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Energize Your Life July & August 2017 Vol. 20 • No. 6

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Julius Hackett, Tri-County Electric Co-op CEO, trains after work for a longdistance charity bike ride.

Companies that Care Ownership of the company matters Studies have shown that communities where owners occupy the majority of homes are more successful academically, are more physically fit, and have a stronger sense of community. While owning a home may not be possible or desirable for everyone, ownership does matter. It just seems to make sense that we treat things we own with greater care. Chances are you probably don’t think too often about your ownership role with your electric cooperative. Every member of Tri-County Electric can take pride in the fact that you are an owner of your electric co-op. While at times it may seem easy to take the provision of electricity for granted, we are working 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to make sure you, the member-owners of the co-op, are well taken care when it comes to your electricity needs. Locally-based cooperatives believe this special bond and obligation to be an integral part of the community. Tri-

County Electric understands that you can’t sell electricity to a business that has closed its doors, or to people who have left the community because there are not enough local opportunities. Electricity is a critical need, but it takes more than poles, wires and kilowatt-hours to make a community. We all have a role to play. As your local electric cooperative, we promise to do our part for the community. If you have thoughts about how we can do a better job, please contact me at or by telephone at 850-973-8020. You are the owners of the co-op, and we welcome your active participation. This issue of Rural Living is all about healthy living and making changes to live your best life. Inside you’ll find tips on how to sneak exercise into your day, the benefits of having a clean diet, and hear from an employee who shares his yearlong journey on getting fit. The Florida

Julius Hackett, CEO Department of Health offers tips on becoming a more active family and being a healthy influence on our children. We hope as you read through this issue that you’ll be motivated to get outside this summer, whether you choose to ride a bike, walk on a trail, play in the pool, or swim in the many springs, lakes and rivers in our community. We hope you have a safe and fun summer and spend it living your best life!

Making a Lifestyle Change

A real-life story from Antonio Richardson, TCEC System Engineer Mother’s Day 2016, I knew it was time for a change when I visited my sweet grandmother in the hospital with flowers in my hand, and the first thing she said to me was “You’re going to need to buy you a truck; you’re getting too fat for that little car you’re in.” That led me to joining a local CrossFit gym, and I’m so glad I did. For me, the hardest part of starting a workout program was to actually start. Now, working out five days a week for about an hour a day has easily become a way of life for me. Another obstacle for me to overcome was my eating habits. Since I consider myself not much of a cook, 99.9% of my meals came from fast food restaurants or buffets, which does not really mix well with CrossFit. I’ve since then found a meal prepping program that works well, and I still 2

don’t have to cook, which is a plus. Becoming more active and eating healthier has helped me to lose over 50 lbs. in less than a year, and I’m on pace to being in the best shape of my life.

My advice to someone who may be thinking of starting an exercise program: Say yes before you can say no. Commit by pre-paying for a one-month gym membership. If you hesitate at the thought of being a newbie at the gym, enlist a friend to go along with you. Expect to not do well at first, it takes time to learn a new skill. You’ll get better if you stick with it. And remember more than anything to have fun! Grandma update: I went to visit her at home the other day and she looked me up and down, then walked me to her bathroom scale. I’m happy to report that I no longer need to buy a new truck.

July & August 2017

Employees walking during a morning break: Carol Timmons, Kisha Tolar, Tamara Ashley and Andrew Pinkard.

Make your bed every morning. You’ll get your muscles moving first thing after you get up, and you’ll appreciate the beautiful, beckoning sight come bed time. Do 10 push-ups every morning. Or jumping-jacks, or crunches, etc. This is a small enough number to commit to each day but a regular enough activity to make a difference. Over time, you can add five more, 10 more, and so on. Squat while you brush your teeth. It may sound (and will definitely look) funny, but it’s effective for three reasons: you’ll have a cleaner smile, a tighter tush, and a small part in saving the planet. Squatting while brushing will make you brush your teeth longer, so turn the water off while brushing, and build stronger glutes in the process. Clean your office. This doesn’t have to be a major project (unless that’s what your office needs), but doing daily or everyother-day maintenance, such as dusting, wiping and de-cluttering will keep you active and happier at your desk and diminish the need for major cleanup projects throughout the year. Switch out your office chair for a stability ball. This may sound bizarre, and it’s guaranteed to turn heads, but sitting on a giant exercise ball instead of a typical office chair will cause you to use your core muscles and have better posture all day long. Just try not to fall off (too many times). July & August 2017

