The Future is Bright for MVEA – June 2022 CCL CEO Article
By Jim Herron, MVEA CEO
After 26 years of greeting you every month, it is bittersweet to be writing my last column for Colorado Country Life magazine — a final hello and a farewell at the same time. On one hand, I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the members of Mountain View Electric Association through decades of co-op growth in an ever-changing industry. On the other hand, I am equally grateful for the opportunity to spend more time with family and exploring all that retirement has to offer. It goes without saying that when I wake-up on July 1 as a fully-retired former CEO of MVEA, it will take some getting used to. I have worked in the electric co-op world for over 40 years. It is what I know, and I will miss it.
Leading up to retirement, I have been asked what I will miss the most. I keep coming back to the people I have met over the years — co-op members and employees alike. Maybe it is the proud history shared of working together to bring electricity to rural communities decades ago, or maybe it is the dedication to adopting innovative technologies to better serve our growing co-op communities above and beyond keeping the lights on. Whatever it is, there is something special about being part of an electric cooperative and working with people who are drawn to serve.
When I joined MVEA in July 1996, I came from Farmers’ Electric Cooperative in New Mexico where I worked in many areas of the co-op. In fact, I started my career at Farmers’ as a warehouseman and worked my way up to general manager. While I had a great career at Farmers’, it was an honor to be selected to join MVEA and make the move to Limon, Colorado. At the time, MVEA served over 20,000 members and more than 25,500 meters through more than 4,700 miles of energized line. And, much like today, the co-op was growing. During my tenure at MVEA, we have grown to serve over 52,000 members and nearly 62,000 meters through more than 6,200 miles of energized line. And, behind every meter, every mile of line, and behind every new member who is welcomed, is a dedicated MVEA employee. The faces may have changed over the years, but the “heart” of MVEA’s employees has remained the same.
I recently read an article about the three things that a business must have to succeed: strong financials, dedicated employees and an optimistic future. MVEA has all three of these (and has since before my time). Due to a legacy of fiscal stewardship by the MVEA Board of Directors, the co-op is financially strong and able to invest in and adopt innovative technologies to benefit the cooperative and its members. Due to a commitment of investing in employees for their dedication to the co-op, MVEA is able to hire and retain a highly-skilled workforce. And, due to the size and placement of our service territory, the co-op will continue to grow and thrive for decades to come.
At the time of this writing, the next MVEA CEO has not been selected. That is the hard part about editorial deadlines…sometimes the article is due before an announcement is made. While I do not know who the individual will be, who I will pass the baton to, I do know that they will be selected from a large and talented pool of candidates. I also know that no matter what the future holds, it will be bright for MVEA.
In closing, I want to share that it has been my greatest honor to serve as MVEA’s CEO. From my family to yours, God bless.
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