Looking Ahead With a Nod to the Past
New Mission and Vision
By CEO Jake Joplin
We recently kick-started a new strategic planning process at the cooperative, identifying long-term goals which will better serve our members.
As part of the process. we reviewed our mission and vision statements. We condensed our mission statement to the bare essentials of why we exist, which is “We are powered by our members to provide safe, reliable and affordable power.”
Accompanying our mission is our vision, which is what we aspire to achieve. Our vision is, “To deliver service excellence and embrace innovation for the future needs of our members and communities.”
What’s in a name?
One of my prize possessions is a toboggan handed down from my father. The toboggan is blue, yellow, & green, with an old-school white knit ball at the top. It proudly displays REA and Willie Wirehand, the once beloved mascot of the nation’s electric cooperatives.
My father, like many of our cooperative’s long-term members, first knew the electric cooperatives as simply the REA, an abbreviation for the Rural Electrification Administration, which was created in 1935 by Franklin D. Roosevelt as part of the New Deal.
The REA was the vehicle that allowed local communities and farmers to electrify rural areas, places where the private utilities would not serve.
In 1940, 440 such local farmers in the areas of Carteret, Craven, Jones, and Onslow counties used the financial, engineering, and legal support of the REA to bring electrification to our communities. They created Carteret-Craven Electric Membership Corporation, or simply Carteret-Craven EMC.
Unlike my father, I grew up knowing the cooperatives as EMCs. Sometimes that name was accompanied by the Willie Wirehand mascot, other times it was accompanied by a green ball with wavy power lines. Carteret-Craven Electric Membership Corporation is the official name of our cooperative. It is how the organization was incorporated in 1940.
Since the early 1990s, we have been doing business as Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative. As an electric cooperative, we are guided by the Seven Cooperative Principles that set us apart from other types of businesses—such as investor-owned, municipal-owned or sole proprietorships. We proudly serve you, our members. You are not our customers; you “own” the cooperative and we are "powered" by you.
So, whether you call us the REA, EMC, or the “electric cooperative,” we are ready to respond. We greatly respect the work that was done before us and the reputation that all these names carry. As we go into the future, evaluating new technology and innovation, we will work hard to honor the solid foundation that was set before us.