Schedule a daily walk break at work. Put it on your calendar. This way, you’re less likely to get over-absorbed in a project and can’t use the excuse that you forgot. Better yet, get a co-worker to join you — both for company and accountability. Even 10 or 15 minutes is better than what you were (not) doing before. Take calls standing up. If you spend a lot of time on the phone at work, use that time to get off your rump and stretch your legs. The person on the other line won’t have a clue how odd you look. Hand-wash dishes. After you’ve done all that food prep, your dishes aren’t going to wash themselves. Rather than loading them into the dishwasher, which often uses more water and energy and does a less efficient job than hand-washing, take to the sink and use some elbow grease to scrub your dishes clean. Keep your yoga mat/weights/kettlebell by the TV. That way, next time you head to the sofa to watch your favorite show, you can instead squeeze in some exercise while indulging in an otherwise guilty pleasure. Laugh. A Vanderbilt University study found that 10 to 15 minutes of laughter could increase energy expenditure by 10 to 40 calories per day. Source: 3

Tri-County Electric Cooperative’s

District 7 Trustee Earns Director Gold Certificate At the May 2017 Board meeting, Trustee Albert Thomas, Jr. (District 7) received his certificate for completing the NRECA Director Gold requirements. The Director Gold certificate program recognizes trustees who have already earned their Credentialed Cooperative Director (CCD) and Board Leadership Certificate (BLC), and who wish to continue to learn throughout their service on the board. The program was created to recognize trustees committed to continuing their education beyond the CCD and BLC, and who desire a tangible credential that demonstrates their ongoing commitment to advancing their knowledge and performing their fiduciary duty to the best of their ability. 90208004002 Congratulations, Mr. Thomas!

Saturday September 16, 2017 9:00AM Registration & Entertainment 10:00AM Business Meeting

Board President Gary Fulford (right) presents NRECA Director Gold Certificate to District 7 Trustee Albert Thomas, Jr. (left).

Please Welcome Brian Ponder to the TCEC Family!

Madison County High School Gymnasium 2649 US 90 Madison, Florida 32340


Brian recently joined the cooperative family as a part-time janitor. Brian likes to read, play video games, and hang out with friends. He is a long-time resident of Madison, where he grew up with his parents and grandparents. Brian has been with the co-op since April and we look forward too many years of working with him. Fun Fact: Brian has 3 cats! July & August 2017

Happy Retirement, Carolyn! On May 26, 2017, Tri-County Electric said goodbye to Member Services Representative Carolyn Smith. Carolyn worked in our Monticello office, and, as most of you already know, she was a dedicated and valuable member of our team. Prior to her last day, a cook-out was held at the Monticello office where members, trustees and coworkers stopped by to say goodbye and to wish Carolyn the very best for the future. She and her husband, Bill, have plans to tour the USA in their new RV. While we are very excited for Carolyn, it will be hard to fill her role in Jefferson County. Lucky for us, Ms. Sandra “Sam” Harrison has many years of experience in the Monticello office and lives in that community. She has graciously agreed to make a permanent move to the Monticello office.

It’s a Boy! On Jan. 11, 2017, Mr. Andrew Pinkard and his wife, Bobbi, welcomed the arrival of the newest member of their family, Gabriel Colton Pinkard. At birth he weighed 8 lb. 5 oz. and measured 21.75 inches. Andrew is a Human Resource Assistant for the Cooperative and Bobbi is an elementary school teacher in Madison County. Gabriel joins his older brother, Gavin. Congratulations to Andrew and Bobbi on this precious addition to your family!

Carolyn Smith (right) receives a plaque from Corporate Services Manager Stephanie Carroll for her 14+ years of service.

Find Your Hidden Account Number & Get a $150 Bill Credit! Hidden somewhere in this issue of Tri-County Rural Living are two member account numbers. Look carefully, one might be yours. If you find your account number exactly as it appears on your bill for electric service, we’ll credit your bill up to the amount of $150!* You have until Aug. 31, 2017, to claim your credit by calling Carol Timmons at (850) 973-2285, Ext. 203, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. You must contact the TCEC representative before the deadline to collect your prize. * Total credit on bill will not exceed $150.00. This one-time credit is valid only on the current balance. Any balance remaining after the $150.00 applied credit is the member’s responsibility.

