Alfalfa Electric Cooperative is saying goodbye to another long-term employee. After 20 years at AEC, Carol Bowers has retired. The co-op has lost a great deal of knowledge – knowledge of members and where they live, just to mention a few areas.
In February of 1994, Carol began working part-time for AEC. After a few months, she got a full-time job at Farmers Exchange Bank, where she worked for eight years. In 2002, she came back to AEC to work full time.
So why come back to work at AEC? Carol said, “I had previously worked here part-time, and I loved it! I knew it would be a great job.” Carol worked as a member service representative until she retired on June 3.
When asked if she remembered what she was doing on her first day on the job, Carol laughed and said, “flying by the seat of my pants!” AEC will miss that sense of humor that always made others laugh. Carol did have many mentors from day one. “Don Wessels and Gail Ridgway had my back. Greg Goetz was always willing to answer my questions.”
In the first months, Carol was surprised at how hectic it was during storm season. It is hard to describe unless you have been there. Carol experienced many storm seasons – spring and winter storms and then the fires. Thankfully, many technological changes have brought some much-needed changes in the last few years. The massive digital, live wall map has improved response time for outages. The vehicle location system is another benefit that improved the restoration time and also added a layer of safety for our linemen.
Memories? Carol has made a few. In fact, she said too many to mention. One incident occurred that involved a former employee, Jim Daub. Let’s just say that Jim messed with the wrong lady and her sidekick that morning. He apologized multiple times and didn’t bother Carol for at least a few months. Carol commented on her former co-worker, “Working alongside Jim Daub was an experience. He made work fun…sometimes! We really are family at AEC.”
Besides being a part of a unique family, AEC offers many other opportunities. When asked about the opportunities she took advantage of, Carol smiled. “I would like to say the exercise room, but that just would not be true!” Carol – you gotta love her!
Any regrets? “No regrets! This has been the best job I could have ever hoped for.” Carol shared a message for anyone who was considering working at AEC. “You will never ever regret it! Best employees and pay. There are so many benefits to working at Alfalfa Electric Cooperative.”
Alfalfa Electric Cooperative CFO Gail Ridgway worked with Carol during her time at the co-op. “Carol provided excellent customer service to AEC members. She was dedicated to her job and would even call to see if she was needed after hours during large outage situations. We will miss Carol at the office but wish her a wonderful, well-deserved retirement.”
So, what are the plans for Carol’s retirement days? “Spending time with my family. I have seven grandchildren, so I will be busy!”
Carol had a few thoughts she wanted to share before she left AEC. “I have enjoyed our members – whether on the phone or at our annual meetings. We have the best members. They are very supportive.” For her AEC co-workers and board members, she shared, “You are my family, and I will miss all of you.” We wish you the BEST, and we will certainly miss you too, Carol.