As the class of 2013 accepts their diplomas, the world (or at least Mom, Dad, Grandma, Pop and other friends and family) is watching. The passage from high school to whatever comes next carries excitement and hesitation.
Some will head to college, some to work, some into marriage and some to an obscure corner of the world. Whatever the choice, people will no doubt weigh in with solicited and unsolicited advice.
Those who watch us grow from a young age probably feel as though they hold a golden nugget of knowledge for our success. Maybe. Maybe not. Life is a journey where we learn to expect the unexpected and surprises; twists and turns are ahead.
Graduation is a lifelong experience. Babies graduate from diapers to pull-ups. Kids graduate from training wheels to speed bikes. Students graduate from high school. Moms and dads make the passage from parent to grandparent ... and so on. Each transition carries the opportunity to take our past experiences and put them to work in the next stage.
Being an electric cooperative that has been around since 1939 does not make us immune to the challenge of change. Today’s electric cooperative may have the same name as the one that served your great-grandparents, but a closer look shows many differences brought about by changing times.
True. Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative is still not-for-profit and member-owned. Yes. We still have a dedication and responsibility to bring you the best possible electric service at a low cost. Positively. MLEC’s goal is to bring a better way of life and more benefits to those we serve. You bet. We still communicate with our members to keep them updated with MLEC’s activities.
On the flip side, MLEC has had to graduate from some of the ways we used to accomplish these commitments to meet what members need today. Transitions were not meant as a way to leave our strong foundation. Instead, they help us adapt to a changing environment and membership.
Take meter-reading for example. Years ago the process was lengthy but “spot on” for the time. MLEC used meter books, pencils, trucks, fuel, legs and fingers to generate monthly statements. Now, with our automated meter infrastructure, it is pretty much done by pushing a few buttons.
Communication is another. We still reach out to our members through this magazine, billing messages and releases to local papers and radio. These are tried-and-true practices we still embrace. However, today we also utilize email, our website, Facebook and other electronic methods of communication for those who prefer to get their news in this form.
Ah, change. Class of 2013, get ready. Some of life’s biggest adventures are ahead.
MLEC’s advice? Be innovative and accountable. Always choose integrity. Last but not least, be committed to those in your circle. With these values guiding your decisions, you’ll pass from one stage to another with great success.
Best of luck!
President and CEO,
Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative