Co-ops — closer than you think

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  • David Callis serves as Vice President of Statewide Services for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association

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    Co-ops — closer than you think

    by David Callis, Executive Vice President and General Manager for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association Our weekend shopping excursion had several oddly related purchases. Among them: butter, dog food, cranberry juice and running gear. All interconnected to each other. And all have something uniquely in common with your electric bill. The link? For the first clue, we go to England. The year is 1844, and 28 weavers have just formed the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers. This group of tradesmen was able to collectively sell their products in a store that they could not have individually afforded. Yet working together, […]

  • David Callis serves as Vice President of Statewide Services for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association

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    Powering Progress

    by David Callis, Executive Vice President and General Manager for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association Near the end of “Saving Private Ryan,” as Tom Hanks’ character is dying, he leans forward and mutters one last command to the young private: “Earn this.” He speaks the words after most of his men have died saving the private’s life. He speaks the words to the soldier in an effort to convey the magnitude of the sacrifice made on his behalf. Moving forward with a new team in place for 2012, “Earn this” is our internal watchword at the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association.While […]

  • Tom Purkey serves as Executive Vice President and General Manager for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association.

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    The ripples of good deeds

    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 […]

  • Tom Purkey serves as Executive Vice President and General Manager for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association.

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    The next chapter

    by Tom Purkey, Executive Vice President and General Manager for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association OK. Where do I begin? I have a real-life story to tell you — one with a happy ending and, yes, some tears. I moved from Oneida to Nashville 24 years ago, bringing my wife, Sharon, and our four wonderful young children. I had lived in that small Scott County town for 30 years, since I was 11. And Sharon had lived her whole life there until we decided that moving to Nashville could provide new, positive opportunities for the whole family. We loved the […]

  • Tom Purkey serves as Executive Vice President and General Manager for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association.

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    Counting My Blessings and Giving Thanks

    by Tom Purkey, Executive Vice President and General Manager for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association This is the season that, in my mind, stands out as the most important time of the year. It’s a time that challenges and inspires each of us to remember how we’ve been blessed — a time of thanksgiving. And, of course, it’s immediately prior to the season of giftgiving. Over the years, I have made a point of naming the things for which I’m thankful. So here I go, one more time: I’m thankful for … This wonderful country where we enjoy freedoms that […]

  • Tom Purkey serves as Executive Vice President and General Manager for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association.

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    We the people, the owners

    by Tom Purkey, Executive Vice President and General Manager for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association I have really enjoyed this year’s “annual meeting tour.” Culminating in October, that’s what I call my statewide journey, which I wrote about in my August column, to attend as many of the 21 autumn cooperative annual meetings (two were held in May) as I can. It’s impossible to get to all the meetings since some are scheduled on the same day. Maybe it’s because this is my last tour (I’ll give details in a later issue of The Tennessee Magazine) that I’m spending more […]

  • Tom Purkey serves as Executive Vice President and General Manager for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association.

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    The people are the co-op

    by Tom Purkey, Executive Vice President and General Manager for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association I’m no psychologist, but I know that it’s important in this world of ups and downs to find the positive things in your life and focus on them rather than allowing the negative issues to control your thoughts. In our business of providing safe, reliable and affordable electric service to rural electric cooperative members, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the many complex issues facing the energy industry: How do we reduce carbon dioxide emissions into our atmosphere? Is it feasible to collect these emissions […]

  • Tom Purkey serves as Executive Vice President and General Manager for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association.

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    It’s annual meeting time across Tennessee

    by Tom Purkey, Executive Vice President and General Manager for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association I always look forward to the late summer and early fall months. Personally, as a big football fan, I get excited in August when the pads start popping, high school and college athletes begin fall practice and professional teams play their final exhibition tune-ups. The next three months are also full of rewarding moments in my work at the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. I have the pleasure of visiting with electric cooperative members all across Tennessee as they come together to attend their respective cooperative […]

  • Tom Purkey serves as Executive Vice President and General Manager for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association.

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    Nature’s choice

    by Tom Purkey, Executive Vice President and General Manager for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association If you live in West Tennessee, you probably didn’t experience it this year. And if you live in East Tennessee, you may not have experienced it either. But the folks in Middle Tennessee sure got an earful of it this spring. It was irritable but quite interesting. It made you want to stay in your car or your house, but it was one of nature’s spectacular events. If you were like me, you might have even occasionally cracked your car window just to hear the […]

  • Tom Purkey serves as Executive Vice President and General Manager for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association.

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    New faces, old challenges

    by Tom Purkey, Executive Vice President and General Manager for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association In early May, I joined in Washington, D. C., more than 2,000 electric cooperative leaders from across the country to deliver messages to Congress about the issues that are important to our electric consumers. While this is an annual event, it was especially important to visit our representatives this year, considering the numerous newly elected members in Congress. Spending and debt are dominating the attention of Congress. Legislators are focusing on how to deal with mounting federal deficits and a national debt that is at […]

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