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Choctaw Electric Cooperative BOARD OF TRUSTEES


It’s Time To Get Back on Track


Improving communication, regaining member trust, top list of priorities for Choctaw Electric Cooperative


t goes without saying that the past two years have been challenging for everyone at Choctaw Electric Cooperative (CEC). By everyone, I mean CEC members, employees, board and management. My appointment as CEC’s interim manager one month ago is a result of frustrations, multiple missteps, and I’m sorry to say, misinformation, put forth by both sides of a very sensitive issue.


I cHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER BY JOE HARRIS


On one hand we have CEC member- owners who felt discounted as they sought explanations for everything from co-op policy to electric rates. On the other, we have CEC management, board members and employees who felt attacked and often misunderstood. Fueling the frustrations was the absence of one of the most basic components of all successful relationships—communication. Without open and honest communication, the void is filled with speculation, assumption and mistrust.


“Perhaps the first step toward restoring confidence is to recognize there is a co-op difference and you are part of it.”


prefer communicating via social media, we have restored CEC’s Facebook page and are posting the most up-to-date information there. We will also address topics in your monthly newsletter. As we proceed, please bear in mind that your co-op employees are working their tails off to provide answers to your questions while continuing to perform the many tasks involved in bringing electricity to your home. I am sorry that we may not be able to respond as quickly as you would like. Your patience and understanding are greatly appreciated.


Some of you may be wondering about


I heard someone say once that trust is like an eraser. It gets smaller every time you use it. When we offer our sincere word, and other people know they can trust us that is no small thing. We put our trust in friends and family. We also place our trust in the businesses we deal with on a daily basis. Among the many challenges ahead for Choctaw Electric is to restore confidence and trust in your cooperative. Let that begin with improved communication.


In the coming months we will be trying our best to answer your questions and provide you with information. For members who


my qualifications so let me explain: For 35 years I’ve worked in the electric cooperative field— the past 25 years as general manager of Kay Electric Cooperative in Blackwell. I am more than familiar with the co-op role in bringing electricity to rural areas and how they go about doing it. This experience has taught me many things, first and foremost that your electric co-op belongs to you. You are Choctaw Electric Cooperative, even more so than its general manager or even your board members. It may be disruptive and uncomfortable, but what CEC is currently experiencing is the co-op democratic process working precisely as it was designed to do. Perhaps the first step in restoring confidence is to recognize that there truly is a co-op difference and you are part of it. Co-op members do have the power to make change happen—just look around you.


Mike Bailey, President Bob Hodge, Vice President


Rodney Lovitt , Secretary Treasurer MEMBERS


Bill McCain Henry Baze Bob Holley


Buddy Anderson Joe Briscoe


Larry Johnson


MANAGEMENT AND STAFF Joe Harris, Chief Executive Officer Susan G. Wall, Executive Assistant Jia Johnson, Director of Public Relations Tonia Allred, Benefits Specialist


Jimmie K. Ainsworth, Director of Finance and Accounting


Jim Malone, Director of Operations Darrell Ward, District Supervisor


HUGO OFFICE PO Box 758 Hwy 93 North


Hugo, Oklahoma 74743


Toll Free: (800) 780-6486 Local: (580) 326-6486 FAX (580) 326-2492


Monday-Friday • 8 am - 5 pm IDABEL OFFICE


2114 SE Washington Idabel, Oklahoma 74745


Toll Free: (800) 780-6486 Local: (580) 286-7155


Monday-Friday • 8 am - 5 pm


ANTLERS OFFICE HC 67 Box 62


Antlers, Oklahoma 74523 (One mile east of Antlers)


Toll Free: (800) 780-6486 Local: (580) 298-3201


Monday-Friday • 8 am - 5 pm On the Web:


www.choctawelectric.coop


24 Hour Outage Hotline 800-780-6486


inside•your•co-op | 3


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