Cooperative History, Cooperative Future
Looking back provides the path forward
ONE OF MY FAVORITE SAYINGS ALWAYS HAS BEEN, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Yet sometimes, remembering our history with the goal of repeating it—and improving on it—can be a good thing.
For example, we never forget the struggles thousands of rural families endured before their homes were electrified, and the way electric cooperatives formed to bring light to that darkness. As a result, employees at more than 900 co-ops across the United States dedicate themselves daily to making life better for member-owners.
As the nation’s 30,000 cooperatives celebrate National Co-op Month this October, I think it is a perfect time to take a look back—and a look forward.
Hamilton County Electric Cooperative was founded when neighbors worked together to bring electricity
to our rural community. Big, investor-owned power companies thought they couldn’t generate enough profit, so they bypassed rural areas and only electrified the cities.
Back then, there were frequent meetings among neighbors to discuss the formation of this cooperative. Once established, the co-op’s annual meetings became “must-attend” events every year.
Fast-forward to today—and tomorrow: Your electric co-op currently serves more than 11,500 members, gives scholarships to local students and supports numerous community service organizations in the area. We also regularly return capital credits to our members.
We started out providing electricity, but our impact—with your support and input—has grown. Over the years, we’ve listened to you and your fellow co-op member-owners, and we know that we must keep pace as technology and consumer needs evolve. While times and technology will continue to change, our commitment to you will not. We understand that the spirit that helped create this co-op must be nurtured continually.
You can be confident that your co-op will keep exploring new ways to help our members and our community. We welcome your input as we plan for the future.