For more than 60 years,
a publication centered on life in Mississippi.
Today is October 4, 2022

Editorial

Our work powers more than life’s conveniences

By Michael Callahan

Michael Callahan
Michael Callahan,
Executive Vice President/CEO
EPAs of Mississippi

    Your electric power association sells a product that you can’t see, hear or touch.
    What you can see, however, is the positive, lasting impact our service and commitment have on your quality of life.
    In this season of giving, I like to reflect on the innumerable ways we work for the betterment of life in the communities we serve—throughout the year. Some are obvious; some you will rarely see or hear about.
    Our best-kept secret is the extent to which we are engaged in helping Mississippi grow and prosper. In communities throughout the state, we are leaders in local efforts to bring in new jobs. We are constantly working behind the scenes to promote Mississippi as a great place to do business. For decades, we have been a significant force in attracting new employers to the state. One of their basic requirements in considering a site for a new plant or building is the availability of a reliable, affordable source of electric power, and on that we deliver.
    We work to keep electricity affordable in part by monitoring legislative proposals that could cause the cost of electricity to rise. This “watchdog” effort benefits everyone we serve, from rural homeowners to major manufacturers.
    On the local level, we devote every working day to serving members. Our offices are busy places, where members come to meet with a person to take advantage of services or resolve problems. And our line workers—our less visible work force—stand ready to respond to your service emergency needs, day or night.
    When electric power association employees can see the positive effects of their work at the end of the day, they are motivated to do even more. There is a real relationship between job satisfaction and the feeling of doing good in the world. Just ask the Mississippi lineman how he felt helping victims of Hurricane Sandy regain their electric service—and some sense of recovery.
    Talk to the electric power association volunteers who traveled to a Guatemalan village to upgrade a primitive, dangerous and unreliable electrical system, and to train the local linemen. These Mississippi volunteers were so moved by their experience that they literally gave the Guatemalans the fire-retardant shirts off their backs, and threw in some tools, too.
    Nothing is more rewarding than the knowledge that we are making significant contributions to other people’s lives.
    Electric power associations were created by local volunteers who stepped forward to organize a cooperative and build an electric utility from the ground up. The cooperative tradition of leadership and service is even stronger today. Working in partnership with our members, our impact on Mississippi is huge, our service integral to its economic well being.
    Our product is electricity, but our mission is the betterment of your quality of life in Mississippi. And that should be obvious.

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