Praising the pond – August CEO column

James P. “Pat” Howle, Executive Vice President and CEO

My mother has always told me, “It’s a poor frog who doesn’t praise its own pond.” In my defense, sometimes it’s hard to see the forest for the trees, or in the case of the frogs, the lily pads for the pond algae. You address one challenge and get to work on the next one.

On the map
Horry Electric is one of 20 electric cooperatives in South Carolina, and we’re one of 738 Touchstone Energy Cooperatives in the country. Not to take anything away from the other 19 in South Carolina or the other 737 in the country, but your management team at Horry Electric is, in my opinion, second to none. They rock. What they’ve accomplished for you and our fellow members has gained statewide and national recognition for Horry Electric Cooperative. We are often looked at as a resource for ideas, expertise and experience.

It’s not me, it’s them

I have the pleasure of leading the team at Horry Electric, but it’s our five members of staff, their talents and the teams they lead at your co-op that deserve praise. This group of five includes W.I. Jones, manager of operations; Reed Cooper, manager of engineering; Danny Shelley, chief financial officer; Chris Teems, manager of special services; and Penelope Hinson, manager of public relations, marketing and energy management. They and the employees who work in their different departments, are, without a doubt, among the most dedicated and caring team a chief executive officer or members of an electric cooperative could ever hope to have on board.

National recognition
The efforts we’ve been making to reduce costs while maintaining reliability is information we’ve been sharing with you for a few years now in different ways. What we haven’t shared with you are the tangible results and the national recognition it has gained for your co-op.

Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives maintains a Best Practices Knowledge Base. Based on our Balanced Performance Scorecard, which enables co-ops to benchmark performance in mission-critical areas, Horry Electric was tapped as a best-in-class performer for earning top rank among cooperatives that participate in the reliability and cost metrics offered by the program.

“By leaving no stone unturned, Horry Electric achieves best-in-class financial performance while maintaining high levels of power quality,” reads the conclusion of the case study summary of our successful efforts that is available for sister cooperatives in the Best Practices Knowledge Base. “Still, the work is never done. Nearly every area of Horry Electric’s budget is expected to be under budget due to the efforts and sacrifices made by its dedicated staff, management, board and employees.”

Your team rocks. Ribbit.

 

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