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GreyStone Power named EMC of the Year and wins community service award
GreyStone Power was recently named EMC of the Year and presented the 2019 Georgia EMC Community Service and Volunteerism Award for consistent and continued support of Georgia’s active and retired military personnel.
“Supporting local veterans is part of GreyStone’s commitment to the communities we serve,” says Gary Miller, president/CEO of GreyStone Power. “These men and women have made great sacrifices through their service, and it’s a privilege to support them and recognize them in any way we can.”
According to Miller, the electric cooperative is a service organization at its core beginning with GreyStone Gives, a program which allows time for employees to support 501(c)(3) organizations.
In recent years, the co-op has established a number of ways to give back, and honoring veterans in the local community via financial and in-kind support ranks at the top of the list – from service programs such as Habitat for Humanity, scholarships, sponsorships/donations to causes and organizations dedicated to honoring military service, employment opportunities, and recognizing and showing appreciation for its own veteran-employees.
Specific efforts to recognize military personnel began in 2015, when GreyStone hosted an event honoring Vietnam veterans during the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. Since that time, the co-op has launched a number of other initiatives to recognize veterans, including an annual military service recognition breakfast for GreyStone Power employees, retirees and board members who are veterans or are actively serving in the military.
The annual breakfast, which took place on Veterans Day this year, includes gifts for the veterans and features a local veteran speaker. This year’s keynote speaker was retired Marine and attorney Ken Bernard.
To benefit a local war veteran, GreyStone employees landscaped a new Habitat for Humanity home for retired Engineman Chief Petty Officer Marilyn Clark in Veterans Place, a four–acre subdivision designated specifically for veterans. The goal of the planned community is to serve those who served.
“It takes a village to build a home, and GreyStone Power supported our organization and a build in one of only two veteran Habitat communities in the country,” says Jessica Gill, president/CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Northwest Metro Atlanta. During a day of service, the co-op provided 30 volunteers and donated $10,000 toward the building of the home.
“GreyStone Power is a true leader in the community and an example of an organization that understands what it means to offer affordable housing in our neighborhoods.”
The co-op also lends support to programs which encourage hiring of military personnel. GreyStone and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association joined forces through “Serve our Co-ops; Serve our Country,” a program which encourages companies to hire veterans. Through this unique platform, the co-op has already hired a number of former military personnel and expects to hire more through participation in job fairs targeted specifically to veterans.
In fact, GreyStone has brought several former servicemen into its linemen apprenticeship program and expects two additional veterans to join its apprentice linemen program later this year. Support extends to soldiers-in-training as well. The co-op recently presented $28,000 to the University of North Georgia, one of six senior military colleges in the U.S., to establish the GreyStone Power Corp. Corps of Cadets Scholarship. Each year, the program awards one $1,000 scholarship to promising students, with particular consideration given to a cadet from a county served by GreyStone.
The electric co-op received letters of recommendation and support from several community leaders and additional partners.
In recent years, the CSAV Award has been presented to deserving EMCs to spotlight outstanding efforts and initiatives of EMC management, individual directors and employees who are working to build stronger communities.
The award was presented to GreyStone Power President/CEO Gary Miller and Board member Maribeth Wansley during Georgia EMC’s Annual Meeting on Nov. 11 in Savannah. To commemorate the occasion, a donation in the co-op’s name will be made to a charity of its choice.