New Year’s Eve of 2020, the year like no other, delivered one last blow to the entire Tipmont family with the passing of our board chairman Jerry Peevler. Jerry served on the board since 2007, most recently as our chairman and Wabash Valley director.
Articles in Category: CEO Notes
When Tipmont acquired Wintek Corporation in January 2019, the focus was on Wintek’s existing and stable infrastructure and highly skilled workforce. Both immediately benefited from our initiative to build state-of-the-art broadband to Tipmont’s electric service area.
When we originally announced our fiber internet build at our July 2018 Annual Meeting, the initial reaction was open applause. State-of-the-art broadband service is finally coming to rural areas! But, when I shared our timeline of eight years, that applause quickly became disillusionment.
Innovation requires both courage and compassion. It takes courage because there is no guarantee that the new thing you're trying to do will succeed. But true innovation – something beyond mere change – also requires compassion, the belief that this success should be shared by everyone, not just a select few.
On the evening of August 10, severe storms with high winds rolled through our service territory. At one point, over 10,000 homes were out of power, over 40% of our total membership. The response of our team was nothing short of heroic.
My article last month centered on Indiana’s utility disconnect moratorium and Tipmont’s commitment to help those of you who are struggling with unemployment, reduced hours, or furloughs from the COVID-19 pandemic. The moratorium expiration date was extended to Aug. 14 after the July Indiana Connection deadline and may be extended further if COVID-19 cases continue to increase.
We live and work in this community and when you struggle, we all struggle.
Last month, I shared that our board of directors decided to postpone the 2020 Annual Meeting, originally scheduled for Saturday, July 25. We’re all hoping that the pandemic continues to ebb, but the safety of each member we serve will always be our primary consideration.
Our Annual Meeting is an event I always look forward to. As you may know, its primary purpose is to elect the board of directors that governs our cooperative. But we also use the opportunity to celebrate the membership that makes Tipmont possible. It’s a privilege to visit with so many of you each year and listen to your feedback on how we’re doing.
I wrote last month about how our delivery of critical infrastructure makes our responsibility more important now than ever. Cooperatives routinely plan for emergency situations, and our emergency plan has served us well in a variety of circumstances — from ice storms to tornadoes. In these unprecedented times, we’ve taken some additional unprecedented steps to make sure our team is in place to power your world.
As I write this, we're in unprecedented and uncertain times. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected so many of our longstanding institutions and disrupted daily life for all of us. In the case of Tipmont and Wintek, our delivery of critical infrastructure makes our responsibility to the communities we serve more important now than ever.