October is Co-op Month!
DENTON – October is National Co-op Month, and Choptank Electric Cooperative strives to be a good example in our communities, guided by the 7 Cooperative Principles every day, year-round.
A Cooperative is a unique business model. Cooperatives are locally governed, looking out for the long-term needs of their consumer-members. Mike Malandro, President and CEO of Choptank Electric Cooperative explains, “Electric cooperatives are anchors in their rural communities. This heightened community focus allows us to quickly adapt to evolving consumer expectations. Our closeness to the community ensures a better response to these needs because we are led by the people that we serve.”
Co-ops engage their consumer-members to do things that might otherwise be impossible, like when more than 80 years ago, electric co-ops brought power to areas where other utilities did not find it economically feasible. Now we see the same need with broadband. Through democratic member control, member regulation was voted into effect on Aug. 13 so that Choptank Electric can bring broadband to our under-served communities.
Cooperatives exist to meet a need that was previously unmet in the community, and their aim is to anticipate and plan for the future needs of their consumer-members.
Electric cooperatives often partner with local groups to support community activities. Choptank Electric Trust donated thousands of dollars throughout the spring and summer to local food pantries to help families in need at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Choptank Electric Cooperative Board members and employees also volunteered to help harvest food in partnership with the Maryland Food Bank. Our volunteers gleaned over 4,000lbs of potatoes in October, which will benefit local families.
“We recognize that this year has been difficult for many in our community, including our members,” said Douglas Scott, Secretary-Treasurer and Dorchester County Board Director. “Following our Co-op Principles, we work every day to better serve our members.”
We strive to take care of all our consumer-members. Even across our great nation. In cooperation with other cooperatives, Choptank Electric sent 20 linemen to help restore power to Baldwin EMC in Baldwin County, AL after Hurricane Sally slammed its territory, causing disaster and leaving all of their 78,000 members without power. Our crews were recognized by Governor Larry Hogan. “I would like to commend the line workers of the Choptank Electric Cooperative who heeded the call to action and helped in the relief efforts of Hurricane Sally in Alabama,” said Gov. Larry Hogan.
The co-op business model is unique. It is pragmatic, mission-oriented, and puts people first. Co-ops strive to be a trusted voice in their communities. Co-ops have earned that trust because they always have their consumer-members’ best interest at heart and are determined to enrich the lives of those living and working in the communities they serve––now and in the future.