I am pleased to report to you, our member-owners, that the state of Magic Valley Electric Cooperative is strong.
We are still in the midst of a pandemic, but we are dealing with it and trying to return to some form of normalcy, not only in our workplace, but also making it easier to work with our members, while staying within State and CDC guidelines.
Our commitment to safety in all aspects remains high. All in all, we have 280 employees, working inside and out in the field, and their safety, as well that of our member-owners, is our top priority. The MVEC Board and staff are committed to safety as one of our main goals. Incidentally, and something your board is very proud of, is the fact that MVEC employees have exceeded over 1.6 million hours worked without a lost-time accident, and to date, this number continues to climb. We are proud of the employees for this outstanding accomplishment!
Your board of directors was very active towards the end of 2021, selecting a new general manager and a new director for District 3. The search for our new GM started back in mid-2021, as our then General Manager, John Herrera, announced his oncoming retirement for December 2021. As you all know, Mr. Herrera had over 20 years of service to MVEC as general manager, and his shoes were hard to fill. It was an extensive search, looking at many qualified candidates from many different places. After extensive research and numerous interviews, the board found our new general manager in our very own Brian Acosta. Mr. Acosta previously served as MVEC’s Eastern Division Manager and is well versed and committed to MVEC’s excellence. Mr. Acosta became the new general manager in December, and the transition from Mr. Herrera to Mr. Acosta has been a smooth one. Mr. Acosta is doing a great job in keeping our lights on and keeping us safe while doing so. Thank you, Brian – keep up the good work!
A search for a new director for District 3 was started last year to replace Nila Wipf, after her untimely passing. We reviewed various applicants and after thoughtful deliberation and consideration, the board selected Mr. Frank Ferris to fill the vacancy for District 3. I want to thank Mr. Ferris for taking on this commitment, and I’m sure he will represent his district well.
This past February was one of the coldest on record. Reports show it was 8 to 10 degrees colder than February 2021. However, I am happy to report that we had less outages this year than last year. We learned from last year and were prepared. One of the big improvements was getting to our members faster, when needed.
Speaking of members, I want to mention one of our newer members that will soon be on line, and that is Space X. This should happen soon, and we are excited as Magic Valley will play a part in space travel. In 1937, when MVEC was founded, who would have ever imagined that this South Texas rural electric co-op would be an integral part of space travel. This is an impressive project, and we are proud to have Space X as a co-op member. However, please note, Space X may be going to outer space, but MVEC is still right here in the Rio Grande Valley, and we continue to have our focus on providing our members with safe, affordable, and reliable electricity. The stars are not blinding us from what is the original focus of MVEC, and that is you, our member-owners, and the employees that operate our cooperative on a daily basis.
We have had a busy year, as MVEC continues to grow, with over 136,000 connected members, and more than 4,700 miles of energized power lines. MVEC will always provide its member-owners with safe and reliable power at the lowest possible price with probably a little outer space power perhaps in the future.
Finally, I want to invite you to join us for your co-op’s annual meeting on April 18, 2022, at the Hynes Event Center in Mercedes. We are excited about the opportunity to host an in-person meeting once again, and your board of directors looks forward to seeing you there.