Why we celebrate cooperatives

Posted on Sep 28 2016 in Kankakee Valley REMC


Every October, cooperatives from all sectors across the country celebrate National Cooperative Month. The purpose of this annual celebration is to recognize the cooperative difference and remind you, the members, about Kankakee Valley REMC’s purpose.

Chances are you only think about your cooperative when you pay your electric bill or when your service is interrupted by an act of nature. The employees at your cooperative think about you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, especially when taking care of your electrical needs.

For Kankakee Valley REMC, the celebration of National Cooperative Month is truly an opportunity to showcase how our electric cooperative is different by the way we were designed.

The theme of this year’s National Cooperative Month is “Cooperatives Build.”  This theme is appropriate because there are so many ways that cooperatives help to build a stronger rural America.


Your cooperative strives to adhere to seven key cooperative principles, which combine to help build trust between the co-op, its members and the community.  An example can be found in the first principle, voluntary and open membership. This means we are a voluntary organization open to all people willing to accept the responsibility of membership.  Another example can be found in the second principle, democratic member control. This gives members a voice in the cooperative’s policies and decisions. This example is put to work each year at our annual meeting when you elect a member to be a leader at the cooperative by serving on the board of directors.


Another cooperative principle is concern for the community. It isn’t just a principle to Kankakee Valley REMC, this is our way of doing business. As a locally based cooperative, we have a special bond and an obligation to be an integral part of the community. Our employees are local, too. They understand the importance of giving time to the community in leadership roles, by volunteering their time to non-profits and making charitable contributions. As a member, you have helped, too, through Operation Round Up. To date, over $1 million has been placed back into the community to support non-profits who are helping area residents. You are helping us to change lives and strengthen the community.


Cooperatives generate jobs in their communities and keep profits local. Kankakee Valley REMC helps to build jobs by supporting local economic development and community improvement programs.  As a local business, we want to see the communities we all call home grow and prosper.

We know that it takes more than just poles and wires to build a community. The leaders of your cooperative are invested in not only bringing you safe reliable electricity, but are also obligated to strengthen the community and drive economic development in the communities that we serve.

DENNIS WEISS is CEO of Kankakee Valley REMC.