Cooperative Leadership
Central Rural Electric Cooperative emphasizes leadership through the cooperative. Leadership development opportunities are provided to all employees through a variety of programs. These programs include:

Advanced Leadership Development Program
Learning, Engaging, Adapting through Development
Individual Development Plans
Book Study
Succession Planning
Rewards and Recognition


Developing Leadership
Central Rural Electric Cooperative seeks to develop the leadership skills of all employees. Some of the external resources used to help this development include the following:

Character First
Character First is a program focused on recognizing individual characteristics of employees for motivation. READ MORE...

Meridian Technology Center
Meridian Technology Center, located in Stillwater, Oklahoma, offers a variety of resources to aid in the development of employees on all levels. READ MORE...


What is Leadership Source

Leadership and professional development play an important role in the success of any organization. Central Rural Electric Cooperative believes in the idea of 360 degree leadership, and focuses on developing the leadership skills of employees working on all levels of the cooperative.

At CREC, employees believe that it is their duty to be a strong, positive influence to those we serve and those around us. As leaders we must focus on the things that will help lead us to excellence:  innovative thinking, ethical decision-making, getting results, working with others, and developing our internal and external leadership skills.

By focusing on these, we will help shape our future and develop the leaders needed to help grow our region. This website is dedicated to telling CREC’s leadership story. Hopefully, it will inspire you to create or enhance a leadership program at your organization.

Advanced Leadership Development Program is the first level of leadership training for CREC employees. ALDP focuses on further developing the leadership skills of employees so they will be better able to serve you, the member. ALDP also expands the thinking of employees so they are better able to meet the complex challenges of our time.

Learning, Engaging, Adapting through Development program is the second level of leadership training for CREC employees. In LEAD, leadership skills that were strengthened in ALDP are polished and refined.  LEAD engages the future leaders of your cooperative and prepares them to lead at a higher level by help with strategic planning and developing business plans for cooperative initiatives.

Each employee at CREC is required to work with his or her respective supervisor in developing an individual development plan. the IDP is intended to provide the employee with a career map and how they can achieve their respective goals and objectives. The IDP is also a tool for aligning the employee with their individual job description and linking strategy to operations. The IDP includes the following requirements:

  • Alignment with employee goals and cooperative goals
  • Training requirements and aspirations
  • Knowledge, skills and competencies
  • Development activities
  • Resources

Each year employees are provided a book that is elect to align with the cooperative's strategy and emphasis. The book study is utilized during employee bi-monthly meetings as a tool for train gin and dialogue on best practices. Examples of books that have been utilized include:

  • Thinking for a Change
  • Good To Great
  • Leading at a Higher Level
  • Beyond the Learning Organization
  • Crucial Conversations
  • 360 Degree Leader
  • The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

Central Rural Electric Cooperative, like many other utilities, has an aging workforce with many employees reaching retirement eligibility. In preparation for the future of the cooperative, CREC created a succession planning program that focuses on many aspects of succession planning: current skill/competency requirements, future skill/competency requirements, and evaluation of current employee base and evaluation of organizational structure. The current initiatives associated with the succession planning program include the following:

  • Application and appointment of high performing employees
  • Expansion of management council
  • Book study
  • Operational plan involvement
  • Strategic planning sessions
  • Expanded leadership training
  • Mentoring program
  • Character First Program

The rewards and recognition team is made of employees from each department with a focus on identifying ways to recognize employees for individual and collective achievements. The following are examples of current initiatives:

  • The Willies - awards provided to employees who are nominated by their peers for above and beyond performance.

  • Employee Recognition - At employee meetings, those who have completed a certificate program or degree are recognized.

  • CEO Birthday Breakfast - Each month, employees who have a birthday during the month enjoy a breakfast with CREC's CEO David Swank

  • • Meridian Technology Center's Scholarship Program
  • • Chick-fil-A Leadership Cast
  • • Stillwater Economic Summit

  • • Service Area Chamber of Commerce Participation
  • • Area United Way Campaigns
  • • Legislative events, including the Perkins Legislative Golf Tournament
  • • Oklahoma State University Center of Innovation and Economic Development
  • • OSU Cowboy Technologies LLC
  • • OSU National Energy Solutions Institute
  • • Area Lions Clubs
  • • National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Committee
  • • Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives Committee

Tom Hill founded Character First in 1992 after he recognized that personal character is at the core of outward behavior - including safety, service, productivity, and other desirable outcomes. Character First offers a variety of resources for various organizations. For more information, visit

The staff at Meridian Technology Center offer interactive programs that get results. For more information visit

Youth Tour is an annual trip to Washington, D.C. that is open to select high school student who attend schools in CREC's service area. Students have the opportunity to not only tour the nations's capital but also engage with their state's representatives. Nationwide, electric cooperatives from 41 states participate. In all, more than 1,300 young people from across the nation gather in D.C. each year for this event. For information about how to be a part of Youth Tour, contact Cindy Wright by calling 405-533-4184.

YouthPower Energy Camp is designed to help eighth graders develop leadership skills, have summertime fun and, at the same time, learn about one of America's most important industries - rural electrification. The camp is help at the end of May each year at Canyon Camp, near Hinton, Oklahoma. For information about how to be a part of YouthPower Energy Camp speak with Cindy Wright by calling 405-533-4148.

CREC's alternative energy demonstration is an interactive teaching tool that demonstrates how electricity is generated by alternative energy and how much pedal power it takes to light incandescent light bulbs as opposed to compact fluorescent light bulbs. The alternative energy demonstration will educate students about energy efficiency and promote making smarter choices when managing energy consumption.

Central Rural Electric Cooperative's Be Safety Smart program is offered to elementary students to help teach the basics of electrical safety. Electricity is a valuable source that powers many of today's modern conveniences. However, electricity can be dangerous if it is improperly used. Be Safety Smart illustrates these points and introduces student to some of the equipment linemen wear on the job. It also features an electrical safety demo unit. For information on setting up a demonstration for your class, speak with Cindy Wright by calling 405-533-4189.

Community Leadership

Employees at Central Rural Electric Cooperative actively participate in many organizations in the communities throughout CREC’s service area.


Central Rural Electric Cooperative also supports many of the educational programs, civic organizations and community services through financial support.


Youth Leadership

Central Rural Electric Cooperative has dedicated itself to educating our youth by offering a variety of programs designed to teach youth about electrical safety, leadership and the world of cooperatives. Not only have we made an investment in our members, but also we have expanded that investment to include all children within our service area.

Youth programs include:

Youth Tour
YouthPower Energy Camp
Be Safety Smart
Alternative Energy Demonstration

For more information, visit