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First Electric Celebrates Its 85th Anniversary

First Electric Celebrates Its 85th Anniversary

Posted on April 26th, 2022

First Electric celebrated its 85th anniversary on April 26. We were formed by seven individuals who banded together to start the first electric cooperative in the state, designed specifically to bring electricity to rural parts of central Arkansas. We’re now the second largest co-op in the state and ranked in size among the top 40 of over 900 electric co-ops in the country. It’s interesting to note that only about 1,000 companies have continued operations for more than 100 years in the U.S. — less than a half percent according to Family Capital, an online publication. Our 100-year success story is certainly in view.

By now you’re aware that we operate as a co-op with seven guiding principles — one of which is “democratic control” — the process by which you, the members, elect directors from the membership to set policies and provide oversight to the business you own. One member, one vote ensures that this principle is maintained. We ask that you exercise your voice and participate in the upcoming director election. The nominating committee met in March and proposed three candidates for this year’s election. In June you’ll receive a ballot listing three candidates — two from Perryville, David (Butch) Hoyt and John Roland, who are competing for the Perryville district position, and I am the candidate from the Jacksonville district.

As you know we’ve launched Connect2First, our high-speed internet and phone service. To date, well over 3,000 members have been connected with the fastest internet this side of the Mississippi. Nothing is faster than the speed of light, and that’s what you get with fiber optics. You’re able to choose from an array of services up to one Gig, and the full Gig is less than $100 a month. That’s internet at the speed of light to your home for less than a Franklin (Benjamin, that is)! We still have a long way to go with the buildout, but we’re working hard to connect every member who chooses to subscribe. I remind both you and me to remain patient, and submit your information at to subscribe.

A lot of exciting things are happening within our co-op, and I look forward to sharing more information next month.

On behalf of your board of directors, I thank you for your membership.

Rick Love

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