The Cooperative Way

Posted: October 1, 2019 at 7:00 am

By the community, for the community

When you think of October, crisp autumn days and beautiful fall foliage naturally come to mind.

But the month is notable for another reason: October is National Cooperative Month. This annual occasion is a good time for us to recognize and celebrate the many ways electric co-ops are unique.

Roanoke Electric Co-op was built by the people living here in our community more than 80 years ago. They were the farmers, small, independent business owners, educators and others, who came together to provide electricity after large, investor-owned utilities refused to do so. Those individuals, many of whom were the grandparents or great grandparents of our member-owners today, were conveners for the common good.

Today, your co-co-op is still the convener for the common good. Your co-op exists to provide you safe, reliable and affordable energy. Equally important, we also exist to enhance the quality of life for the people and diverse communities we serve.

As a co-op, Roanoke Electric is well-suited to meet the needs of these communities. The members of the co-op’s board of directors, who establish our strategic priorities and govern what we do, are part of these communities. They are member-owners just like you, who volunteer and are elected to their position by fellow co-op member-owners.

Like all cooperative businesses, Roanoke Electric Co-op is guided by seven principles:

  • Voluntary and open membership
  • Democratic member control
  • Members’ economic participation
  • Education, training and information
  • Autonomy and independence
  • Cooperation among cooperatives
  • Concern for community

The principle, “concern for community,” is woven deeply into our outreach programs, such as Operation RoundUp and Bright Ideas, as well as our various economic development initiatives.

These and other co-op programs and services that benefit the community are made possible because of you. With your support, we are all empowered to improve the quality of life in our communities.

This month, as we recognize the cooperative business model and the principles that make co-ops unique, Roanoke Electric pledges to remain steadfast in its role as the convener for the common good. The cooperative way of doing business that we embrace is and will always be a collective effort by the community, for the community.

Curtis Wynn
President & CEO