Entries by David Callis

Small Towns, Big Ideas

Small towns, big ideas – that’s our theme for the coming year. But more than just a theme, it is an appropriate phrase to describe the character of the small towns across the state served by our cooperatives. Communities such as Linden, Lascassas, Red Boiling Springs, and Henderson. Those aren’t exactly population centers, but everything […]

Singleness of Purpose

What is the single purpose we have in running an electric cooperative? Serving our members by keeping the lights on and the rates low. You’ve heard – or said – that refrain for years. It is simple, direct and resonates with employees and members. And, it is absolutely true. Just ask the members we serve. […]

Safe, reliable, affordable

Last September, Tennessee’s electric cooperatives were privileged to participate in the opening ceremony of the Tennessee State Fair in Nashville. And during the fair, we provided Tennessee residents the opportunity to share their concerns about the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan. A year later, we are again participating in the “lighting of the […]

Staying Power

Another successful Washington Your Tour is the in books. All told, that makes 50 times that Tennessee has made this annual investment in our rural youth. Past alumni include military and civic leaders, legislators, and the occasional business leader. In fact, none other than Apple CEO Tim Cook took his first trip to Washington, DC […]

Energy Independence

Last month, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected an early challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to curb carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants, saying the legal action was premature. The panel did not rule on the merits of the lawsuit, stating that […]

Engineering success

There are a number of constants in the electric utility industry: keeping a watchful eye on the weather, a 24/7 readiness to respond to weather emergencies, innovation, intensive investment and poking fun at engineers. OK, the last one isn’t work-related, but it is a constant. Engineers often don’t understand why we would joke about them, […]

Cable Disconnect

Last month, Arkansas’s electric cooperatives faced an unexpected attack by cable TV concerns. Under the guise of promoting broadband, the cable giants wanted huge reductions in the pole attachment rates charged by the state’s rural electric cooperatives. Cable’s claim was that pole attachment rates were limiting broadband expansion into rural areas. Sound familiar? To address […]

Cooperation among Cooperatives

Let’s just say it – we’re tired of cold weather.  This winter has brought us bitter cold, snow, and multiple rounds of ice. Statewide, our systems have experienced tremendous damage that has taken days – in some cases weeks – to repair. The Cumberland Plateau was hit the hardest with an inch of ice. High […]

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Commitment to Community

In 1965, fourteen high school juniors loaded left Nashville for Washington, DC. The purpose of the trip was twofold – to educate them about rural electrification and how their government operates. Fifty years later, Tennessee’s Washington Youth Tour program is still going strong. This year, we will send 150 students and 40 chaperones on the […]

Energy Education

“Education is learning what you didn’t even know you didn’t know.” This quote, from historian Daniel Boorstin, sums up the challenge that we face in the electric utility industry. As we get older, we (hopefully) become fairly well educated and consider ourselves to have a wider breadth and depth of knowledge. We tend to have […]