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Longtime KEC Employee takes the Helm as CEO/GM By Austin Partida


with Oklahoma Cooperative issues and leaders. He has relationships with industry leaders that, in some cases, span 30 years. He has friendships with electric coopera- tive leaders from all parts of the country through associated orga- nizations and training programs. He is extremely familiar with the National Rural Utilities Coopera- tive Finance Corporation (CFC), Federal Emergency Management Administration, Western Farmers Electric Cooperative (WFEC) and other association groups.


Tim Rodriguez might have a new title but he’s not new to Kay


Electric or a stranger to the KEC Board of Directors. Rodriguez began his Electric Cooperative career in 1983 going to work for Alfalfa Electric in Cherokee, Okla- homa. He has worked for Kay Electric Cooperative since 1989. He’s had a few title changes over his 25 years at KEC. He started as Office Manager, worked his way up to Chief Financial Of- ficer then onto his most recent title Chief Operating Officer. He’s a 1983 graduate from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor of Science in Busi- ness Administration with majors in Management Science and Computer Systems and a minor in Accounting. In the mid 90’s, Tim went back to OSU and completed all accounting and business law courses required for a degree in Accounting and eligibility to sit for the CPA exam. Rodriguez passed the CPA exam in 1998.


Rodriguez is extremely familiar 4


The Cooperator sat down with Tim Rodriguez and asked him to share a few things with the KEC mem- bers.


Cooperator: Can you share your Kay County and rural roots?


Tim: I have been in Kay County for 25 years. My wife and I have raised three children here. My aunt and uncle, Martha and the late Leo Rodriguez, were longtime educators in both Kay County and at Northern Oklahoma Col- lege. My grandfather worked in the Three Sands Oilfields. My wife and I were raised in Ellis County, Shattuck and Gage school sys- tems. My wife's family owns a cattle ranch north of Gage. We have a great appreciation for rural life. A few years ago we built a home on a few acres south of Blackwell on KEC lines. We love being back out in the country and enjoy the outdoors. Cooperator: Can you share with us what’s going on at KEC?


Tim: Currently, we are going through a major growth phase that last happened 40 years ago. This tremendous growth requires that we, through our power supplier WFEC, add substations and high voltage transmission lines. This presents challenges to manage the growth while at the same time continue to provide reliable electric service to all members. I began my career in the early eighties and remember the oil boom and bust. We must have foresight in planning and managing during this time of rapid growth. Other chal- lenges include government regula- tions, technological advancements and a changing workforce.


Cooperator: You've been part of the electric industry for over 30 years. How have your experiences groomed you to be CEO?


Tim: In my early years, we per- formed most office tasks manually with few computer applications. Linemen climbed poles as part of their regular work routine. High tech back then was a fax machine. I guess I'm aging myself, but learning things from the ground up gives you a very solid foundation in understanding why and how things are done. My close work- ing relationships with co-workers and boards has taught me a lot and made me appreciate the im- portance of others' job functions. Working through major storm events, good and bad economies, as well as applying technological advancements to improve efficien- cies, have all prepared me for my new duties.


Yo


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