CEO’s Message — January 2022

365 New Opportunities

Headshot of Clay FitchThere’s a certain poetry to opening a pristine calendar each January. The clean slate— absent of scribbled-in appointments and obligations—encourages reflection and a bit of personal accounting. The calendar’s empty grid represents promise—the potential for a fresh start in a new year.

At Wells Rural Electric Company (WREC), we like to take stock in the same way. Each year presents 365 new opportunities to earn your trust, and January 1 is a good time for all of us here to think about the best ways to do that.

As you know, your cooperative’s most fundamental mission is to provide you with safe, reliable, affordable, and clean electricity. That’s what your employees— from those at the front desk to the line crews to the engineering department to human resources and everyone in between— dedicate themselves to year in and year out. For their dedication, I’d like to express my gratitude. All of them come to work each day with the desire to provide safe, reliable, and professional service to our members in mind.

Our board of directors deserves a big thank-you, too. The members of WREC’s board have taken on the weighty responsibility of running a multimillion-dollar utility. The commitment they display in keeping up with the changing regulatory, technological, and legislative landscapes that affect our industry is commendable. Decisions made by the board aren’t undertaken lightly, as directors know that the outcomes of those choices affect thousands of their fellow members. Their diligence is appreciated.

In the weeks and months leading up to January 1, the board and employees engaged in strategic planning to prepare not only for the coming year, but for the foreseeable future. We examined the changing needs of our members and developments in both the utility and political environment to evaluate the challenges and opportunities ahead. This is not a new activity, but it took on added urgency in light of the ongoing pandemic and the resulting supply chain issues.

Fortunately, our long-term wholesale power supply contracts with Bonneville Power Administration protect your access to reliable electricity, and WREC’s relationships with vendors are minimizing shortages of critical materials. We are grateful for the partnerships we have built.

A final thank-you goes to you, our members, who make all our jobs possible. Your support and understanding when things don’t go quite right, and your input via suggestions, compliments or complaints, helps us do a better job for you.

Without you, there would be no cooperative. For you, for this co-op, and for ourselves, you can count on us at WREC to do our best to be worthy beneficiaries of 2022’s opportunities and promise.

Clay R. Fitch
Chief Executive Officer