Most consumers would not equate active involvement in their electric company with helping their community. But West Florida Electric Cooperative (WFEC) is not an ordinary utility company. We’re a co-op, and our business model is meant to serve the members and the community in which it operates – not to make a healthy profit for investors five states away. WFEC’s customers are more than consumers, they are members of the cooperative. And herein lies the difference.
Our core purpose and mission is to provide safe, reliable and affordable power to our members. But as a co-op, we are motivated by service to the community, rather than profits. After meeting our annual expenses, we invest the extra money back into the co-op and the wider community. We depend on the guidance and perspective of our members and board to help set priorities for the co-op and guide governance decisions. The purpose of our annual meeting is to give members a voice in co-op matters, which impact the membership as a whole. Our board of trustees is comprised of members who live and work in our service area because they are in a position to know where community investments are most needed.
West Florida Electric is controlled by members who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. This is why we value your participation in our annual meeting, held each year in April, and in other co-op events.
We'd like to take this opportunity to invite you to our upcoming Annual Meeting/Member Appreciation Day on April 28. You'll find more details about it in the article on pages 4 & 5. WFEC has numerous ongoing programs that impact the community. Every summer, for example, we participate in Youth Tour and take local high school students to the nation’s capital to meet with lawmakers, enabling students to learn first-hand how our democracy works. You learned more about Youth Tour in last month’s Current Light Flashes publication. In addition, we support many local non-profit organizations, our schools and sports programs. But, the decisions and criteria for determining these programs are based on member guidance and feedback.
We recognize the vital role West Florida Electric Cooperative plays in energizing our local economy. But to continue to innovate and more effectively serve the community, we rely on you, our members, to provide guidance. We value your perspective, and we cannot operate effectively and help our community thrive without you.