July & August 2017


Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Inc. Board Meeting Notes for April 10, 2017

Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Inc. Board Meeting Notes for May 8, 2017

With all trustees, key Cooperative personnel, the attorney, and guests present, the regular monthly meeting of the Board of Trustees of Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Inc. was held on Monday, April 10, 2017, in the Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Inc. headquarters office building located at 2862 West U.S. 90, approximately two miles west of the city of Madison, Fla. Reports to the Board included those of the Finance Committee, Policy Committee, Building and Land Committee, CEO and attorney. The Policy Committee recommended and the Board approved revised Policy 118, “Emergency Succession Plan,” and revised Policy 201, “Transfer of Funds by Bank Wire.” The Board was asked to take proposed revised Policy 203, “Financial Management,” home for study for possible action at the May 2017 Board meeting. Other action taken by the Board included the following: acceptance of the 2016 audit performed by Nichols, Cauley & Associates, LLC; approval of the April 10, 2017, Board Agenda and the March 13, 2017, Board Meeting Minutes; and approval of items as written and recommended by the CEO, which included the WPCA for April 2017 as established by resolution; RUS Form 7 for February 2017; the list of new members for Feb. 22–March 21, 2017; and the Safety and Accident Report for February 2017 along with the System Outage Report. The CEO presented a Florida Solar Energy Industries Association 2016 Utility Grades Report. A list of Board objectives was reviewed and discussed. NRECA Regional Director Dan Sharpe reviewed changes to the R & S Pension Plan. The attorney updated the Board on legal matters.

With all trustees, key Cooperative personnel, the attorney, and guests present, the regular monthly meeting of the Board of Trustees of Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Inc. was held on Monday, May 8, 2017, in the Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Inc. headquarters office building located at 2862 West U.S. 90, approximately two miles west of the city of Madison, Fla. Reports to the Board included those of the NRECA Legislative Conference held April 23–27, 2017, in Washington, D.C.; the Finance Committee; Policy Committee; Building and Land Committee; CEO and attorney. The Policy Committee recommended and the Board approved revised Policy 203, “Financial Management,” and distributed proposed revised Policy 202, “Check Signing and Signing of RUS Form No. 595,” and proposed revised Policy 500, “Employee Wage and Salary Plan,” for the Trustees to take home for study and possible action at the June 2017 Board meeting. Other action taken by the Board included approval of the employee wage and salary plan for 2017–18; an amendment to the Cooperative’s R & S Pension Plan; approval of the May 8, 2017, Board Agenda; approval of the April 10, 2017, Board Meeting Minutes; and approval of items as written and recommended by the CEO, which included the WPCA for May 2017 as established by resolution; RUS Form 7 for March 2017; the list of new members for March 22–April 17, 2017; and the Safety and Accident Report for March 2017 along with the System Outage Report. TCEC’s upcoming Annual Meeting and a member complaint was discussed.

Gary Fulford Catherine Bethea President Secretary-Treasurer

BOARD MEETINGS The regular monthly meeting of the Board of Trustees of Tri‑County Electric Cooperative, Inc. will be held the second Monday in each month at 3:00 p.m. in the central office building of the Cooperative located at 2862 West U.S. 90, approximately two miles west of the city of Madison.

Gary Fulford Catherine Bethea President Secretary-Treasurer

HOLIDAY CLOSING All Tri-County Electric offices will be closed Tuesday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day. We will have standby crews available for power restoration if needed. Please see “To Report

This Publication’s Inspirational Moment “Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!”

Electrical Problems or Outages” on Page 11 of this newsletter.

Romans 12:16 (NLT)


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What are the Benefits of Eating Clean? Whether we hope to lose weight or maintain good health as we age, eating clean makes up a key component of a healthful lifestyle. Loading up our diet with minimally processed, whole foods — such as whole grains, veggies, fruits, nuts, legumes, fatty fish and lean meats — not only provides nutrients to support healthy cell function but also helps fight chronic disease. Cutting unhealthy foods out of our diet offers benefits because compounds found in unhealthy, processed food can increase our disease risk. Feel More Energetic A healthful diet that properly nourishes our body helps us feel energetic and productive. Several nutrients, including B-complex vitamins and iron, help our cells access fuel so they can function properly. Eating clean also helps regulate our blood sugar, helping us avoid fatigue-inducing blood sugar spikes, which can occur after eating processed carbohydrates, such as sweets and refined grains. Try jump starting your energy level with a breakfast that includes fiber-rich whole grains, which provide us with energy all the way to lunch. Improve Cardiovascular Health Eat clean to support long-term health. A healthful diet helps lower our risk of cardiovascular disease. Fruits and vegetables, for example, come packed with vitamin C, a nutrient that helps maintain the strength of our blood vessels. A diet rich in fruits and veggies lowers coronary heart disease risk and also


