For more than 60 years,
a publication centered on life in Mississippi.
Today is September 16, 2021

All in the family: Mom, son love working for co-ops

By Steven Ward

All in the family: Mom, son love working for co-ops

Mother’s Day is on May 9 this month but it’s unclear if Tracie Russell and her son, Tate Russell, will be able to spend the day together like they have in years past.

Spending the day together will depend on the weather and what’s happening in their electric co-op territories.

Tracie Russell is a marketing and communications specialist with North East Power in Oxford. Tate Russell is a lineman with Northcentral Electric Cooperative based out of Olive Branch.

Tracie, 55, has been working at North East Power for 34 years. She has worked in the “new service” department, clocked 10 years as a billing manager and became the cooperative’s communications guru two years ago.

Tate, 23, became a lineman at Northcentral about two years ago.

Having a parent working at a cooperative definitely had an impact on Tate.

“I went to work at Northcentral because growing up I always heard how great of a place it was and I wanted to work there. I can honestly say that I’ve loved every minute of it, and the crew of guys I work with are some of the best I could ask for,” Tate said.

“I always saw how much everyone loved their job and how well the co-op treated them. I just thought it was so cool to see the lineman do their jobs and see how everything worked. So, from the time I was young, I knew I wanted to work for the co-op one day.”

Tracie echoed Tate’s thoughts about growing up around an electric cooperative.

“He loves the outdoors and had always told me he wanted to work outside. When he was younger, he would come to my office and talk to the engineers and linemen and loved hearing their workday stories,” Tracie said.

Tracie and Tate are very close and have leaned on one another for years.

“Tate lost his dad when he was 14. We were close before then but grew extremely close after. He calls me regularly to tell me about his day and I love hearing about his job. He loves being a lineman,” Tracie said.

Tate said he and his mother have a strong relationship.

“She’s my rock. After the passing of my dad, she has been both my father and mother and I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better person to do that job. She is most definitely the strongest person that I know,” Tate said.

Because Tracie is an advisor to the Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi’s Youth Leadership Program, she really wanted her son to participate.

“In my 24th year, I was able to take Tate with me to D.C. He loved it because history was his favorite subject in school, after girls, of course!”

A typical Mother’s Day for Tracie and Tate includes church, lunch or dinner and a movie.

Tracie said her favorite trait in her son is his “caring heart.”

“He never wants to hurt anyone’s feelings and would rather be hurt himself. He is also very respectful. I’m so proud of the man he has become,” Tracie said.

Tate said his mother is “genuine and caring.”

“She always puts others before herself and never thinks twice about it. She always makes sure everyone else is taken care of before herself and she just has the biggest heart,” he said.

Site designed by Marketing Alliance, Inc.