CEO Message – December 2022

Brandon Wittman headshotA Season of Giving

The holiday season is finally here! Some call it the most wonderful season of all. Marked by special decorations, seasonal foods, festivities, and a spirit of thankfulness, we associate this time of year with family, friends and loved ones. It is truly a time of giving and spreading joy.

Giving back reminds me of the many good things we have right here in our service territory and why it is so important to spread the good as far as we can, especially to the most vulnerable in our local communities. I’m also reminded that we live in such a wonderful area and what a big impact we can have when we work together.

Being a member of Yellowstone Valley Electric Cooperative (YVEC), you help spread the good throughout the year. Our Corporate Giving Program, scholarships, Youth Tour to D.C., community volunteer work and much more is supported by you, the members of YVEC. The absolute crown jewel of our community support is the Operation Round Up program. Your donations help local non-profit and charitable organizations, who in turn support individuals and families right here in YVEC’s service area.

When you “round up” your monthly statement from YVEC and donate to this fund, you’re truly making a difference in someone’s life. You are helping to meet an immediate critical need, but just as importantly, you are telling the entire community how much you care. Over the years, this community-focused program has helped with youth programs, local schools, food pantries, senior citizen centers, veterans and so much more. All the benefactors are here in our hometowns.

Concern for Community is one of the seven cooperative principles that I feel is part of Yellowstone Valley Electric Cooperative’s DNA. Several of our employees have fully embraced and are true ambassadors of the program. It defines who we are as an organization. When we fi rst brought electricity to this region in 1938, the quality of life improved. Other items have also needed attention through the years and this co-op has been at the forefront of bringing improvements to the quality of life for those we serve. This is precisely why we created Operation Round Up.

To date, with your generosity, we’ve given $349,124 to 61 different local charitable organizations. Across the country, more than 350 co-ops have an independent Operation Round Up program, and together, we’ve literally raised and contributed millions for local communities. This demonstrates that small donations, over time, can collectively make a big impact.

As your local electric cooperative, we have a stake in all the communities we serve. It’s why we support local organizations like Custer Volunteer Fire Department, Energy Share, Family Service, Head Start, Laurel Police Reserves, and Warrior Wishes of Montana and so many more. We hope you think of YVEC as more than your energy provider, but also a catalyst for good.

Wishing all our members a joyous holiday season. May it be Merry and Bright!

Brandon J. Wittman
Chief Executive Officer