CEO Message – April 2022

Your Cooperative Network

Brandon Wittman headshotLinework takes commitment. It’s not just a job, it’s truly a lifestyle. The long hours and need for ever-present hazard recognition can take a toll. In fact, being a line worker is listed in the top 10 most dangerous jobs in the United States. If you see our crews out and about, tell them hello and thank you as National Lineman Appreciation Day is April 18, 2022.

Linemen are quite often the first responders during storms and other catastrophic events, working to make the scene safer for other public safety officers. The lineman in the field works with high voltage, typically atop power poles, and can be called anytime 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They keep the electricity flowing and keep the infrastructure of our energy system strong. Linemen do their job out in the open – whether it’s restoring power after a natural disaster, maintaining our existing lines, or installing new services. Our incredible group of line workers are crucial members of the communities they live in and serve. They are fathers, coaches, volunteer firefighters, mentors, and neighbors. I’m personally very proud of the team we have built at Yellowstone Valley Electric Cooperative (YVEC). Our Operations employees are second to none. While linemen work in highly visible public settings, there are many people behind the scenes that also labor tirelessly to keep the lights on.

It is the responsibility of our Engineering and Operations departments to ensure that the overall system is efficient and well maintained. This team is responsible for planning ahead for future needs and continually monitoring existing equipment and resources.

Three lineworkersAn equally important area of focus is safety. Working with electricity is an inherently dangerous task and helping foster a culture of safety for all workers is top priority.

The Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) are the first point of contact for most members. They welcome our new members to the Co-op and answer calls and questions regarding billing and various account inquiries. They also work with members to set up new service appointments, report outages, service orders, and billing. Our CSRs answer over 40,000 phone calls annually.

The Marketing and Member Services department is responsible for the various programs we offer our members from rebates to scholarships and much more. This department is also responsible for our local Rural Montana magazine, the Annual Membership Meeting, internal and external communications, along with community outreach and volunteering. The various programs and information can be found at
The Accounting department helps with the financial well-being of Yellowstone Valley Electric Cooperative. This includes monthly financial reports, paying invoices, loans, power bills, capital credits, and other expenditures. Financial planning and investing are also key to this department.

Many different people and departments work closely together to serve you, the member. You are at the heart of everything we do. The electricity that we provide literally powers our communities. It takes every person in the co-op to deliver on this promise. YVEC, along with 900 other electric cooperatives across the country, provide safe, reliable, and technologically advanced service to 40 million Americans while maintaining a unique member-focused approach to business.

Brandon J. Wittman
Chief Executive Officer and General Manager