This will be my last message, as I am officially retiring after 35 years of working for this wonderful organization. My last day will be January 8.
It really doesn’t seem like October of 1983 was that long ago, when I started working for the cooperative. At the age of 29 I wasn’t looking for a job, I was looking for a career. And here I am, having turned 65 this past December, able to say I have completed a very blessed career.
When I headed off to college after graduating from Avery High School, my goal was to coach basketball. My hope was to someday coach in my hometown. I not only loved the idea of coaching the game, but helping young people succeed in life as well.
Opportunities in the business world led me away from college and coaching, but it turned out that the desire to lead a team and help people develop was just as useful in business as it was in sports.
I came to Kaufman in 1979 while working in the cable television business. One night at a football game I had a conversation with Ray Raymond, the longtime general manager of Kaufman County Electric Cooperative, which is now Trinity Valley Electric Cooperative. Ray mentioned the possibility of an opening at the cooperative that I might be interested in.
When the opportunity of working for the cooperative presented itself, I was excited. I was familiar with the electric cooperatives that served much of the area I grew up in. My dad was a rural mail carrier, and I recall him talking about how the lives of people changed when the Rural Electricfication Administration built the power lines that brought power to folks who needed it so badly. There are many people today who still refer to electric cooperatives as the REA.
I am a big believer in the cooperative business model. The fact that the cooperative is owned and democratically controlled by the members it serves makes it unique and special. It is a business model that has stood the test of time.
I have been so fortunate to work for and appreciate the seven elected directors of this cooperative. Their guidance and support has been more that I could have ever asked for. The board’s commitment to looking out for the best interests of the membership is immeasurable. The privilege I have had to work alongside such dedicated and talented employees has made this 35-year career an absolute joy. I can’t thank them enough for their efforts each and every day they come to work.
And to you, the member-owners of this great organization, it has been the highest honor to serve as your general manager/CEO for the past ten years.
I have said of late that it seems like yesterday I was walking along the sands of the Blue Lagoon, and now I find myself sitting on the dock of the Golden Pond!
What a journey it has been.
Best wishes to you all.