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GUNNISON COUNTY ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION

[GCEA News]
[whats inside]
Chico Retires
n Youth Leadership Camp 2014
n Electric Vehicle Chargers
n Be Prepared Before a Storm
n

Employee Anniversaries

MAILING ADDRESS
P.O. Box 180
Gunnison, CO 81230-0180
STREET ADDRESS
37250 West Highway 50
Gunnison, CO 81230
970-641-3520 [Gunnison]
970-349-5385 [Crested Butte]
gcea@gcea.coop [email]
www.gcea.coop [web]
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
John Vader, president
District 6 [Gunnison East/Sargents]
Greg Wiggins, vice president
District 1 [Crested Butte]
Paul Hudgeons, secretary/treasurer
District 5 [Lake City]
Bart Laemmel, assistant secretary/treasurer
District 3 [Ohio Creek/Almont]
Chuck Cliggett, director
District 7 [at large]
Chris Morgan, director
District 2 [Mt. Crested Butte]
Steve Schechter, director
District 4 [Gunnison West/Powderhorn]

GCEA Investing in the


Change Makers of the Future
BY MARCIA WIREMAN || CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Each year when late summer


providing training, education
rolls around, I cant help but
and information opportunities.
admire the optimism, dedicaAs both a member and employee
tion, enthusiasm and abilities of
of GCEA, I am proud to be a
students as they prepare to go
part of an organization that supback to school. I am reminded of
ports the youth in the areas that
the value of education and how
we serve. I would like to tell you
important it is for a community Marcia Wireman
a little bit about the programs
to provide opportunities for its
offered by GCEA with the hope
youth to thrive and be successful as future that, as a member of GCEA, you, too,
change makers in the world.
will appreciate being part of a future with
Gunnison County Electric Association
positive change.
provides such opportunities for young
Elementary Safety Education
people through quality programs focused
The GCEA youth program that has
on safety, education, leadership and
been around the longest is electric safety
environmental awareness. Support for
education for elementary students. Since
these types of programs is rooted in the
1980, Dan McDonough, GCEAs member
foundation of the cooperative business
model, which is guided by such principles relations supervisor and safety director,
has provided quality presentations to the
as showing concern for community and
young people in our communities on how
to be safe around electricity.
Dan is highly respected and fondly
known as Dan the Electric Man by
those who have the privilege of learning
about safety from him. Over the course
of the last three years, Dan has presented
safety demonstrations to 497 students,
representing two grade levels. Over the
last 34 years, it is estimated that Dan had
the opportunity to provide electrical safety education to more than 8,000 students.
Finding a way to teach electric safety to
young people in a way that can be understood can be challenging. Dan performs
safe and engaging demonstrations while
wearing safety gear to help students see
firsthand how electricity works and how it
can be dangerous if not used safely. While
[continued on page 8]
it is possible to quantify
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[GCEA News]
GCEA Investing in the Change Makers of the Future
[continued from page 7]

the number of students who had the opportunity to learn about electrical safety,
we cant know exactly how many injuries
may have been prevented or lives saved
as a result of an electric safety program.

Scholarship program

GCEA is committed to supporting higher


education for area youth whose parents
or legal guardians are members of the association. GCEAs scholarship program is
designed to encourage and recognize the
dependents of GCEA members. Scholarships are awarded based on academics,
extracurricular school activities, and
community civic activities as well as
financial need.
GCEA scholarship opportunities are
made available through unclaimed capital
credits, GCEA member donations to Operation Round Up, memorial donations,
GCEA Board of Director donations,
Tri-State Generation and Transmission
and Basin Electric Power Cooperative donations. This year alone, GCEA
awarded a total of $37,150 in scholarships
to 48 students on behalf of the membership. GCEA believes that investing in our
youth will make a real difference not only
for the future of our community, but also
for the world we live in.

Electric Cooperative Youth Tour

Every June more than 1,500 high school


students from towns and small cities
in rural America spend a week in the
nations Capitol as part of the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour. GCEA participates
in this program each year by sponsoring
students whose parents or legal guardians
are members of the association. Like the
scholarship program, this program is also
funded with unclaimed capital credits.
GCEA believes in educating rural
youth about America and the role electric
cooperatives play in developing strong
rural communities. Altogether, Colorados electric cooperatives send about two
dozen students per year to Washington,
D.C. Students who participate in the tour
learn about electric cooperatives, American history and the U.S. government. The
Colorado Rural Electric Association, in
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September 2014

conjunction with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, organize


the educational programs.
The participants of the Washington,
D.C., tour begin their tour in Denver
where they learn about Colorados state
government and Colorados cooperatives.
From Denver, they fly to Washington,
D.C., where they attend educational
seminars and visit with their representatives and senators in Congress. Students
also visit historic sites in Washington,
D.C. the Lincoln Memorial, Mount
Vernon, Arlington Cemetery and the
Smithsonian, just to name a few. Participating in the Youth Tour is a great way to
learn about our nation, develop leadership skills, gain a better understanding
of electric cooperatives and make friends
with people from across the state and
country.

Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp

Another program that GCEA participates in is the Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp. Like with the Washington,
D.C., Youth Tour, students are selected
based on demonstrated leadership abilities and a written essay. This is an outstanding educational seminar conducted
by electric cooperatives of Colorado,
Kansas, New Mexico and Wyoming.
Every July, nearly 100 high school
students travel to Clark, (north of Steamboat Springs) after being selected by
their local cooperatives as participants.
The primary objective of the camp is to
provide an educational experience for
young people on the organization and
operation of a cooperative. The seminar
strives to help develop leadership skills
that will assist students with the challenges they will face in the future.
The best way to learn about cooperatives is to form one, and that is what the
participants do. When students arrive
the first day, they form a cooperative and
elect a board of directors. Each member
of the cooperative is expected to take
part in the workings of the co-op by
seeking election to the board or by
serving on one of the camp activity

committees. A number of special presentations are highlighted at the camp


including electricity safety, leadership
skills and a simulation to help students
understand the legislative process. This
program is also funded through unclaimed capital credits.

Arbor Day program

Each year, GCEA supports an Arbor Day


program to show support for community
education and the environment. This
year, GCEA Energy Use Advisor
Alantha Garrison, visited the fourthgraders in Lake City and provided a
history of Arbor Day. Alantha also provided each student with a 12- by 18-inch
Austrian pine to plant that was packaged
by workers with disabilities. Providing
students with trees to plant is one way
GCEA helps to build awareness among
youth about ways to help preserve the
planet.
GCEAs purpose is to serve its members
by providing safe, reliable electricity
with a strong cooperative tradition and
a vision for the future. Investing in the
education and development of youth
who will become the future change makers is an important part of meeting that
purpose. Just like the change makers of
the late 1930s found a way to bring electricity to rural areas, the change makers
of the future will continue to improve
and preserve the quality of life within
the rural communities in which we live.
If you would like more information
on any of the youth programs offered at
GCEA, please contact Dan McDonough,
member relations supervisor and safety
director, or Alantha Garrison, energy
use specialist, at 970-641-3520. You may
also request more information via email
at gcea@gcea.coop.
In conclusion, we would enjoy hearing
from you and want all of our members to
be are aware of the programs mentioned
in this article. Now, and in the future,
GCEA wants to remain a positive part of
our community.

[GCEA News]

Chico Retires After


24 Years of Service

On August 28, Ismael (Chico) Dominguez, engineering technician II, said


goodbye to Gunnison County Electric
Association as he retired after 24 years
of dedicated and outstanding service
to the cooperative.
Chico studied business administration with an emphasis in marketing and management at Sul Ross
State University in Alpine, Texas. He
Chico Dominguez
worked as a grocery store checker
when he was fresh out of college, with a 1-year-old son and a
working wife. He looked for any job with a decent salary and
applied at his local power company because his neighbor, who
worked there, put in a good word for him. Chico began his career
in engineering at Texas New Mexico Power Company in Pecos,
Texas, as an apprentice lineman and worked his way up to warehouseman and then concluded his career in Texas as an engineering technician. All that happened in 10 years, said Chico.
He is proof that hard work does pay off.
The cooler weather, mountains and endless amount of outdoor
activities brought Chico to the beautiful Gunnison Valley. On
January 16, 1990, he started working for GCEA as an engineering clerk and worked his way up to engineering technician II.
What he enjoyed about his time at GCEA was helping people get
power to their first homes. Chicos most memorable time here at
GCEA was engineering over 150 new services in one summer all
by himself.
Fellow employees remember Chico as hard working, positive,
caring and fun. Brian Muth, also an engineering technician, said
we will miss Chico in so many ways. The quote from Chico that
we will miss the most is geter done, which he used to say when
closing work orders, he said.
Chico will be missed; he has been a valuable asset for his 24
years with GCEA, said Engineering Technician Ron Copenhaver.
When Chico would head up to Crested Butte, he would say he
was, Going to the land of wealth, beauty and fashion or Crested
Beautiful, said Energy Use Specialist Alantha Garrison. I will
miss the food he brought to our potlucks, his pep talks and just
checking in with him. He really cares about all of us and our
families.
Chico retired to spend more time doing what he loves: traveling, hunting and fishing. I am going to miss all the beautiful
people I work with, said Chico.
On behalf of GCEA, we wish Chico the best of times during
his retirement.

YOUTH LEADERSHIP CAMP 2014


GCEA helps local students get a head start

Katherine Ketcham, a student from GCEAs service territory, spent an exciting week with 100 other high school students at the Cooperative Youth
Leadership Camp. Every July, the camp is held at the Glen Eden Resort
near Steamboat Springs. For nearly 40 years the electric cooperatives of
Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Wyoming have provided this outstanding educational camp for students with interests in leadership and electric
cooperatives. Its primary objective is to provide an educational experience for high school students and teach them about the organization and
operation of an electric cooperative. The camp strives to help students
develop leadership skills that will assist them with the challenges they face
in the future.
The Leadership Camp was the most amazing experience of my life,
Katherine said about her time there. Ive been to many leadership camps
before, but this one was the most amazing and impacted me the most.
The Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp isnt a boring camp full of
seminars and lectures about electricity and leadership speeches. Every day
is full of fun activities that teach each camper how to be a leader. These
activities help them gain confidence in areas where they might be lacking.
My favorite part of camp was the activities, Katherine said. I had so
much fun with everyone! Every day was packed from wake up to bedtime
with many activities. I was never bored.
Campers have the experience of a lifetime working with students from
other states and interacting with counselors. Meeting people with the
same values and interests was amazing as I havent met anyone like them
before, said Katherine. I really enjoyed all the people. Ill never forget
them and how they influenced me greatly and for the better.
The Cooperative Leadership Camp is a joint effort of local electric coops, their statewide co-op associations and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. For more information on how you can participate in
the Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp, contact GCEA at 970-641-3520 or
www.gcea.coop.

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[GCEA News]

Get Charged About Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles are gaining popularity in the


United States, and National Drive Electric Week,
September 15-21, is focused on helping people find
out what electric vehicles have to offer. The Energy
Education Council and its Safe Electricity program
have tips to help keep you informed and safe if you
are thinking about buying an electric vehicle.
First, consider your driving habits, including the
distances you typically drive, and what you need
from a vehicle. There are three types of electric
vehicles: hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid
electric vehicles and electric vehicles.
Hybrid electric vehicles use a traditional engine
but also have an electric motor and batteries. Braking power and the engine charge the batteries and
power the motor. HEVs cannot be plugged in.
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles use both gas and electricity.
They combine the affordability of electricity with the long-range
capability of gas.
Electric vehicles run solely on electricity. The driving range
varies between different vehicles. Overnight charging is sufficient for many trips, but more electric charging stations are
becoming available all the time. For longer trips and charging
away from home, check the database of public charging stations
at afdc.energy.gov/fuels/electricity_locations.html.
Just as electric vehicles come in several types, so do charging
stations. When shopping around, be sure to ask about charging
stations to find out if your home is capable of housing one.
Some run on household current while others require special
installation.

Have an electrical inspection to prepare your home for an


electric vehicle. Have professionals perform required repairs and
upgrades; do not attempt to do the job yourself.
Just like any other vehicle, electric vehicles must pass safety
tests. They also require proper maintenance and upkeep. In the
event of an accident, have your electric vehicle checked thoroughly, especially the battery, which can become flammable if it
is damaged.
Electric vehicles are quiet and can be difficult for pedestrians
to notice. Be alert and prepared for situations where pedestrians
are completely unaware that your vehicle is approaching.
Overall, electric vehicles are cheaper to fuel and cheaper to
maintain. For more information on the safe and efficient use of
energy, visit EnergyEdCouncil.org.

[employee anniversaries]
Ron Copenhaver..............................Engineering Technician II 14 years
Christopher Schodorf....................... Systems Administrator 9 years
Brian Muth.......................................... Engineering Technician II 8 years

Congratulations! We value our employees!

Keep it Covered
Consider placing a water heater
blanket on your older water heater
to help water in the tank stay hot.
They are available at local hardware
or home supplies stores, where a
professional can help determine if
your water heater would benefit
from a heater blanket.
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