As excited as I am about 2018 and the opportunities it holds for Clark County REMC to keep serving our members with excellence, it’s important to look back to see where we’ve been. Here are a few of the highlights from 2017.
Last March, approximately 9,000 REMC members were left without power as the largest storm we’ve seen in five years hit our area. This storm took down three substations and created more than 100 separate outages throughout our service territory. Through the tireless efforts of our dedicated linemen, along with the support of six other Indiana line crews, power was restored to every member, quickly and safely.
But our storm paled in comparison to the damage caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma last September. And just as other crews came to our aid in March, our linemen answered the call to help restore power in Georgia and Florida. Power outages are frustrating and disruptive for everyone, but I am proud of the cooperation and hard work of our staff to turn the lights back on so quickly, both here and around the country.
Knowledge is power
In our changing world, traditional communication through newsletters and radio ads simply isn’t good enough to meet our members’ needs. In 2017, your REMC focused on sharing as much helpful information as possible through our website, via email, and on social media. And in October, in response to your feedback, we implemented a new text messaging notification system for outages. We are doing our best to make sure you, our valued members, have access to as much information as possible so you can make smart decisions for your families.
Commitment to community
Clark County REMC continues to make an impact in communities worldwide. In 2017, we were thrilled to offer free bucket truck rides to hundreds of kids at the Clark County 4-H fair. We hosted a new North Pole event in December, where families could get their picture with Santa and meet a real, live reindeer!
We were also proud to send lineman Kevin Porter to Guatemala, where he worked with Project Indiana to provide the village of El Zapotillo with electricity for the first time. But REMC staff weren’t the only ones who gave back to their communities in 2017.
By your generosity, we were able to donate more than 6,400 pounds of food to local food banks during the holidays, which is nearly double our donation from 2016. You’ve shown us that being part of the community is important to you, so it’s important to us.
It’s always bittersweet when employees retire. I am sad to see them go, but I am excited to see them enjoy the retirement that they’ve worked so hard to earn. This year, Chet Johnson retired from his position as working foreman after 46 years of service. Chet was as dedicated and dependable as any employee I’ve known, and we wish him all the best in his well-earned retirement. We also welcomed two new employees to the REMC family. Amy Tewell is our newest member service representative and Clayton Willis was hired as an apprentice lineman.
In closing, I sincerely hope to see you Saturday, April 7, at Silver Creek High School. Not only will you experience an entertaining evening, and maybe win a prize, but you’ll feel good knowing that you had a voice in a very important decision that impacts one of our most vital resources: electricity.
From myself, the REMC board of directors, and the entire Clark County REMC team — see you at the annual meeting!
DAVID A. VINCE