BY CHUCK SODERBERG
You probably noticed that this magazine has a new name and a new look this month! It is my pleasure to introduce you to Iowa Electric Cooperative Living, the magazine for member-consumers of Iowa’s electric cooperatives. The content and local co-op news you’ve come to appreciate in the pages of Living with Energy in Iowa remain the same, but we’ve updated our name to incorporate our cooperative heritage.
When we were planning the debut of our rebrand, it seemed most appropriate to time it with National Co-op Month in October. As we strategized on a new title, it was important to include “cooperative” in the name because it’s essential to who we are and what we do. Electric cooperatives are proud to be owned and governed by the local members we serve.
Core values remain constant
Our cooperative values are core to our existence and legacy. Many electric cooperatives were formed across the Midwest in the 1930s and 40s because investor-owned utilities at that time saw no profit in building infrastructure into rural areas to serve sparse populations. So, farmers and ranchers decided to form their own locally owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives so they could gain access to safe, affordable and reliable power. And we’re still here more than 80 years later delivering on that original mission to improve the quality of life for our members.
In fact, cooperative organizations around the world adhere to the same set of core principles and values. These seven cooperative principles are a key reason why electric cooperatives operate differently from other types of electric utilities. We put the needs of our members first.
Information and education guides success
One of our key cooperative principles – Education, Training and Information – really explains why your local electric cooperative invests in this magazine. It’s important to educate and train our cooperative members, elected directors and co-op employees so they can effectively contribute to the development and success of the cooperative. We believe informed members like you make better decisions.
Thank you for taking time every month to read this publication. We make it a priority to keep you informed on regional electric cooperative news, the latest trends in the electric industry, energy efficiency tips that can save you money and safety information to protect your family. We also enjoy sharing member photos and member recipes with you each month. Make sure to bookmark our updated website at www.ieclmagazine.com where you can enter our monthly Editor’s Choice Contest for a chance to win a great prize!
We believe our new name and updated design will help us connect with our greatest cooperative asset – our members.
Chuck Soderberg is the executive vice president and general manager of the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives.