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Development

Portrait of Meredith Roberts, vice president and controller, with key word "Growth" and a quote: "The tuition reimbursement program is an incredible benefit. I probably never would have gone back to get my master’s on my own. The industry is fascinating right now, and with Associated’s commitment to developing people, it is really exciting."

Meet Meredith, the mojo behind our mission

Meredith joined Associated in 2004 as an accountant and has consistently advanced, including to senior financial analyst, controller and senior manager before being promoted to vice president and controller in 2019. She leads a team whose responsibilities include general accounting, plant operational accounting, auditing, budgeting, accounts payable and tax functions.

“What the team does, ultimately, is ensure the cooperative – the leadership, board, plant management staff and decision-makers at every level – has good, accurate information needed to make important decisions about our business,” she said. “I really have come to appreciate working for a mission-driven company. It’s not necessarily something I was looking for when I applied, … but it’s become very important to me now,” she said.

In Accounting and Finance, she also likes being able to see the big picture, which she often presents during financial performance updates at employee meetings. “I love that, how all the contributions everyone is making across the company come together to support our mission. … I’m also geeky, and I enjoy the actual analysis as well.”

She concludes, “People might come to Associated for the pay and benefits, but ultimately they stay because of the mission, the people and the team they’re working with. That is why they stay."

 

Fulfill your potential

Associated strongly believes in employees' meeting their maximum potential, both in their current role and in preparing for future roles within the organization. The cooperative provides career resources that help employees continue to grow and develop their skills.

Specific programs can be selected based on individual needs, and employees are encouraged to continue to develop their interpersonal, technical and leadership skills. Professional development resources include:

Educational assistance

Educational assistance is available to all employees who are interested in working toward an undergraduate or graduate degree. Associated Electric will reimburse for tuition, books and other required course-related fees for approved courses.

Mentoring

As an Associated employee, you are encouraged to build mentoring partnerships with others in the organization (or outside the organization) with whom you can share developmental advice, knowledge, and experience. Mentors are part of our culture, and Associated recognizes that with one of its annual Excel employee awards.

Power Forward initiative

Power Forward puts employees in the driver's seat of their own development. It enables them to  build on their talents and contributions, regardless of their position or title, with a collection of tools, workshops and resources to assist employees and leaders in growing their skills and competencies.

Dual-career paths

Dual-career paths provide for two equivalent career progressions, one to recognize leadership contributions and one to recognize technical contributions. Associated offers these paths as one avenue to enhance opportunities and career satisfaction. With a dual-career path, a technical professional can earn as much compensation as an employee who leads technical professionals. Employees do not have to commit to one path or another; they can follow their goals and interests and change paths over the duration of their careers.

Seminars, conferences and professional associations

In addition to the internal resources Associated provides employees, the cooperative supports outside activities such as seminars, workshops, additional training related to an employee’s profession and membership in professional organizations.

Associated serves a three-tiered system

Members – those families, business owners and industries at the end of their local co-op’s distribution lines – are what we’re all about. Those members drive this three-tiered system of cooperatives.