Hall of fame quality service

By David Bailey, General Manager

As a proud alumnus of Troy State University, I still remember watching the 1986 College World Series — even more than 30 years later. As a recent graduate at the time, I didn’t know any of the players on that team, but I was still proud to cheer the team on.

Little did I know that several years later my path would cross with two of the team’s stars. One was Mike Elmore, who I worked with as a public accountant at Jackson Thornton in Montgomery. The other was Wendell Stephens, who I have been privileged to work with for more than 25 years here at South Alabama Electric Cooperative.

As you can see on the cover of this magazine, Wendell was recently enshrined in the Troy University Sports Hall of Fame for his accomplishments on the baseball field. You can read more about what that experience has meant to him, as well as about his decision to put baseball aside and raise a family right here in Troy.

Not many cooperatives have an employee of Wendell’s hall of fame stature, but I’m also proud to count him as a friend. I’d like to offer my congratulations to him for this tremendous honor, and I hope you’ll take a moment to read our tribute to him.

Today, Wendell’s priorities have shifted from running the bases to making the rounds as SAEC’s construction supervisor, ensuring our system has everything it needs to bring affordable and reliable electric service to the people of South Alabama. A key part of that mission is helping our members use energy as efficiently as possible.

That’s why, in this issue, you’ll also find important information about a new rebate SAEC is offering to members who own or are thinking about purchasing a manufactured home.

While they make up a large portion of our system due to their affordability, many manufactured homes come with heating systems that can carry hidden costs. When we experience cold winters, inefficient heating can lead to incredibly high electric bills.

With the new heat pump rebate program, our goal is to help more members install efficient heating systems by lowering the cost. At SAEC, we believe everyone deserves the chance to stay comfortable throughout the year, without having to break the bank.

If you own a manufactured home or are considering buying one, I encourage you to read more about that program in this magazine. If you would like to learn more or have questions about the rebate program, please feel free to call one of our customer service representatives. We are happy to assist you.

As with most things in this world, the price of electricity rarely decreases over time. But by taking care to use the most efficient appliances available to us in our homes, we can lower bills.

Finally, as we move into September and the start of another school year, we can also look forward to one of our great passions here in the South: high school and college football.

Here at SAEC, we’re proud of each of the schools in our territory and of our employees who make the effort to participate in the many athletic events. I would encourage you to join them, even if it is only to go to a local ballgame and cheer on the home team.

For many of us, myself included, we tend to take a step back from our local high school teams once our kids graduate and move on. But going out to a high school game, or even to see our favorite college football team, can be a great way to support our schools and to be a part of our wonderful community. After all, you never know where you might cross paths with those athletes one day.

Congratulations to Wendell on his hall of fame selection. He is more than deserving of this honor. He is a great employee, friend and he’s a great golfer too.

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