanted to use Spanish to the advantage of the company I work for. Helping our Spanish-speaking members, who might other- wise have diffi culty understanding, has been very rewarding,” he says. Hernandez says growing up with a varied cultural background has helped him to understand people better and aids him as he communi- cates with the diverse membership base served by NFEC. “There are so many things I love about working for the co-op. It is rewarding to help bring electricity to the community and to let our members know we’re here for them.”


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