COO Message — November 2021

Theresa QuirozFor me, this is a time of year for reflection, and topping my list of things I’m grateful for are our wonderful communities. I know I speak for all Rio Grande Electric Co-op employees when I say that we are thankful to be in such incredible places. We are fortunate to live in the same places where we work, which makes our ties to our communities that much stronger. It’s more than just a group of people living in a particular place. It’s the feeling of fostering community among neighbors, co-workers, and visitors.

Rio Grande Electric Cooperative (RGEC) is a reflection of our local communities and their evolving needs. Guided by seven cooperative principles, it’s not just about dollars––it’s about opportunity for all and being fair when engaging with our members and caring for our communities. We view our role as a catalyst for good and making our corner of the world a better place. It’s a matter of RGEC principles!

Autonomy & Independence

The fourth principal, Autonomy and Independence, means that RGEC operates in an autonomous way that is solely directed and guided by its members; reflecting the values and needs of local community. This means leaders or shareholders several states away are not influencing the Cooperative. Instead, the local members it serves lead the Cooperative.

Education & Training

The fifth principle, Education and Training, focuses on enhancing the knowledge of RGEC employees and board members, which enables them to contribute to the development of the Cooperative.

By investing in continuous learning for our employees and board members, RGEC is making a commitment not just to individual professional and personal growth, but to the future of RGEC and the high quality of service our members expect and deserve. It’s a win-win situation.

We also strive to inform our members (that’s you!) and the public about the mission and operations of the Cooperative. In fact, that’s why you receive this magazine every month, and why you follow us on social media, so we can share the latest RGEC news and updates, as well as energy efficiency and safety tips.

Cooperation Among Cooperatives

Cooperation among cooperatives is the sixth principle and fosters the way that co-ops work together to address bigger challenges. While this principle applies to all types of cooperatives, it is especially relevant in the energy industry. In our case, we put this principle in action after major storms and disasters that cause widespread power outages. When this happens, we call on nearby co-ops to come to our aid and assist with restoration efforts––and we of course extend the same help to them when they need us. I can’t think of a better example of cooperation among cooperatives.

In addition, because we are part of the state and national electric co-op networks, we can connect and collaborate with other electric co-ops to tackle industry-related challenges, like cybersecurity and an everchanging energy landscape.

Concern for Community

The seventh principle, Concern for Community, is essential to who we are as a cooperative. We serve our communities not only by being an essential service, but by helping to power our local economies. Whether through economic development, volunteerism, or donations to local causes, we invest in these communities because they are our homes too.

I think you’ll find that most cooperatives bring good people together to make good things happen in the community. We hope you feel that way about us.

On behalf of everyone at Rio Grande Electric Cooperative, we’re thankful for your membership, and we hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Theresa Quiroz