BY ANN THELEN
Styles come and go, trends evolve and change, but one thing that never goes out of style is what it means to be part of an electric cooperative. Since locally owned electric cooperatives first brought power to rural Iowans in the 1930s, the momentum fueled by the cooperative spirit has only strengthened.
A business model that has endured the test of time sets electric cooperatives apart from other utilities. Your electric cooperative adheres to seven guiding principles that reflect core values of honesty, transparency, equity, inclusiveness and service to the greater good of the community. Owned by the member-consumers we serve, Iowa’s community-focused electric cooperatives power the lives of 650,000 Iowans throughout all 99 counties and are committed to delivering safe, reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible power.
Sharing what it means to be an electric cooperative member
Each month, through the pages of this magazine, we share what it means to be an electric cooperative member. We embrace with pride the opportunity to tell the stories of community volunteers, such as our Shine the Light winners in this issue; to highlight economic development success stories helping communities prosper; and encourage youth to become engaged in the future success of the electric cooperative industry.
Since this publication began in 1948, it has undergone six name changes while keeping to the central mission of keeping co-op member-consumers informed. From starting as a newsletter to becoming a magazine 61 years ago, each change was meant to further illustrate what it means to be an electric cooperative member.
Magazine name change coming in October
With the October issue of this publication, we’re excited to unveil a name change that we believe even more clearly describes the magazine. Your statewide publication will now be called Iowa Electric Cooperative Living. On behalf of the team, I’m excited for the magazine’s name to fully reflect who we serve – you the members – and who we are – Iowa’s electric cooperatives.
This magazine’s name should identify us, be unique to us and tell readers what to expect inside. We are confident that Iowa Electric Cooperative Living will do all these things and more.
Based on our 2020 readership survey and years of research by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, we know that member-consumers have a strong affinity to being part of a cooperative. It makes sense to have “cooperative” as part of the magazine’s name.
In the September issue, we’re giving readers you a sneak peek at what the cover of the October issue will look like so that you know what to expect when you open your mailbox. Inside, you’ll find fresh designs paired with familiar favorites – energy efficiency tips, information on technology and innovation, economic development features, and of course, recipes!
Once the October issue comes out, we’ll be anxious for your feedback!
Ann Thelen is the editor of Living with Energy in Iowa magazine.