April 2017

Let’s avoid storm complacency; SEMO’s annual gathering set May 15

Are you prepared?

Often, we get complacent and not prepared for severe weather because of a long run of mild weather. We tend to let our guard down. In March, Mother Nature tossed up a few storms that rocked parts of Missouri and others states. It is important we prepare for severe weather, pay attention to meteorologists and listen to our gut. Take action to be safe and stay alive. 

Severe storms are unfortunate and can be devastating. These storms can take down power lines — creating a dangerous situation for all of us, including Team SEMO working hard to get your power turned back on. How long it takes to get your power restored depends on the extent of the storm’s destruction, the number of outages, and when it becomes safe for Team SEMO to get to the damaged areas.

When outages occur due to severe storms, the phones lines immediately begin to ring and, in some cases, you may hear "all circuits are busy” or other odd messages which mean that all available connections in the phone network are being used. A given network has a limited number of switches used to place calls, and when this number is exceeded, additional calls can only go through once others complete. It is frustrating when you can’t call us or your family during emergencies, but please know Team SEMO is doing its best to access the storm’s damage and is working to restore power. Thank you for your understanding and patience after severe weather. Let’s take time during good weather to prepare for bad weather.

Jo Ann Emerson

During its recent annual meeting, America’s Electric Cooperatives (NRECA) honored our friend Jo Ann Emerson with its Clyde Ellis Award, the highest honor it presents. “Jo Ann used her political savvy and her natural ability to lead NRECA,” said NRECA President Mel Coleman. “She lit up every room she walked into with her warmth and authenticity. In many ways, her service as CEO reminds me of the way my fellow Arkansan and the first general manager of NRECA, Clyde Ellis, provided pivotal leadership during the formation of our national association.” The award was accepted on her behalf by her husband, Ron Gladney, who said Jo Ann was never more proud of her professional accomplishments than when she was CEO of NRECA. We continue to pray for Jo Ann’s recovery from a health issue.

Green Sales Tax Holiday

Each year from April 19 to April 25, the Missouri Show-Me Green Sales Tax Holiday exempts state sales tax on retail sales of select qualifying Energy Star certified new appliances, up to $1,500 per appliance.

Annual Gathering

SEMO Electric’s Annual Membership Meeting is set for Monday, May 15, 2017, at the Miner Convention Center. The doors will open at 5 p.m. for popcorn and live music by Maggie Thorn. The business meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Please mark your calendar.


SEMO Electric recently hosted Rural Missouri’s Zach Smith, who is new to the cooperative world, and Farmers’ Electric Cooperative’s CEO Rod Cotton, Executive Assistance Jennie Tipton and CFO Kinnison McKay for Camp SEMO.  Camp SEMO is a fast-paced learning environment so campers get a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to deliver safe, reliable and affordable electricity to SEMO’s member-consumers. Also, campers attend Camp SEMO to learn and share best practices regarding rural electric cooperatives. There is an in-depth article, written by Zach, about Camp SEMO inside this issue of Rural Missouri.

Book of the Month

“Remarkable visions and genuine insights are always met with resistance. And when you start to make progress, your efforts are met with even more resistance.  Products, services, career paths – whatever it is, the forces of mediocrity will align to stop you. If it were any other way, it would be easy. And if it were any other way, everyone would do it and your work would ultimately be devalued. Persist.” Seth Godin – Tribes 

Be smart. Act safe.


Vanslyke is general manager and chief executive officer of SEMO Electric Cooperative. In the photo, Sean helped paint and landscape a home during Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives Community Service Project, held in conjunction with America’s Electric Cooperatives’ annual meeting. Learn more at ect.coop. (Photo by: Luis Gomez Photos)


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