Co-op Through & Through

Committed to MVEA’s Mission and Members – August 2022 CCL CEO Article

By Ruth Marks, MVEA CEO

Ruth Marks, MVEA CEOFirst, I want to share what an honor it is to have been selected as Mountain View Electric Association’s next CEO following Jim Herron’s 26-year legacy of cooperative leadership. Often, when we are close to something, we miss the outside perspective that others may have. It is with great pride that I share with all of you how respected MVEA is in the electric co-op industry due to a long history of reliable service, member engagement, financial health, rate stability, and employee dedication. These are solid indicators of a strong and healthy electric cooperative that has remained stable through an era of industry change.

I was asked recently by an MVEA employee what inspired me to apply for the position. It was a great question. I will be as candid with all of you as I was with them: Serving MVEA’s membership is my dream job. I am an electric co-op person through and through. I grew up in rural Wyoming, have spent more than 25 years of my career in the electric cooperative industry, and the electric cooperative mission is a passion of mine — being part of an electric cooperative is special. We brought electricity to rural America, helping to elevate the quality of life and equality of opportunity to those first co-op members. And, we continue to do so through the cooperative business model that supports member-first services, such as fiber broadband expansions.

This is an exciting time in the electric industry. What seemed impossible 20 years ago is now much more attainable, especially in the areas of electric use management, residential solar (net metering), community solar, battery storage, electric vehicle support, and high-speed fiber broadband services. For members who have an increased interest in these areas and would like to see an expansion of services, please know that you are heard. For instance, there has been forward movement on a community solar project. While it has been delayed due to rising costs during a period of inflation and increased tariffs, it is still a priority when the timing is right.

For members who are more focused on MVEA’s core service of providing reliable and affordable electric service, we hear you as well. Advances in technology, combined with continued system improvements, allow MVEA to strive for continued annual reliability ratings that not only meet, but regularly exceed, industry standards.

In the months to come, I plan to listen and learn more about the needs of MVEA’s membership and to work with the Board of Directors and co-op leadership to create and implement a strategic plan that supports initiatives that are important to MVEA’s mission of providing safe, reliable, responsible, and affordable electric service and access to broadband service to the co-op membership.

I hope you will connect with us and share your perspective as MVEA continues to grow to meet the unique needs of our co-op membership. It’s one of the principles that makes electric co-ops special: our desire to serve our members, the owners of the co-op.

Please keep an eye out for co-op events in your community and the opportunity to meet face-to-face. Details are still in the works, but we are planning Member Appreciation Day events in October. If you have questions, comments or feedback, please call (719) 494-2575 or email me. MVEA’s future is bright and I am excited to be part of it.