A Utility Executive’s Response to Covid-19

The coronavirus outbreak, that originated in China, has been considered a global health emergency for more than a month and it’s spreading. On March 11, there were more than 125,000 cases on six continents elevating it from what the World Health Organization was calling a Global Health Emergency to a full-blown pandemic.

For utility leaders, the ability to respond to developing situations with purpose, empathy and a plan is extremely important to our future.

To that end, Sean Vanslyke, CEO of SEMO Electric Cooperative and GOSEMO Fiber, posted the following excerpt on LinkedIn on Friday, March 11.

We invite other executives to do the same. We’re all in this together and sharing action plans—to chart the best course of action—extremely valuable.

From the Desk of Sean Vanslyke

A mentor of mine once told me that prayer should be our first action. Therefore, say a little prayer for the pandemic to end soon. Be a leader and take care of your teams. Safety, respect and flexibility are three keys.

Team SEMO, and all utility service providers, provide essential services to member-consumers-subscribers. Our energy and broadband services have never been more important. We make people’s lives better.

I took this photo of our leadership team conferring this evening to review contingency plans. The team is focused. The peer relationships are real. The concern for Team SEMO and our members is real.

We are actively monitoring issues and making necessary steps to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus:

· We have closed our local fiber offices to reduce face-to-face contact, so we have adequate staff for fiber services (our electric offices are open as we have protective barriers).

· We are encouraging members to pay via phone or smart devices and call for broadband services.

· We have canceled face-to-face safety meetings and several of our linemen will work from home to reduce group contact.

· We even created a work order for COVID-19 to track expenses.

We will get through this event with safety, respect and flexibility. Be smart. Act safe. Say a prayer.

Utility 2030 Collaborative Statement on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Utility 2030 Collaborative takes the health and safety of our participants very seriously.

We are closely monitoring the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization’s statements regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.

The CDC has not issued a travel health notice for the continental U.S. regarding COVID-19. Your business is important to us, so should this change and prohibit travel to our November 2020 conference, we will bring important discussions to you via a virtual event platform.

Email us at with questions or if you would like your Covid-19 response included in U2030 Executive Insights.


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