Tracy Bensley, Talquin Electric Cooperative, Inc.

Talquin Electric Cooperative is a member-driven organization that 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 its Members.

Talquin Electric Cooperative is a member-owned, not-for-profit electric distribution cooperative headquartered in Quincy, Florida. Talquin provides electricity to approximately 55,000 accounts and provides water and wastewater services to approximately 28,000 accounts from Florida’s Gulf coast to the Florida-Georgia 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 a concern for the community. Talquin gives back to the communities that we serve by providing thousands of dollars in sponsorships, educating our youth, providing scholarships to graduating high school seniors, serving as collection points for various charities, and providing hundreds of volunteer hours in our local communities.

Talquin also gives back to its members in 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. Talquin’s refund of capital credits to its Members over the years now exceeds $89 million, with over $3.8 million refunded this past year alone.

I 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 and execute 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 the people and culture of the Big Bend area. Tallahassee provides a great mix of big and small-town amenities and things to do. My favorite activity is big-time college football in the fall, but our city and area offer much more. Our city provides year-round activities, beautiful parks, easy access to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and plenty of entertainment opportunities. 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.