Seven years ago marked a new beginning for me — my first day of work at Arkansas Electric
Cooperative Corporation (AECC) and Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI). On my way in
to work that very first day I stopped to fill my car with gas. It was one of those pumps with the
television built in, and as I filled up, I heard a message sponsored by the Electric Cooperatives of
Arkansas, my new employer. The message ended with these words, which you may remember,
“We are your friends and neighbors” — and then the jingle, “We are Arkansas.”
I wanted to shout with joy! “I’m going to work with these people, the friends and neighbors for
the entire state!”
And now, a quick seven years later, our time together is approaching an end. I will be moving
soon to begin working with another electric cooperative organization serving a new set of
friends and neighbors in Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado and New Mexico.
I have treasured our time together, and I will be leaving Arkansas with many fond memories.
Every ending marks a new beginning, and I am optimistic about the energy future in Arkansas.
With power rates among the lowest in the nation and a diverse portfolio of generating
resources. Arkansas is well-positioned to continue to attract jobs and investment.
As the comedienne Carol Burnett used to sing, at the close of every show:
I’m so glad we’ve had this time together,
Just to have a laugh and sing a song,
Seems we just get started and before you know it
Comes the time we have to say, so long.
(Imagine me tugging on my left ear, and if you’re too young to understand what that means,
Google “Carol Burnett tugging ear.”)
May God bless you all.
Duane Highley is president and CEO of Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc., (AECI) and ArkansasElectric Cooperative Corporation (AECC). AECI, a statewide service co-op, and AECC, a wholesale power supply co-op, are owned by Arkansas’ 17 local distribution co-ops, which
provide retail electric service to more than 1 million members.