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December 2014


Christmas Season Places Focus


on the Most Important Values As we go through the holiday seasons of Thanksgiving and Christmas there are always a lot of emotions and expectations. Sometimes we both love and dread all the hoopla and tradi- tions of the holidays. Most of our frame of reference concerning this time of the year is directly tied to relationships – family, job, church, friends, etc. In our family, this holiday season is the first for two new additions to our family: my new grandchild and my newest daughter-in-law. It is also the first holiday season after the loss of some dear friends and family. All of those experiences help shape the way we approach the holidays.


pal, city-owned utilities and investor owned utilities. Our purpose when SWRE was created in 1937 was to serve those members who investor owned utilities or cities would not serve.


I have also learned as I approach my 65th birthday this year, that all that “stuff” that we take so seriously really may not be that important in the end. Health (both spiritual and physi- cal) along with your relationships with those you love becomes very important when you are faced with the losses we experience throughout our life. The life purpose we pursued in our youth may not be the true-life purpose that has materialized in our later years. Discovering your purpose and realizing that purpose in life is priceless.


The same can be said for our cooperative. Rural cooperatives were created and serve their members differently than munici-


Still today, many rural residents like myself would not have elec- tricity if our cooperative did not exist. Of course municipals and IOUs would like to serve some of SWRE’s areas today because they finally see some of those areas as profitable. I have always felt that if I was too ugly for them to dance with me at the begin- ning, I really don’t want to dance with them at all!! However, co-ops also depend on those relationships developed among the membership. Sure, those members who remember the lights coming on because of SWRE in the 1930s and ‘40s are very loyal members. Frankly, many of our newer members don’t care about when the lights came on – they want power for the best price possible when the switch is flicked on. At SWRE, we want to develop that member relationship with all of our mem- bers!


In a recent survey sent out by


Western Farmers Electric Coop- erative (our power provider), 541 of you responded to the lengthy written survey. Based on the number of surveys that were sent out, that ended up being a 21% return rate – phenomenal as


by Mike R. Hagy


surveys go in this day and time. The average of the questions dealing with satisfaction ratings were in the middle nineties – a very high member satisfaction score, which was much appreci- ated. We realize that we are not going to please all members all of the time, but how our members perceive the cooperative is important.


In the past few months we have added a Facebook page, mobile apps, expanded website access, and additional newsletter publica- tions to try to keep all of our members informed, whether they are new or longtime and whether they reside in Texas or Okla- homa. We want to fulfill our purpose as a cooperative – so that you have a chance to pursue whatever purpose your current life path is guiding you toward. Celebrate the holidays with those who are new and remem- ber to honor the memories of those we have lost. Try not to get bogged down with all the “stuff” that ultimately doesn’t matter, and grasp the opportunity to demon- strate the love that is ultimately the “Reason for the Season.” I am honored to serve each


you. On behalf of SWRE employees,


staff, and trustees have a Happy Holiday!


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