It is hard to believe it has been 25 years since I was hired by an electric cooperative. At the time, I didn’t realize the difference between a cooperative, investor-owned or municipal utility. All I knew was I had an outstanding opportunity with good pay, great benefits and a strong team to work with.
I was surprised to learn how widespread the cooperative business model is and how cooperatives can be found in almost every industry. Some companies that you might not have realized include Ocean Spray, Sunkist, Cabot Creamery, Ace Hardware and Land O’Lakes, to name a few.
It didn’t take me long to understand what a special business model I was a part of, and how different it was to be owned by our members. Serving our members was the focus of our decisions and the programs we developed. Wherever possible, we found ways for them to save money, get a needed service and use electricity more efficiently. All of our employees were involved in the communities we served as leaders, volunteers, coaches and Sunday school teachers, while raising their families. The only way you could be a director on the board is if you were a member and elected by the members.
October is National Co-op Month, so it gives me an opportunity to recognize this special business model that I am fortunate to be a part of. What a blessing it is to be part of the Association with 15 member cooperatives in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware that do whatever they can to help the more than 700,000 member-owners they serve.
Brian S. Mosier, President & CEO
Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives