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March 2018

ConnectWith: SYEMC Director David Miller

Leadership starts with listening

Co-op director, farmer David Miller discusses what it means to serve.

Listening is what’s most important, according to Surry-Yadkin EMC Director David Miller. “As directors, we’re an extension of the voices of our members,” says Miller, also a lifelong co-op member. To effectively extend those voices, directors must first listen to the concerns and needs of their peers - the co-op membership. 

    Born and raised on a farm in Wilkes County, Miller is a proud member of the 1961 State AA championship basketball team at North Wilkes High School.

    After high school, Miller gave the 9-to-5 life a try and worked in a factory. He soon realized that the farm was where he was meant to be. More than 40 years later, he and his wife, Ann, live on their family farm of 90 thousand chickens outside of Hays in rural Wilkes County. They have one adult son and two daughters who reside outside of the area.

    Miller joined the SYEMC board in 2013 with ambitions of learning more about his electric cooperative and advocating for his fellow members.

    “I’m no different than my neighbor up the road,” Miller admits. “Things like rate increases and power outages affect me just like any other member.”

    As a co-op director, Miller has the responsibility of honorably representing his fellow members in the board room. This requires keeping current on industry trends and events and attending training workshops and conferences with other directors from across the U.S.

    “Co-ops are more complex than most people realize,” says Miller. “We’re faced with the tasks of understanding wholesale power costs and rules and regulations while trying to keep electric rates as low as possible.”

    Miller is part of a 10-person board of directors who seldom if ever leave a meeting divided on a topic affecting the co-op’s membership. 

    “We’re here to serve the members and the employees of the co-op,” says Miller. “We need to take into consideration their concerns and needs.” He goes on to explain that members must be engaged with their co-op. This happens each year when they attend the annual meeting in October. Members are also able to stay informed monthly with the Member Connections section within the Carolina Country magazine. Daily interaction takes place on various social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

    One main difference between electric co-ops and other utilities is the fact that each co-op member has a voice. You are represented by a group of 10 fellow SYEMC members who serve on a board of directors. Their interests, concerns and needs are similar to yours. Get connected with the co-op you own today.



The North Wilkes Vikings won their only state title in the school’s fifth year of existence in 1961.



Click below to read the full March 2018 Carolina Country.
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