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Northwestern REC sends troops to help southern cooperatives

Cambridge Springs, PA– September 12, 2017 — As the heavy dew lifted in Cambridge Springs this morning, Northwestern REC employees prepared to send nine employees to aid Georgia electric cooperatives restore power to its members. Four two-man crews and one supervisor left the co-op headquarters this morning after checking their bucket trucks for supplies and safety equipment as well as making sure they had that back-up pair of work boots.

Prior to heading out for the long drive to Georgia, Mary Grill, President & CEO, stressed to the employees to work safely and to stay alert. “We appreciate you volunteering to help our southern cooperatives and realize the sacrifice your family also makes during these events. It is also important to remember the additional weight that falls on the employees that remain home to serve our own members. By working together, we can accomplish great things.”

This isn’t the first time Northwestern REC crews have gone to the aid of other cooperatives and investor-owned utilities after hurricanes and ice storms and it won’t be the last. “Why would an organization and its employees want to do this? Besides the basic desire to help our brothers and sisters, it’s the principle of it – a Cooperative Principle – Cooperation Among Cooperatives," notes Linda King, Vice President of Communications & Energy Solutions. Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative network by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.

A cooperative is a business operated and democratically controlled by its membership of owners to meet their common needs and aspirations. Northwestern REC was formed in 1936 and is one of more than 900 not-for-profit rural electric cooperatives serving more than 42 million members in 47 states. Co-ops are guided by seven basic principles: 1) Voluntary and Open Membership 2) Democratic Control 3) Members’ Economic Participation 4) Autonomy and Independence 5) Education, Training & Information 6) Cooperation Among Cooperatives and 7) Concern for Community. Northwestern REC has been identified by Touchstone Energy Best Practices as the leading cooperative in the Nation on member engagement.

Northwestern REC is a not-for-profit electric distribution cooperative providing service to over 20,000 locations in Crawford, Erie, Warren, Venango and Mercer counties in Pennsylvania and Ashtabula County, Ohio. To view a video about Northwestern REC, visit and click on the YouTube icon.