protects against stroke and high blood pressure. A clean diet rich in healthful fats — the type found in nuts, avocados and olive oil — lowers harmful cholesterol levels, which also fights cardiovascular disease. On the other hand, an unhealthy diet rich in saturated fat increases our blood cholesterol, which threatens our cardiovascular health. Prevent Cancer Eating a clean diet also helps fight cancer growth. Following a diet rich in processed foods puts us at an increased risk of cancer. According to the Colorado State University Extension, saturated fat, processed meat, and fried foods all up our cancer risk. On the other hand, a clean diet rich in fruits and veggies boosts your intake of phytonutrients and antioxidants, which fight cancer growth. Cruciferous veggies — a family that includes broccoli, kale and tomatoes — are especially beneficial. Support Mental Health A healthful diet not only benefits our physical well-being, it also supports our mental health. Some of the nutrients from our diet such as vitamin B-6 help make dopamine, a chemical involved in feelings of pleasure. Omega-3 fatty acid also supports good mental health, which a deficiency can cause moodiness and depression. Limiting caffeine can also improve mental health; research suggests it can increase anxiety. And not skipping meals can avoid stress headaches and stomach aches. Source:

July & August 2017

Easy Broccoli Cottage Bake Looking for a way to incorporate low fat options into your meals? Look no further; this delicious breakfast casserole has a light texture and is full of flavor. This recipe was shared with us by TCEC Member Services Representative Sandra “Sam” Harrison who we consider to be our resident healthful diet expert. 14380002 Ingredients 1 (16 oz.) container 2% milkfat low fat cottage cheese 1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and well drained ¾ c. 2% milkfat shredded sharp cheddar cheese 1 (7 oz.) jar roasted red peppers, well drained and chopped 4 eggs, beaten 3 Tbsp. reduced fat Parmesan style grated topping and plain dry bread crumbs Directions 1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. 2. Mix all ingredients until well blended. 3. Pour into 9-inch pie plate sprayed with cooking spray. 4. Bake 45 min. or until center is set. 5. Let stand 10 min. before cutting into slices to serve. Recipe Source: Kraft

Tri-County Rural Living Vol. XX No. VI July & August 2017 TRI-COUNTY RURAL LIVING, the voice of your member-owned, taxpaying electric utility, is published bimonthly — more if necessary — through the auspices of Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Inc. as a service to its member-owners. Postage is paid at Blountstown, Fla.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES Junior Smith, CCD, BLC D-1 Bobby Dodd, CCD, BLC, DGC D-2 Donnie Waldrep D-3 George Webb, CCD D-4 Catherine Bethea, CCD, BLC, DGC Secretary-Treasurer, D-5 Gary Fulford, CCD President, D-6 Albert Thomas, Jr., CCD, BLC, DGC Vice President, D-7 Malcolm V. Page, CCD, BLC, DGC D-8 Elmer Coker, CCD, BLC, DGC D-9

EDITORIAL OFFICES 2862 West US 90 Madison, FL • (850) 973-2285 PUBLICATION COMMITTEE Julius Hackett CEO Eileen Herndon Executive Assistant Kaitlynn Culpepper Community Relations Specialist Michael Curtis, Madison Media Group Writer STAFF Jeff Brewer Manager – Engineering Stephanie Carroll Manager – Corporate Services Darrell Tuten Manager – Operations Wendell M. Williams Manager – Finance

Send CHANGE OF ADDRESS NOTICES to: Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Inc. 2862 West US 90 Madison, FL 32340

July & August 2017

Let the sun work for you! Consider solar lights for outdoor lighting. Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity that can be stored in a battery and tapped at night to make light. Check manufacturers’ instructions to make sure your solar lights are situated to receive sufficient sunlight to recharge during the day. Source: U.S. Dept. of Energy

To Report Electrical Problems or Outages Please Call:

850-973-2285 or 1-800-999-2285 24-HOUR SERVICE THANK YOU


District Meetings

In accordance with Article 7, Section A of Tri-County Electric Cooperative’s bylaws, district meetings will be held for the purpose of selecting person(s) as candidates for trustee. This year, members will elect trustees to represent Districts 7, 8, and 9. District meetings are scheduled as follows:

District 8

Monday, July 24 Lake Bird Methodist Church 2960 Lake Bird Church Rd. Perry, Fla.

District 9

Tuesday, July 25 Blue Creek Baptist Church 21028 Beach Rd. Perry, Fla.

District 7

Thursday, July 27 Salem AME Church Highway 257 Monticello, Fla. Registration begins at 5:30 p.m. Business meetings begin at 6:00 p.m.

Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Inc. 2862 West US 90 Madison, FL 32340

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