by Tom Purkey, Executive Vice President and General Manager for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association
I had a wonderful November. Each year representatives from all Tennessee electric co-ops gather for an annual membership meeting, just like the individual cooperatives do, featuring speakers who provide a host of useful information and political leaders to report on our state and country.
This year’s meeting was special for me: It was my last. I gave my usual report to the representatives of the 23 member electric cooperatives that make up the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association; however, on the first evening, I was honored that more than 400 people attended a reception for me. Four managers who do what I do at other states even came and made really kind remarks.
It was a wonderful way to finalize my tenure at TECA. Seeing friends from the past as well as current friends and folks with whom I work … it was the highlight of my career. But besides that, I had my wife, Sharon, and all four of our children and six grandchildren by my side. That was special. Being able to introduce my whole family to the managers, directors, employees, attorneys and other guests was very rewarding.
I originally reserved this column to introduce you to the newest Purkey — a grandson scheduled to arrive mid-December, the fifth child for my son, Justin, and daughter-in-law, Lisa. But he’s decided to choose his own delivery date, so at the time of publication, he’s still in a “holding pattern.” When I think about “Baby Purkey,” I can’t help but wonder what’s in store for him as he lives his life. What does his “future plan” look like?
No one can answer that question, but everything we do will affect his life. A preacher at our church recently said that any kind deed we do to another person resonates eternally and changes things in other people’s lives forever. That statement is a sobering thought: that we are all constantly changing the lives of people around us.
Having grandchildren will certainly keep me on my toes at all times, especially knowing that every good deed is like a rock being tossed into a lake … the resulting waves go out over and over again, affecting the water clear to the shoreline. We generally refer to it as the “ripple effect.”
I look forward to touching the life of our new grandson as well as the lives of the rest of the grandchildren, and I’m hopeful that their lives will reflect the good deeds that they see from all their family, including their Papa and Granny.
I have enjoyed my career at TECA, and I’ve been blessed with a wonderful family. Goodbye, and may God bless each of you in everything you do.