History repeats itself

July 3, 2017

 • BY Ron Holcomb

Tipmont REMC CEO Ron Holcomb speaks at the 2017 Annual Meeting
Tipmont REMC CEO Ron Holcomb speaks at the 2017 Annual Meeting
Tipmont REMC CEO Ron Holcomb speaks at the 2017 Annual Meeting
Tipmont REMC CEO Ron Holcomb speaks at the 2017 Annual Meeting

On Aug. 11, 1938, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt traveled to Barnesville, Georgia, to celebrate one of the remarkable achievements of the New Deal: the three-year-old Rural Electrification Administration (REA).

On this day, 357 more rural Georgia families would realize light and hope, joining the more than three hundred thousand farms and ranches the REA had already electrified in its short existence. Still, less than 22 percent of the United States was electrified.

"Electricity is a modern necessity of life, not a luxury,” FDR told the crowd of 40,000 at the Gordon Military College stadium. “That necessity ought to be found in every village on every farm in every part of the United States."

Progress was on the march throughout the country, including right here in our own backyard. Just two weeks later on Aug. 26, 1938, Tippecanoe and Montgomery county residents gathered at the Linden School to begin work on REA project “Indiana 55 Tippecanoe”. The REA later shortened the name to Tipmont REMC.

79 years later, Tipmont’s membership faces similar transformative circumstances that could fundamentally redefine how Tipmont serves you tomorrow.

Back in 2015, we began deploying fiber technology as a communication system to improve electric reliability and operational efficiency. Today, we’re nearing completion of the feasibility studies which contemplate the possibility of expanding our facilities to offer retail Broadband services. The results of these studies will guide Tipmont and its board of directors as we evaluate this important decision. Your input has been critical to our effort. I’d like to thank each of you for the feedback we’ve received over last year.

Each year, we have the privilege of inviting you and your family to our Annual Meeting. During our business meeting, I’ll cover our opportunities with fiber in greater depth. I hope to visit with as many of you as I can to hear your thoughts.

I look forward to seeing you on July 29 at McCutcheon High School.

Ron Holcomb

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Ron is a 30 year veteran of the electric utility industry with extensive experience in power supply, advanced grid technologies, essential service operations, economic development and value-driven growth initiatives for combined electric and telecommunication utilities. During his career, he has led three utilities as President/CEO and provided management consulting to utilities across the country. Ron joined Tipmont REMC as CEO in summer 2013. He holds a B.S. in Physics from Austin Peay State University and an MBA from Murray State University.