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April 2013


SWRE’s Purpose Drives Its Goals


In late January the SWRE Board and staff met for a two-day strategic planning meeting. As in past years the Board and staff reviewed prior strategic goals and formu- lated new goals for the cooperative in 2013. These goals and strategies will become the work plan for the ensuing year or long-term benchmarks for several years.


The board also participated in a brainstorming ses- sion looking at quality of life issues for our members. The session was the response to a quote taken from Glenn English, retiring CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), made in a national publication. Mr. English encouraged co-ops to rediscover their cooperative roots and to re-examine their purpose and quality of life issues that they provide for members. In our brainstorming session we attempted to list all of the quality of life issues and/or conveniences that our SWRE members still desire even though they have chosen to live in a rural setting. These items include electricity, water, internet, phone and cell phone service, cable or satellite TV, roads, security, good schools, churches, natural gas or propane service, health services, trash service, fuel for vehicles and equipment, housing opportunities, recreation and entertainment, and proximity to shopping areas, just to name a few. In short, they are all things that rural folks still want to have, and don’t want to give up just because they have chosen a rural way of living. After listing those items, we then began to cross all of those items off the list that are being adequately provided by some other group, government entity, co- operative, or business. Item by item, these things were discussed before they were crossed off the list. After about an hour of discussion we realized that some of those areas might need to be improved, but


by Mike R. Hagy


they are not areas that should or could be addressed by our cooperative. There are also areas like alternative en- ergy sources that we will continue to evaluate and study. As we looked over the list, however, one main item remained – electricity! At the end of the session we concluded that the main quality of life issue that we can provide most effectively is the core business that we have provided for the last 75 years! Our purpose is still what it was when we began in 1937 – to provide reliable, safe, and affordable power to our members, and provide that power with good service. Our cooperative will always look at ways to improve the quality of life for our members. Since our cooperative began we have been involved in economic development, youth activities, community activities, schools, political rural issues, alternative energy projects, and other con- cerns that are consistent with the cooperative principles on which we were founded. Still today, most of our members would not have electricity if our cooperative ceased to exist because stockholder-owned utilities or cities would not build 2,900 miles of line over a 6,000 square mile service area to serve an average of 2.5 meters a mile. That’s why SWRE still exists today and though


“Safety, Service, and Satisfaction – One Member at a Time” is our vision, service and electricity is still our purpose. We will continue to re-evaluate our purpose as a cooperative and we will always continue to help provide quality of life services for our members.


Spring Is Time To Service Air Conditioners


While you are doing your annual floor-to-ceiling housecleaning this spring, add one more chore: Call a qualified air conditioning technician to clean and service your system. Like anything that hasn’t been cleaned for a year, your air conditioning system can collect dirt and dust that can make it inefficient. Its filters could be clogged if you didn’t change them at the end of last cooling season. And little cracks, clogs and problems can become big ones if a service professional doesn’t catch them in time. Before it gets hot enough to run the A/C this spring, invite a tech to your home to make sure yours is in shape for summer.


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