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Ambassador Program

Community Investment ~ Ambassador Program

Current Ambassador Meetings

Program Background:
Valley Electric Association, Inc. (VEA) is proud of its grassroots Ambassador program and the Ambassadors’ accomplishments.  Ambassadors are VEA members who want to be well informed and educated on the day to day operations of VEA, as well as its future. 

These members want to make a difference in their community and support VEA by participating on committees, attending meetings and joining VEA staff at functions. They provide feedback on VEA initiatives, programs and activities. They talk to their neighbors and share information.

 

Core Purpose: 
The overall purpose is to utilize the vast knowledge and experience of the entire membership through an exchange of ideas in collaboration with this group.  The Ambassador program has been overwhelmingly embraced. It numbers over 600 members and is continually growing with representation from each of VEA’s six districts.  

 

Impact:
The Ambassadors have become the face of VEA. They are easily identified by their signature green shirts. Their voices are heard and they realize that they are making a difference in the community.

 

Structure:
The Ambassadors understand VEA’s core values and guiding principles.  A tremendous amount of trust and mutual respect has been built through the years between the Ambassadors and VEA. Ambassadors are a conduit to the community and respected by their peers.  In continuing with the values and principles of the cooperative, the Ambassador’s structure includes committees to best utilize their talents.

1. The Bylaw Committee: Reviews the bylaws and proposes changes as needed.

2. The Conservation and Renewable Energy Committee (CREC): CREC was instrumental in developing the solar water heater (SWH) program. The committee oversees the annual Energy Awareness Poster Contest and the Energy Science Fair. 

CREC MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of Valley Electric Association’s (VEA) Ambassador CREC group is to provide support for VEA and VEA members through education and the implementation of conservation practices/measures and renewable energy generation within the VEA service territory.

3. The Finance Committee: Their goal is to understand financial conditions and considerations for the cooperative.  They periodically meet with NRUCFC (National Rural Utility Cooperative Finance Corporation) and the auditor to receive and understand information regarding VEA’s financial stability.

4. The Legislative Committee: This committee is interested in legislation that may impact the cooperative. VEA provides an opportunity for them to meet with elected officials to state their concerns about utility related issues.

5. Scholarship Committee: This committee annually develops the topic applicants will use to create essays. The applications are graded with all information about the applicant redacted.

6. Membership Committee: This committee was created to recruit and retain Ambassadors. This committee attends Ambassador functions and is available to answer questions about the Ambassador Program.

Added Value to the Community:
Ambassador value is accomplished by:

  • Acquiring - They have acquired information about each VEA department and how they work together towards a common goal. This is helpful within the community when they are networking with each other and are asked specific questions.
  • Learning - They learned how VEA purchases power and how it is different from other cooperatives in the U.S. This is particularly important as VEA is very unique in the fact that it purchases the majority of its power from the open market. The Ambassadors understand what an undertaking this is and how it impacts them. They are able to communicate this with other members.  VEA provides a quarterly, online newsletter to the Ambassadors with current, pertinent energy information to share with the general membership at every opportunity.
  • Researching - CREC is researching wind and other solar alternatives for the service territory to better enhance our commitment to community. The world is changing and our Ambassadors realize that. They come to us with suggestions and opinions regarding what they are hearing within the community regarding new products on the market or to share their knowledge on alternative energy. They are not only the liaisons within the community but the eyes and ears of what the “hot” topics are and what we might want to be aware of. For example, there was a new gadget out on the market that claimed it could lower your power bill 50%. This company sent a mass mailing to several of our members. We had over 25 calls from our Ambassadors informing us of this product and if we knew anything about it. They were concerned that the members in the community would not understand what it was and that we should help educate them, so they did not get caught up in purchasing a product that had no real significant value. We were thankful so many of them cared enough to contact us regarding this product and we took care of the issue promptly.
  • Understanding - Understand VEA’s future business plans. The Ambassadors attend meetings to become educated on VEA and what we are doing to ensure the reliability of power for the future. They can express this information to their peers, so there is no doubt that what we are doing internally will benefit the entire membership.
  • Structuring - Created an Executive Committee made up of two Co-Chairs and one Secretary. They were elected by the Ambassador group, so there is a liaison with whom they can communicate. This idea was borne by the Ambassadors at one of their meetings. They decided that there should be an Ambassador group that they could contact with suggestions and opinions and that group could meet regularly with VEA regarding those items. So far, it has worked very well.

Valley Electric Association was created over 50 years ago by folks getting together, sitting around the table talking about their issues, concerns and how to fix them. One way VEA is moving forward is by going back to its grassroots through the Ambassador Program.

Join the Ambassador Program There are several ways:

  • You can pick up a brochure from our main office and fill out the form included.
  • Call us at (775) 727-5312, we can mail you a brochure and you return the completed form back to VEA.
  • We can fax you a copy to fill out and you can fax it back to (775) 727-6320.
  • We can e-mail you the form and you can return it to VEA.

When we receive your completed application, VEA will then notify you of the details for any upcoming meetings.

Ambassador Brochure

Ambassador Program Handbook

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