Business Spotlight - Clarke Electric Cooperative with General Manager, Dave Opie
Clarke Electric Cooperative has been serving the area for 80 years, taking pride in providing safe, affordable and reliable electricity to rural areas. General Manager, Dave Opie, emphasized the cooperative was created to provide electricity to people in rural areas who could not get electricity, because it was not profitable for the for-profit electricity providers. Dave says, “… We remain relevant, because we are dedicated to our consumer- members and the communities we serve.” We promote economic development by partnering with the USDA Rural Development and Iowa Area Development Group.
Altogether, Dave has eight and a half years of experience at Clarke Electric. With five years as CFO and three and a half as GM. He is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations, but he gives the employees all the credit. He says the 24 employees, half of whom are linemen, are extremely dedicated to their consumer members, keeping the lights on and sacrificing to provide great service.
The Board of Directors runs the not-for-profit cooperative and they must be members. Clarke Electric is guided by their Seven Cooperative Principles:
a) Voluntary and Open Membership
b) Democratic Member Control
c) Members' Economic Participation
d) Autonomy and Independence
e) Education, Training and Information
f) Cooperation Among Cooperatives
g) Concern for Community
Obviously, Dave is proud of the company, but he really likes Osceola. He believes the town has so much going for it: Friendly people, great local businesses, and he likes his neighbors. What keeps him going to work every day? “The employees- they are like family to me.”