CEO Spotlight – Tracy Bensley, Talquin Electric Cooperative

Tracy-BensleyI started working in the electric utility industry in 1992, shortly after graduating from the FAMU/FSU College of Engineering. After working in various capacities for electric utilities in 14 different states, I was fortunate to return home to north Florida in 2011 as the General Manager at Talquin Electric. I married my wife, Leigh Ann, in 1996, and we have two daughters. As the General Manager, I get to interact with Talquin Members, employees, Trustees, and the general public as a key representative for our cooperative. I work closely with our Board to plan the strategic direction of Talquin and ensure that we stay true to our purpose of empowering our Members to improve the quality of their lives.

I moved back to Tallahassee because I love north Florida, and especially this immediate area. Tallahassee provides a great mix of big and small town amenities and things to do. My favorite is big time college football in the fall, but our city and area offer much more. Our city provides year-round activities, beautiful parks, and plenty of entertainment opportunities. This region in general provides unlimited outdoor activities, such as bicycling, kayaking, fishing, beaches, etc. To top it off, we have excellent schools from kindergarten through advanced college degrees. Tallahassee is a great place to work, play, live and raise a family!

Talquin Electric Cooperative exists for a simple purpose: To power communities and empower Members to improve the quality of their lives by providing electric, water and wastewater services to our Member/Owners.

Talquin ElectricTalquin Electric Cooperative is a Member-owned, not-for-profit electric distribution cooperative headquartered in Quincy, Florida. Talquin provides electricity to approximately 53,000 accounts and provides water and wastewater services to approximately 21,000 accounts from Florida’s Gulf coast to the Florida state line, including portions of Tallahassee and the surrounding areas. Talquin provides services to homes and businesses across a four-county, 2,600 square mile service territory including Gadsden, Leon, Liberty, and Wakulla counties of Florida.

Talquin Electric’s business model is guided by seven cooperative principles, which are designed to help us serve our membership in the most effective ways. One of these principles is concern for community. Talquin gives back to the communities that we serve by providing thousands of dollars in sponsorships, educating our youth, serving as collection points for various charities, and by providing hundreds of volunteer hours in our local communities.

Talquin also gives back to our Members through the form of capital credits. Because we are Member-owned and not for profit, any leftover operating capital received from the membership is allocated back to those same Members who contributed to the co-op that year and refunded in future years as our finances allow. We use the “first-in/first-out” method to refund capital credits to our membership. Talquin’s refund of capital credits to its Members over the years now exceeds $66.5 million, with over $3 million refunded this past year alone!