Buildings, like People, need Tender Loving Care
By Sean J. Vanslyke
If you drive Highway 25 through Bloomfield, you may notice our construction project. SEMO Electric Cooperative’s existing building in Bloomfield was built in 1955 and needs some tender loving care. We are adding energy-efficient windows, painting the exterior and creating a member-consumer area that will be friendly, but safe for our staff. We replaced the roof earlier in the year and continue to make small improvements to the entire property.
We opened a temporary GoSEMO Fiber office in downtown Bloomfield for fiber-fast internet, HDTV and phone. It will be open at least on Tuesdays for you to sign up and experience fiber-fast internet and view hundreds of your favorite TV channels. Our temporary GoSEMO Fiber office in downtown Advance has been extremely successful. For now, we will keep it open at least on Fridays. You may always call us at 877-430-5418 or preregister at GoSEMOFiber.com.
Porch Light Project
On Saturday, October 27, Team SEMO will walk the streets of Bell City for the Cooperative’s Porch Light Project. We will walk the town to distribute LED bulbs to light up porches. We will team up with a local church to provide a community lunch and the SEMO Food Bank will provide food for up to 200 families.
Last month, we welcomed visitors representing the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) from Arlington, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Our guests wanted to understand more about how Team SEMO delivers safe, reliable and low-cost electricity and fiber-fast broadband services to homes, farms and businesses in southeast Missouri. They asked if they could attend “Camp SEMO.”
We call the experience Camp SEMO because the fast-paced, all-access two-day camp allows campers to see first-hand how each department works in conjunction with other departments to serve member-consumers. We start each day at 7 a.m. and end around 6 p.m. On day one, we start with safety, followed by 30-minute sessions in member services, design, metering, dispatch, materials, fleet, marketing, billing and accounting. Then, the campers spend nearly four hours riding alongside a service lineworker who completes various field assignments. On day two, the campers spend the morning with an electric construction crew and the afternoon with our fiber group.
During the past three years, requests from industry partners and vendors to attend Camp SEMO has grown. We have had more than 50 campers attend. In each case, the camper walks away with more appreciation of the effort Team SEMO puts forth to deliver electricity and broadband services to you. Most often we hear “I didn’t know it took so much coordination and team work.”
The most amazing part about Camp SEMO: Team SEMO shares and teaches as a part of its normal work day. If odd things happen, such as storms, campers just roll with us. Plus, we establish new and extended relationships with campers. You never know when we may need their assistance.
Book of the Month
“Some people build their walls so thick no one ever gets to know the real person inside. This is often their reason for doing so. (“If you really knew what I’m like inside, you wouldn’t care for me.”) Let’s come out from behind our masks and dare to change. We don’t need to be fenced in by our failures of the past, we need to step out into the field of future potential.” Florence Littauer – Personality Plus
Be smart. Act safe.
Vanslyke is general manager and chief executive officer of SEMO Electric Cooperative. The photo is Sean with Camp SEMO attendees Megan McAtee, Desiree Dunham and Renee Garver.