Call to Serve

Office Services Director Tamara Hawkins registers an East Central Electric member at the ECE Annual Meeting.

You probably have heard our story. Co-ops serve because it’s our mission. It’s our core value. It’s how we began – bringing electricity where no one else would. We saw a need and we filled it.

But that’s not the only reason we serve. We serve because it’s our calling. It’s why we’re different.

There are certain attributes that naturally belong to a cooperative employee. They care about those they serve.

This is true for 29-year veteran employee, Office Services Director Tamara Hawkins, “I started my co-op career as a membership clerk and quickly realized it was a perfect fit for me.”

Co-op employees are helpers, civic volunteers, coaches, and neighbors. We feel the need to give back, to serve others and to help make lives better. “It’s my job to make serving our members the best it can be,” Hawkins said. “I take a lot of pride in that.” 

That’s why when the desperate need for high-speed internet in rural areas became apparent, we knew we had to do something. We knew we had to find a way to meet a need for our members. 

That’s another thing about co-ops, we care enough to find a way.  We believe in our mission to serve and follow through. We deliver safe, reliable and affordable electricity and now we are privileged to expand this service into reliable internet through East Central Electric Cooperative’s fiber subsidiary, ecoLINK. 

It’s fitting that ecoLINK’s fiber internet initial member project will be completed during East Central Electric Cooperative’s 85th anniversary year. For East Central, 85 years ago, it was about bringing much needed electric services to the rural areas.  Now, it’s about bringing fiber internet to those same areas.  

“This is more than a job to me,” Hawkins stated. “And now, offering high-speed fiber makes the job that much sweeter.” It puts the icing on the 85th anniversary cake.