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not customer M


Member,


Northeast Connect ion is published monthly to communicate with the members of Northeast Oklahoma Electric Cooperative.


any businesses use the word “member” to describe their customers. Places like Sam’s


Club or Costco and even American Express like to refer to their customers as members. You pay a fee to buy their goods and services, but that is really all you get for the “membership.” No right to vote for the Board of Trustees or to parƟ cipate in any meaningful way in the organizaƟ on.


In cooperaƟ ves like Northeast Oklahoma Electric, membership really does mean something more than just the right to buy electricity. Co-ops of all types are founded on seven cooperaƟ ve principles that give us guidance and strategic direcƟ on. Membership also gives you rights as an owner of this co-op.


Offi cers and Trustees


PRESIDENT - Dandy A. Risman, District 5 VICE PRESIDENT - John L. Myers, District 4


SECRETARY-TREASURER- Benny L. Seabourn, District 2


ASST. SECRETARY-TREASURER - Everett L. Johnston, District 3 Harold W. Robertson, District 1 Sharron Gay, District 6


James A. Wade, District 7 Bill R. Kimbrell, District 8 Jimmy Caudill, District 9


Management Team Anthony Due, General Manager Cindy Hefner Manager of Public RelaƟ ons


Larry Cisneros, P.E., Manager of Engineering Services Susanne Frost, Manager of Offi ce Services Cindy Hefner, Manager of Public Relations Tim Mixson, Manager of Operations


Connie Porter, Manager of Financial Services


BreƩ Fairbairn is the director of the Center for the Study of Co-operaƟ ves at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada. He makes the case that member relaƟ ons is not just part of what co-ops should be doing, but in fact is the fundamental core business of the cooperaƟ ve.


He further lays out the three strategic concepts that any co-op must get right in order to survive and thrive:


Economic Ɵ es Northeast Oklahoma Electric is connected to you. There is a business relaƟ onship that serves you (the member) and the co-op. Since co-ops are solely owned by people in the community, they have a mutual interest to ensure that both the co-op and the member do well and prosper.


Transparency


As an owner of the co-op, you have a right to know how it operates and how decisions are made that directly impact you. If the co-op is transparent and combines this trait with integrity and fairness, it will build trust with the members.


CogniƟ on In this case, cogniƟ on is best de⇒ ned as how your co-op thinks. It includes the current and historical idenƟ ty, the mission and the sense of shared values with co-op members. Research, educaƟ on and training are criƟ cal funcƟ ons that Northeast Oklahoma Electric must conduct on an ongoing basis to ensure that we always have the best informaƟ on to make decisions.


The cooperaƟ ve business model is the best one on earth, but like any enterprise, it is up to the human beings who work at the co-op, those that serve on the board, and the members like you to ensure that the principles and values do not fade over Ɵ me.


First and foremost, Northeast Oklahoma Electric strives to be thought of as a member-owned cooperaƟ ve that gives you the best value of any uƟ lity. If we succeed, our community thrives and you will always value being a member – not a customer.


Vinita headquarters: Four and a half miles east of Vinita on Highway 60/ 69 at 27039 South 4440 Road. Grove offi ce: 212 South Main.


Business hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Offi ces are closed Saturday, Sunday and holidays. Available 24 hours at: 1-800-256-6405


If you experience an outage: 1. Check your switch or circuit breaker in the house and on the meter pole to be sure the trouble is not on your side of the service.


2. When contacting the cooperative to report an outage, use the name as it appears on your bill, and have both your pole number and account


number ready.


Please direct all editorial inquiries to Communications Specialist Clint Branham at 800-256-6405 ext. 9340 or email clint.branham@neelectric.com.


This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.


If you wish to fi le a Civil Rights program complaint of dis- crimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found on-line at http:/ / www.ascr.usda. gov/ complaint_fi ling_cust.html, or at any USDA offi ce, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information request- ed in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Offi ce of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Av- enue, S. W. , Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at program. intake@usda.gov.


July 2016 - 3


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