CEO Message – November 2022

We Are Thankful For Your Membership

Brandon Wittman headshotThe author William A. Ward once wrote, “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” In the spirit of this quote, I’d like to take this opportunity to express my personal gratitude for your membership in our electric cooperative. Because of your connection to Yellowstone Valley Electric Cooperative, we can make our communities a better place.

I generally use this column to provide updates on new projects and developments or report on the progress of ongoing initiatives or to just give industry news. We share these updates so that all our consumer-members have a window into our priorities, progress, and challenges. However, during this season of giving thanks, I think it’s equally important to let you and other consumer-members of YVEC know what an impact you have on our co-op and the greater community, in many ways you may not realize.

As part of the cooperative business model, one of our core principles is “Concern for Community.” While our priority is always to provide safe, reliable, and affordable energy, we view our role in the community as a catalyst for good.

We are purposeful in partnering with local groups like Family Service, a low-income energy assistance organization. We are very proud of the work being done through our Operation Round Up Program that launched in August of 2017. This program has provided $349,124 to 61 local nonprofit and charitable organizations in YVEC’s service territory. Our Cooperative offers a variety of opportunities to our members, from safety demonstrations at our local schools, and career fairs to the annual Youth Tour to Washington D. C. for a week-long immersion to experience democracy in action. Ultimately, the larger community benefits from these programs, and many others we provide, because of you! You empower the co-op through your membership and through your participation and support of these programs. (52517000)

You help us to improve operations when you attend co-ops events, report concerns, and provide suggestions which in turn helps us better serve our co-op membership. Because we are locally governed by members of our community, we can get a first-hand perspective on community priorities, which enables us to make more informed decisions on long-term investments, such as equipment and technology upgrades.

We are thankful that our Board of Trustees attend important training sessions, participate in planning meetings and keep abreast of industry trends. This investment in time results in better informed advisors that serve the co-op’s interests in a way that our consumer members expect and deserve.

On a more personal note, we appreciate the countless acts of kindness our line workers and other employees receive when they are working in severe weather and dangerous conditions. Our employees are thankful for your patience and consideration when we are trying to restore power during challenging situations.

YVEC was originally established almost 85-years ago to bring electricity to our area when no one else could. The cooperative reflects our local communities and their evolving needs. Together, let’s continue making our little corner of the world a better place. We can’t do it without you, and for that, we’re thankful for your membership.

Brandon J. Wittman
Chief Executive Officer