Commentary Celebrating the co-op business model E

Chris Meyers General Manager, Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives

very October, we take time to celebrate the cooperative

business model and the impact it has made in our nation, states and communities. When I think of this fitting

designation, it reminds me of celebrating someone’s birthday. On your birthday, your friends and loved ones take time to remind you of how special you are to them. They celebrate your life and the gifts you bring. It’s no different with National Cooperative Month; we are proud of the long-lasting con- tributions co-ops have had in the past, but also the contributions they continue to have today, making our lives better. From electric co-ops to dairy, food, credit unions, news services, agricultural, childcare services and more, co-ops are a vital part of our commu- nities’ economic growth and quality of life. Numbers do tell a story, and the numbers provided by the University of Wisconsin- Madison Center for Cooperatives share how crucial cooperatives are in our nation. According to Center’s research, approximate- ly 40,000 cooperatives operate in the United

States. What’s more, Americans hold 350 million memberships in cooperatives. Your rural electric cooperative is a part of this big picture. In Oklahoma, 30 electric co-ops are com- mitted to delivering safe, reliable and afford- able electricity to more than 550,000 consumers. Managing the right mix of assets in a complex industry to deliver power in a safe, environmentally responsible, affordable and reliable manner is the electric coopera- tives’ mission, but it doesn’t stop here. Electric cooperatives want to be more than your electric utility. They want to be invested partners in the local communities they serve because it’s their community, too, and they genuinely care for the communities’ prosper- ity and well-being. From youth programs, to energy audits, to scholarships, aiding in safe- ty education and enabling economic growth, co-ops are invested in seeing their communi- ties soar. So, just like celebrating someone’s birth-

day, we take a day to celebrate them, but we actually show our appreciation for them ev- ery day. In the same manner, I invite you to celebrate the benefi ts that your electric coop- erative brings to you, not only this month, but every day of the year.

The loss of one of our own R

Larry Hicks President, Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives

of our co-op family.

In the electric cooperative industry, safety is of utmost importance. Electricity is a powerful force. Electric cooperatives have established a strong culture of safety to ensure linemen return back home to their families every night. Howev- er, accidents can still happen, and the pain they leave behind is unimaginable. Ronnie Moore, 45, will be dearly missed. Our prayers go to his wife Shawna, son Blake and daughter-in-law Kelli, their two children, Elijah and Adeline, and all of their extended family.


ed River Valley Rural Electric Association and the co-op fam-

ily experienced a tragedy on August 16 when we lost a lineman who came into contact with a high voltage line. This loss has brought tremendous sadness to all

Ronnie was a positive infl uence on all around him. He was a very civic-minded person, serving in his church and community. He loved help- ing young people at church and in school. He announced the football and basketball games for the Marietta Indians. He also served on the school board and desired to make the community a better place to live. The older we get, the more we realize that life is fragile. We don’t want to lose our young ones for they are our future. We want them to be better than us; we see them carrying on after we are gone. When they go before their time as we see it, a part of us dies with them and a part of them lives on forever in our hearts. We cling to those who are left even more. We look deeper into ourselves. We have to be positive trusting in the Lord to help us through the loss of our loved ones. Psalms 37:18 says, “The Lord knows the days of the upright, and their inheritance shall be forever.” Hug your family tight; we’re never guaranteed tomorrow. May God bless you.

Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives

Chris Meyers, General Manager Larry Hicks, President

Tim Smith, Vice-President Brent Bacon, Secretary Gary Roulet, Treasurer


Sid Sperry, Director of PR & Communications

Anna Politano, Editor

Hayley Leatherwood, Multimedia Specialist

Macey Turley, Advertising Manager

Kirbi Mills, Director of Admin. Services

Hillary Barrow, Admin. Services Assistant

Jenna Mazzoccoli, Editorial Intern

Editorial, Advertising and General Offi ces P.O. Box 54309, Oklahoma City, OK 73154 Phone (405) 478-1455

Oklahoma Living online: Subscriptions

$3.48 per year for rural electric cooperative members.

$7 per year for non-members. Cooperative Members: Report change of

address to your local rural electric cooperative. Non-Cooperative Members: Send address

changes to Oklahoma Living, P.O. Box 54309, Oklahoma City, OK 73154-1309.

Oklahoma Living (ISSN 1064-8968),

USPS 407-040, is published monthly for consumer-members of Oklahoma’s rural electric cooperatives by the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives, 2325 E. I-44 Service Road, P.O. Box 54309, Oklahoma City, OK 73154-1309.

Circulation this issue: 328,949

Periodical postage paid at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. POSTMASTER: Send all UAA to CFS.

The Oklahoma Association of Electric

Cooperatives is a statewide service organization for the following electric cooperatives: Alfalfa, Arkansas Valley, Canadian Valley, Central, Choctaw, Cimarron, CKenergy, Cookson Hills,

Cotton, East Central Oklahoma, Golden Spread, Harmon, Indian, KAMO Power, Kay, Kiamichi, Lake Region, Northeast Oklahoma, Northfork, Northwestern, Oklahoma, Ozarks, People’s,

Red River Valley, Rural, Southeastern, Southwest Rural, Tri-County, Verdigris Valley, and Western Farmers Electric Cooperative.

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