COMMUNITY VIEWPOINT: Practices and principles that guided VEA’s first 50 years

There is a famous quote often used to express the importance of history: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

While this statement is certainly true, I believe history can serve a more valuable purpose than simply highlighting failures. If we study the accomplishments of our past, we can identify the values that led to our successes. If we stay true to these ideals, we have the unique opportunity to repeat and expand upon our achievements.

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Valley Electric Association, Inc. (VEA), we should take pride in our shared successes and remind ourselves of the practices and principles that guided our organization to become a member-focused catalyst for economic growth.

VEA’s recent successes include maintaining rate stability by securing new power purchase agreements and acquiring valuable contracts with the Nevada National Security Site and Creech Air Force Base.

Our cooperative also recently joined the California Independent System Operator Corporation balancing authority, opening the door to a wide variety of future renewable energy projects.

These achievements came as a result of VEA’s bold vision for the future, which promotes the development of new economic opportunities. VEA’s founders also offered visionary leadership, recognizing the tremendous value of bringing electricity to their communities.

VEA’s recent achievements serve as a modern extension of our cooperative’s long-term commitment to forward-thinking endeavors.

VEA’s founders also valued hard work and service to make electrification a reality. Today, VEA works tirelessly to offer products and services that are difficult and expensive to acquire from other sources.

For example, our Domestic Solar Water Heating Program makes renewable energy technology more accessible and affordable for community members.

The most important value we carry forward from those early days is community. VEA was born when people came together for the common good, and we remain unwavering in this approach through many community-focused efforts.

If we honor the values that created our cooperative and guided us to this point, I have no doubt we will build upon our successes for another 50 years and beyond.

Tom Husted has served as the CEO of VEA since 2006. He has more than 30 years of experience in the utility industry across the Western United States, including more than 20 years as a CEO. Each monthly edition of VEA’s Ruralite magazine features a column from Husted, offering his thoughts about issues affecting the cooperative and the communities it serves. These monthly columns are reprinted in the Pahrump Valley Times.

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