For more than 60 years,
a publication centered on life in Mississippi.
Today is May 23, 2022


We already know

By Michael Callahan

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

No one needs to tell us how wonderful Mississippi is because we already know.

We already know our state is the birthplace of rock and roll, country music, and the blues.

We already know that some of the country’s most respected and award-winning writers hail from the state that gave us William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, and Richard Wright.

We already know that Mississippi is home to some of the best food in the Deep South and, for that matter, the world.

Most of all, we already know that Mississippi is a place filled with some of the kindest and most giving people in our country.

Even though some people who have never stepped foot in our great state like to tear us down because of the mistakes of the past, it’s nice to be reminded that there are others who see Mississippi as we do.

Our cover story this month is about a man from far away who now calls Mississippi home. He now knows, just like we do.

Joe Dera was born in the Netherlands and grew up in Clifton, New Jersey.

After retiring from 40 years in public relations, Dera and his girlfriend moved to Yazoo County from Pennsylvania.

Once you read our story, you’ll see that Dera’s career in public relations was not your average office job.

Dera is a member of Yazoo Valley Electric, and like all our electric cooperative members all over Mississippi, he is part of a special community.

One of the Seven Cooperative Principles that set electric cooperatives apart from other electric utilities is Concern for Community.

Cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies supported by our members. That means cooperatives do a lot more than provide safe and affordable power for our members. Whether its co-op employees volunteering in local schools or making donations of time and money to a food bank, cooperatives are not just invested in communities, they are an integral part of them.

Dera has been a cooperative member since 2016, so this is a little late — welcome to Mississippi and welcome to our co-op community.

We hope you enjoy the March issue.

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