Who are you?
Leslie Kraich, Communications Coordinator, TCEC, Hooker, OK.
How long have you worked with cooperatives?
Combining my employment with a broadband cooperative and TCEC, 42 years.
Describe your role.
The 7th Cooperative Principle, Concern for Community, best describes the role. It is a privilege to belong to and serve every community in the chamber of commerce, civic organizations, foundations, and multi-agency health organizations. These organizations, along with the cooperative donations, sponsorships, scholarships, youth programs, Who Powers You, Operation Roundup, and the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, drive me to help find the best resources to better serve our members and communities.
Our team is transitioning, my work role is to provide support and backup input on our website, social media, youth programs, and event coordination and be ready for catastrophic events. We update contact records for emergency management, first responders, area media, and other community response organizations. I am excited to provide support as our newest team members initiate new youth opportunities and ramp up our communications with members continuing the great legacy of TCEC and the communities we serve.
What do you enjoy about working with cooperatives?
Cooperative people instill the faith in what good people do. Cooperatives build, whether it is better agriculture, electrical energy, food supply, and more. They share successes and lessons learned from the unforeseen. They advocate for the members and each other (cooperatives). Really, they have the longest proven business model that shows working together can build capitalism to do more than sustain. They understand finance while serving. It isn’t just about money, it is about building and sustaining a strong knowledgeable society.
When did you join CCA?
I joined in 2016 Why? I joined because TCEC encourages employees to be members of cooperative organizations. I’ve known of CCA since the 90s because in my previous employment, Kirk Welch talked about CCA, showed us the many publications and programs, and talked about the great people he met through CCA. So, you can say I finally got to have a great experience.
Did anything surprise you about CCA upon joining?
No. I’ve felt like I knew CCA and wanted to be a part of CCA for a long time. If it were up to me, I would sign up employees in every department who express interest because they are communicators/spokespersons for the cooperative too. CCA is the place for the best of the best.
What are your hobbies and interests?
I like photography, mostly outdoors, because I live in the middle of everywhere in wide open country. My husband and I like to go hiking. We support the community by participating in 5K Run/Walks and attending the local community theater productions (we could be partly partial because we have grandchildren participating in these things). We like history and visiting historical places—reading mostly biographies, history, health, and science. I like to try cooking something different every day with fresh produce and fresh meat. The grandchildren like to come to our house because we cook, do art, do fun science experiments, and take care of meat goats. We play soccer too.
Meeting people from all walks of life and from all parts of the world – We now have a large, diversified community with 38 different languages. Their stories to get here and becoming citizens are phenomenal from all over the world. We even have a survivor of the “Lost Boys”, Peter, living here. Ask me about his story. Really, you will appreciate what you have not what you think you want.
Do you have a “bucket list”? What are some of the things on that list?
No. Because when the opportunity arises, you take it.
Visit wineries, attend the Kentucky Derby, and continue visiting historical places. Who knows? I might learn something I didn’t know about to do.
Give us something about yourself that is surprising or that most people don’t know.
I had the fortune of being a member of the Guymon High School marching band to march in the Rose Bowl Parade. My husband and I raise meat goats. Our foundation breeding stock started with second-generation imported stock from South Africa. Depending on drought conditions, our herd can be as large as 1500 during kidding season. Don’t ask me about meat goats unless you have much time. Goat meat has been around since B.C. and is a healthy, more palatable, digestible protein.
Email Leslie here.