Co-op manager worked way up from janitor

Editor’s note: This is the last piece in a feature about Roosevelt County Electric Cooperative’s 75th anniversary in Roosevelt County.

By Christina Calloway

PNT senior writer

ccalloway@pntonline.com

It’s not that Jerry Partin isn’t living his American dream but when he started at Roosevelt County Electric Cooperative in 1976 as a janitor, he didn’t expect that he’d still be there today as the co-op’s manager.

“It was just a job to get me through college,” Partin said.

Partin is one of the longest-working employees of the cooperative and has witnessed its transitions and growth.

After working as a janitor, he was offered a job in member services and eventually worked his way to being general manager, a title he’s held since 1991.

“The reason they offered me the job is my experience in the Navy,” Partin reflected. “I was a machinist’s mate.”

Partin worked on submarines and also brought a background in accounting and finance from Eastern New Mexico University.

“It was a good job, it was my hometown,” Partin said.

Partin says the first 35 years of the cooperative was about them building lines to people who needed electricity. He said the years that followed were about strengthening their programs that they’ve offered to customers. He also says technology has played a big role in the cooperative’s growth.

“We’re doing a lot of automation now,” Partin said.

Partin says his staff is the glue that continues to hold the cooperative together. He recalls when the county experienced two severe storms in June and they had about 110 poles down.

“They worked through the night and the next day. They realize there’s a job out there and they’re dedicated to it,” Partin said.

The cooperative also gives back to the community’s youth through scholarships, about $37,000 for 2012, trips to Washington D.C. for tours and sponsorship of local sports teams.

“This is our home, this is our members’ money,” Partin said. “If there’s something we can do as a business that can improve the quality of life and the education of our members’ children, we’ll do it.”

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