Baldwin EMC Board of Trustees
Even though Baldwin EMC has been part of this community for more than 80 years, we still face unprecedented times. And during those times, it’s never more apparent to us that we can never stop learning.
This was the case as we have all dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic this year. Initially, the virus started out on the other side of the globe, and the concerns surrounding it at first seemed worlds away.
Then everything changed. The dangers of this illness became a reality for our community, and as a result our management team had to figure out a way to respond to a crisis that was unlike any we had faced before. If this had been a natural disaster from the hands of Mother Nature, we would have relied on the tried and true plans we already have in place. But this was a storm of a different kind, and it left us in uncharted waters.
As an essential business, halting our operations was never an option. So how were we to keep on providing reliable electric service, while complying with the guidelines put in place to keep us safe?
The answer? Utilize modern technology and adapt.
Baldwin EMC has always been a forward-thinking cooperative. We’ve never shied away from the “cutting edge,” as long as it enhanced the way we serve our consumers. If not for that way of thinking, we would have been at a loss for how to continue our operations when we closed our office lobbies and modified our work procedures to comply with social distancing guidelines. During this time, we utilized virtual meetings, online bill payments, teleworking for employees, Easy Payment Kiosks, the Baldwin EMC app and many other examples of technology in order to keep the cooperative up and running.
But not every decision revolved around how Baldwin EMC would continue to operate. When businesses starting closing doors as the pandemic took hold of our nation, we knew our members would face financial hardships. Some of them were forced to choose between paying their electric bills and having money for other essential purposes. They came to their cooperative for a solution.
In those moments, we had to look beyond our own bottom lines and focus on what truly mattered: providing a service to our members when they needed it most. That meant temporarily altering our normal procedures. It meant being a listening ear to members who were truly feeling the pressure of their situation. It meant showing our heart.
As things slowly return to normal, or whatever normal is destined to look like going forward, we will continue to embrace opportunities for technological advancements. They may be the key to helping us overcome the unexpected. But we won’t forget that our purpose, our mission, our very identity comes from our heart. And always, even in unexpected times, we will be here for you.