Lorain-Medina Rural Electric Cooperative (LMRE) is celebrating multiple employees’ recent graduation from the Leadership Edge program. Leadership Edge is hosted by Ohio's Electric Cooperatives and aims to hone the skills of the next generation of electric cooperative leaders. Congratulations to Journeyman Linemen Nick Smith and Luke Stone, Human Resources Coordinator Brandi Brown, and Manager of Information Technology Bret Surdock!
“To grow as a person and a leader within the cooperative, I vow to be careful of new skill sets without a new mindset,” says Brown. “I will continue to teach and lead by example. Having a beginner's mind in teachable situations helps one understand from a different perspective. Coming into an opportunity with a blank slate and the willingness to listen to everyone circles back to being teachable.”
“The Leadership Edge program was a great experience,” says Surdock. “It gave me resources and skills to grow personally and foster a culture of leadership throughout the entire Cooperative.”
The one-year Cooperative Leadership Edge program is hosted by LMRE's trade association, Ohio's Electric Cooperatives, and requires six courses, two assessments, and a capstone project. Coursework focuses on coaching employees, managing conflict, adapting communication approaches, carrying out difficult conversations, and delivering results.
“I learned that everyone communicates in different ways and finding out how to deal with different types of people is a great skill,” says Smith.
Stone also said that he learned new skills and was able to make connections with other co-op employees from around the state.
As one of the Seven Cooperative Principles, LMRE continually invests in training and development with the goal of serving its members with top talent and skills.
LMRE President/CEO Ed VanHoose expressed, “Our role extends beyond supplying electricity; we aim to enhance the quality of life, work, and service in our communities. This includes prioritizing our employees’ growth and development. Nick, Luke, Brandi, and Bret’s achievements make us proud, and we are delighted to have them as part of our team.”