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You Are Our Foundation

You Are Our Foundation

Posted on May 24th, 2023

The definition of foundation by the Merriam-Webster dictionary is “An underlying base or support. Especially:  the whole masonry substructure of a building.” That’s exactly how I describe you, our members, you’re the foundation of our cooperative. 

I’m going to oversimplify this example of building a house, as a way to understand the similarities between the foundation, roof/walls and general contractor and our members, First Electric employees and Board of Directors.

When building, the most important part is the foundation, because you need a strong base to support the house. Often, it’s constructed with a poured concrete footing and reinforced steel. This Old House general contractor Tom Silva takes foundations seriously. “Without a good one,” he says, “you’re sunk.” It goes without saying, without our membership – we would sink too!

I see the employees at First Electric as the essential materials that hold everything together, like the roof and walls. For example, you can’t have a functional home without them – just like you can’t have a good co-op without well-trained lineworkers and engineers. All the pieces fit together and work in harmony to make a perfect home or co-op.

Next, I see the board of directors as the general contractor. The contractor oversees the project from start to finish and uses his/her knowledge to give the homeowner the best product at the most reasonable price. I think we all know what can happen when you have a bad contractor. A few things that come to my mind are – extra costs, project delays, poor work and bad communication. Our board’s responsibilities include strategic planning, policymaking and review, oversight of the fiduciary duty to monitor the business performance and risk management. All of which are required to make a co-op run smoothly for our membership.

To sum it up, you are our foundation! You are the reason we come to work daily! You are the reason we enjoy our jobs!

Rick Love

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