Stone celebrates 25 years with Associated Electric Cooperative
Cynthia L. Stone of Bernie has completed 25 years working at New Madrid Power Plant for Associated Electric Cooperative, the wholesale power supplier for six regional and 51 local electric cooperatives in Missouri, southeast Iowa and northeast Oklahoma.
She joined the plant in 1991 as a general utility first period, planning to work there until she found a teaching job to make use of her degree in education. Twenty-five years later Stone is still on the job, now a shift supervisor for a crew of 10 or more operations personnel, and about as dedicated as they come. “I do like a challenge!” she said.
“When I first came to work here, it was mind boggling because I didn’t have a clue about a power plant. I just knew how to teach! … But I’ve never just quit on anything. I picked things up, and I learned. It was probably the work ethic that my mother and my dad put into us kids.”
Now, Stone, says she wouldn’t trade her crew for anything. A week away from them is like a week away from family. “I’ve worked with some good guys, most of them still here. They’re kind of like my brothers.”
As shift supervisor, Stone is responsible for making sure both units run properly and in compliance with regulations. She also oversees the control room operators and makes sure employees get the training they need.
It’s a people kind of job, and Stone is a people person. Not a micromanager, she believes in setting expectations upfront and trusting employees to follow through. “You’ve got to show people respect and treat them as adults. If you do that, the majority will do what they are supposed to do,” she said.
Stone’s supervisory skills were recognized with Associated’s 2007 Excel Award for Supervisor of the Year. Excel honors employees who are nominated by their peers in several categories. At the time, she was an assistant shift supervisor and the first person in New Madrid history to bypass the control room operator position. “I knew I wanted to be a supervisor. I knew what it would take, and I knew I was going to have to work hard to prove myself … but I’m a little bull-headed sometimes, so I knew I could do it,” she said.
Since receiving that award, Stone has finished certification in management from the Management Development Institute through Missouri State University, Springfield. “That’s been an upbeat thing about working at Associated. They like for people to be trained and well equipped,” she said.
Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. is owned by and provides wholesale power to six regional and 51 local electric cooperative systems in Missouri, southeast Iowa and northeast Oklahoma that serve more than 875,000 customers. Associated’s mission is to provide an economical and reliable power supply and support services to its members, including the “Take Control & Save” energy efficiency program, www.TakeControlAndSave.coop. Associated is a Touchstone Energy Cooperative.
An equal opportunity employer and provider/disability/veteran