ACE Hardware, State Farm, REI, Land O’Lakes and MVEC all share something in common: we’re all cooperatives. We may be in different industries, but we all share a passion for serving our members and helping our communities to thrive. In fact, all cooperatives adhere to the same set of seven principles that reflect our core values of honesty, transparency, equity, inclusiveness and service to the greater community good. October is National Co-op Month, so this is the perfect time to reflect on these principles that have stood the test of time but also provide a framework for the future.
1. Voluntary and Open Membership
Membership in MVEC is open to everyone in our service territories, regardless of race, religion, age, disability, gender identity, language, political perspective or socioeconomic status. We include everyone to improve the quality of life and economic opportunity for our communities.
2. Democratic Member Control
Each member gets a voice and a vote in how the co-op is run, and each voice and vote are equal. Our board of directors, who helps set priorities for our co-op, live locally on co-op lines. These board members have been elected by neighbors just like you. We know our members have valuable input and encourage you to weigh in on important co-op issues.
3. Members’ Economic Participation
Our mission is to provide safe, reliable and affordable energy and fiber to our members. As a co-op, we are also motivated by service to our communities, rather than profits. Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of MVEC. Members allocate surpluses for co-op programs, initiatives, capital investments and supporting other activities approved by the membership. It was based on member need that we leveraged our Smart Grid investment to launch MVlink, our high-speed fiber internet service to provide connection in rural areas.
4. Autonomy and Independence
MVEC is an independent, self-help
co-op controlled by our members. If we enter into agreements with other organizations, we do so on terms that ensure democratic control by you, our members, and maintain independence.
5. Education, Training and Information
MVEC provides education and training for our members, elected representatives, managers and employees.
6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives
MVEC works with local, national and regional co-ops to better serve our members and strengthen the cooperative movement. At times, MVEC has provided assistance to other cooperatives (Hurricane Laura for example) and at other times, MVEC has been the recipient of this type of assistance (after last year’s derecho).
7. Concern for Community
While focusing on our members’ needs, MVEC works to develop our communities by encouraging economic development, promoting education and advocating safe use of electricity.