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A ‘We’ Thing

You can’t do it by yourself, VMD Association chairman says


From left, George N. Goin, Wade C. House and C. Michael Sandridge form the VMD board leadership team for 2022. (Photo By: Steven Johnson)

by Steven Johnson, Staff Writer

Wade C. House remembers how he used to tote 100-pound bags of feed as a teenager to take to cows on a family dairy farm. To get the feed in the right place was not a single-person job, though; it required cooperation.

That’s when House says he first came across the idea of cooperative principles. That memory returned, he explains, when the board of directors of the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives elected him as chairman for 2022-23.

“I think about that and I think about this association,” says House, who also is chairman of the board of NOVEC. “When one of our members gets in a jam from a bad storm, what do we do? We come together and we make sure we do our utmost to help that member get back on their feet and get their lines back to serve their customers.

“That’s really what our association is about in keeping us together as a strong family and a strong team,” he says.

House will be joined on the leadership team by Vice Chairman C. Michael Sandridge, representing BARC Electric Cooperative and Secretary/Treasurer George N. Goin, representing Central Virginia Electric Cooperative.

Their election at the VMD Association’s 78th annual meeting, held in Hot Springs, Va., represented an example of the Second Cooperative Principle — Democratic Member Control.

Members of their cooperatives elected them to serve on their local boards before they moved to the association board and became part of the leadership team for 15 co-ops that range from the Cumberland Gap to the Delaware shore. (Full disclosure: the VMD Association publishes Cooperative Living.)

“It’s not a ‘me’ thing, it’s a ‘we’ thing,” House concludes. “It’s working together to benefit all of us.”