The co-op way

Posted on Jun 19 2024 in WIN Energy REMC
Tom Nowaskie
Tom Nowaskie CEO

When I started working for the REMC years ago, I was told we were a cooperative. At that point, I didn’t quite understand the meaning behind that. As I continued into my co-op career, I learned that being a part of a cooperative is special. Instead of a few people owning the business, like an investor-owned utility, our members are our owners. We are fortunate to have a board of directors who are the decision-makers of the business and keep in mind the best interests of the cooperative.

A cooperative is different than other business models. As a not-for-profit, we aren’t focused on the money; we are focused on you, and how we can better serve you. Over the years, we have acted as an energy source to spur economic growth in our communities and created a better style of living for those in rural areas. We have continued that mission and adjusted to new technologies and popular lifestyle changes amongst our members.

I quickly learned that fellow co-op employees love to work with one another. At WIN Energy REMC, we are fortunate enough to buy our power from Hoosier Energy and have them as a resource. Similarly, we are thankful to have Indiana Electric Cooperatives (IEC) to serve our co-op and the opportunity to partner with the other 37 electric cooperatives throughout Indiana. Between Hoosier and IEC, there is a wealth of knowledge about the electrical industry. Likewise, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) represents over 900 electric cooperatives in the United States. The cooperative business model allows our employees to meet others from across the county with one common goal: better serve you, our members.

I’m thankful to work in the cooperative world. Electric cooperative employees all over the country have the chance to network with like-minded industry leaders and never blink an eye when ideas are shared from one co-op to another. The cooperative way is different, and I’m proud to be a part of that difference!