Our cooperative commitment to the community

Celebrating National Co-op Month, with a look at one PEC employee’s service beyond the job

As a cooperative, our employees tend to have deep connections to their communities. October is National Co-op Month, and PEC is proudly highlighting employees who embody the cooperative difference. Senior Electrical Distribution Designer Travis Brown works out of PEC’s Junction office and dedicates his time outside of work to volunteering with the Junction Volunteer Fire Department, as a certified EMT, and even as a reserve officer with the Kimble County Sheriff’s Office.

Just like concern for community is built into the fabric of the cooperative business model, service is in Brown’s genes. Brown’s father was a long-time volunteer firefighter, so he has always been around it, even serving as the department’s mascot as a kid. Brown’s knowledge of the land and the electric system are a great asset to him as a firefighter, too.

“I can communicate on-site and know who we need to talk to, so I can kind of mediate between fire and PEC,” he explained. “It simplifies a complicated situation.”

He knows firsthand the dangers of this type of service, but feels it’s his duty to continue on.

“That’s what we do here at PEC,” he said. “We’ve got to take care of our local people.”

In 2011, Brown was burned while fighting the Oasis Fire, the biggest in Kimble County history.

“By the time I looked up and saw the smoke, it was already on top of us.”

Many PEC employees give generously to their communities, including Brown’s fellow volunteer firefighters from Junction, Jerry Stewart and Jake Olive. Others drive for Meals on Wheels, serve in the U.S. military reserves, or feed the hungry. Because PEC cares, we go out of our way to encourage this culture of service.

“It all goes back to serving the membership,” Brown says. “When I look back and see that I excelled in other areas, it’s because of PEC’s support.”

Concern for community is just one of the seven cooperative principles that set us apart from other utilities. As a member, you’re also an owner of PEC with a say in the direction of the business. Members can vote — or run for — the PEC Board of Directors. We love being involved in the community, and encourage the community to get involved with us!

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