Dear Members,  
 
I welcome this first opportunity to speak directly to you as the newly named GM & CEO. I just wish this message was not about the subject at hand. As we all navigate the recent events brought on by COVID-19, I want to assure you that WCEC is business as usual, albeit a little unusually. I've been with WCEC for 24 years, most recently as the Chief Financial Officer since 2003.  As part of the executive team, I helped develop our long-time Emergency Response Plan.  It's been tested with storms and other events, and it includes in-depth pandemic tactics to ensure the safety and well-being of our members and our employees. We will continue monitor events and adjust our plans accordingly. 
 
 
Our linemen are still out in the field doing their critical work.  Because they are essential to our ability to serve you, we ask you to please help us protect them with the recommended 6-foot social distancing practices. They are working hard for you, and we all need them to remain co-op strong. As we've reported, our lobby is closed, and our mobile unit is garaged until further notice.  But we're still here to serve you.  Members are encouraged to use our payment app, our website pay portal, our phone system, our drive-thru, our drop box, and the U.S. Postal Service to pay bills. And, for regular co-op business, just telephone us.    
 
We know, with the inability to work, many of our members are struggling with their bills. That's why, until further notice, we've suspended disconnects for non-payment.  Members that need financial help are asked to reach out to us as soon as possible. 
 
Each circumstance is different. Based on specifics, our member service representatives can council members on a case-by-case basis to help them manage now, to avoid a more difficult period later. Call 903-763-2203 (option 3 to speak to a representative).  Alternatively, email info@wcec.org, and include your account number and full name the account is in, and the phone number where we can reach you. We'll review your account and call you back.  
 
During this time of crisis, our business phone line could become busier than usual. Before you need it, learn about the 3 best ways to report an outage. None of these alternate outage reporting solutions - our App, Outage Texting, and the Outage Hotline - tie up the local lines, leaving them free for members to call in to discuss finances and to report emergencies. And they are the FASTEST ways to get trucks rolling to your outage. Learn about them here.  

This is an unprecedented situation, and we are all working through the challenges as they come. Thank you for your patience, loyalty and membership. Stay safe!  
 
Trey Teaff  
CEO and General Manger  


Wood County Electric Cooperative Board
Names Teaff as new CEO and GM
 
The board of directors of Wood County Electric Cooperative have unanimously selected Trey Teaff to serve as the cooperative's next General Manager and Chief Executive Officer. Teaff comes to the position with a strong cooperative and financial background, with 26 years in the industry and 23 of those working at WCEC.
 
Teaff replaces Debbie Robinson, who joined WCEC in 1983 and was the GM and CEO from 1997 until her retirement on April 6, 2020. When Robinson announced her plans to retire in the fall of 2019, the board began a comprehensive replacement process by retaining the consulting firm of Langley & Associates Executive Search, Inc., who qualified candidates to be interviewed by the co-ops' board of directors.
 
About their selection, Pat Lindley, board president said, "Trey is a well-proven leader equipped with the right skill sets to ensure stability while moving us forward. He's technologically savvy and grounded in strong and conservative financial principles. He's also a long-time active member of the community. My fellow board members and I are confident these combined characteristics will serve our WCEC members, employees and the greater region well."
 
Teaff is a graduate of Texas Tech University where he earned his Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting. He became a Certified Public Accountant in 1996. Teaff joined WCEC in 1996 after having worked at South Plains Electric Co-op. His first position at WCEC was Accounting Manager, followed by Chief Financial Officer. Prior, he worked for an accounting/auditing firm, and for the City of Lubbock.
 
Teaff has been active in cooperative trade associations and has also served the local community in volunteer positions. He was board member and president for Quitman Independent School District and has coached for the Quitman Youth Foundation and for Upward Youth Basketball. He served as a board member and president of the Quitman Development Corporation, and as a board member on the Greater Quitman Chamber of Commerce.   He's a former member of Rotary where he served in leadership roles including president. In 2012 Teaff was recognized for his work in the Greater Quitman Area with the Community Builder Award presented by the Masonic Grand Lodge of Texas.
 
About his new position, Teaff said, "This is a challenge and an honor I humbly and gladly accept. Because of past management practices, our cooperative is well-respected among our peers and in the communities we serve. My goal is to continue to build upon that and to ensure we continue to bring great value to the members and communities we serve."
 
A native and lifelong resident of Texas, Teaff has resided in Wood County since 1996 with his with wife Stacey. They are the parents of a son, Rowdy (wife Brianna).


Congratulations to Debbie Robinson
 
Following 37 years of service to the members, community and employees, Wood County Electric Cooperative CEO/GM Debbie Robinson is retiring on April 6.
 
Debbie began her tenure at WCEC in 1983 in the accounting department. Just seven years later, in 1990, she was named Assistant Manager. That appointment helped to prepare her for when the WCEC Board of Directors called for applicants for the General Manager's position in 1996. Upon being named to the position, she became one of the first women in the nation to head an electric cooperative. 
 
Among her accomplishments, she's a graduate of Texas A&M, earning her BBA in Accounting. Following, she obtained her CPA credentials. Throughout her tenure, she's served the members and employees of WCEC well. And she's done it on a local, state and national scale, having been named to numerous top positions on various industry boards. In large part, due to her work and her leadership, WCEC has become a well-respected and emulated electric cooperative in the industry.
 
In her retirement, all of us at WCEC wish Debbie many years of contentment and fun times with her husband, Troy. And further, with her growing family that will soon include th eir very first grandchild.
 
She'll be missed, as we wish her the best.

Remember to #ThankALineman on April 13
 
Linemen serve on the front lines of our nation's energy needs, and on April 13, 2020, WCEC along with other electric cooperatives across the country, will honor the brave men and women who work hard to keep the lights on.  
 
Line crews work around the clock, sometimes in difficult and dangerous conditions, to keep power flowing to our local communities. Whether they're restoring power after a major storm or maintaining critical infrastructure to our electric system, linemenare at the heart of our co-op.  
 
When a storm hits, they set aside their personal priorities because Mother Nature doesn't work around holidays, vacations and birthdays. A service-oriented mentality is one of the many admirable characteristics of an electric lineman.  
 
WCEC is proud to honor the line crews that maintain over 5,100 miles of power lines in our service territory. We invite our members to take a moment to thank the linemen for the work they do. Leave a message for them on our Facebook page and use the hashtag #ThankALineman to show your support for those who men light our lives.

Deadline Extended
$12K in Scholarships for College or Vo-Tech    
 
Scholarship applications are now being accepted from area students. For 2020, WCEC is offering ten $1,000 college scholarships and two $1,000 Vo-Tech scholarships. To be eligible, applicants must be dependents of active WCEC members and live in the service territory.  The extended deadline to apply is April 21, 2020.  
 
Applications and eligibility requirements are available online at http://www.wcec.org/programs-sponsorships/scholarships/