Sonya Reece, Sam Houston Electric Cooperative accountant, recently earned the Cooperative Financial Professional Certificate offered by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation.
“The program enables attendees to learn concepts and practices needed to think beyond the data and successfully position their co-ops for the future,” said Joe Conner, Sam Houston EC chief financial officer.
Reece researched and developed solutions to identify strategic opportunities while integrating financial expertise and business stewardship practices to achieve business results.
“Employee development is crucial to the future success of the cooperative,” Conner said. “Employees furthering their development through more job-related education plays a big role in their development, and I would encourage anyone with the appetite to learn and grow as an employee and person to investigate their options.”
Reece also completed a capstone project, which allowed her to apply the knowledge and skills acquired during the financial professional certificate program.
“I evaluated the cooperative’s line extension policy, specifically the cost estimation that is used to determine what portion or amount a member is responsible for on a new service request,” Reece said. “I looked at the variance in the estimated versus actual cost for both material and labor. It was important to look at material cost because of the effect the pandemic had on the supply chain and the growth the co-op is experiencing.”
Earning the CFPC is just one way that Reece has continued her education to provide better service to the cooperative and its members. She also earned a master’s degree in business administration from Western Governors University in 2021.
“I look at things with a different perspective now due to this continued education,” Reece said. “I see it from a wider perspective. It gave me insight into the manager’s point of view.”