Hancock-Wood looks ahead from 75th year

NORTH BALTIMORE –Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative Inc., celebrated a number of "firsts"
during the co-op’s 75th anniversary year, including garnering national media attention for an Act of
Kindness, securing two U.S. Congressmen to speak at annual events (a first for Ohio electric co-ops) and
sending a local student to speak at a national convention.
Following the Sandy Hook tragedy, NBC News aired an Act-of-Kindness Awards presentation to HWEC
Accounting Assistant Mary Casey and her daughter Sara. Casey and her first grader worked on a classroom
Kindness Quilt project that won an award from Newtown Kindness, founded in memory of Charlotte Bacon, a
victim of the shootings. Casey’s husband and Sara’s father, Jim Casey, an HWEC lineman, transported his
family to the ceremony in Connecticut. Sara Casey’s submission was among the top eight selected out of
thousands of nominations received from across the country. The Casey family plans a second visit to
Sandy Hook in February.
U.S. Congressman Robert Latta of Ohio’s 5th District commended Hancock-Wood on its 75 years of service at
the co-op’s annual business meeting in September. In a speech before hundreds of co-op members and
elected officials, he said, "There is something really great going on in America today and that is
called–energy." Latta serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, chair of the Subcommittee on Jobs, Rural Economic Growth and Energy
Innovation, spoke at the co-op’s annual legislative meeting in March, saying, "I appreciate the way
that you rural cooperatives take care of your communities."
HWEC plans to continue its "firsts" in 2014. It was announced in December that Olivia
Velasquez, a co-op Member and 17-year-old junior at Pandora Gilboa High School in Ottawa, will share the
stage with former broadcast journalist Jane Pauley at the March 5 general session of the 72nd National
Rural Electric Cooperative Association Annual Meeting.
The event will be held at the Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Olivia is the first Ohio student
and Youth Tour winner to be asked to deliver a speech about co-op rights at the convention.
Hancock-Wood President and CEO George Walton said, "We are so proud Olivia was chosen to represent
Hancock-Wood at the national convention and commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Electric
Cooperative Youth Tour."