December 5th Newsletter

Norris Electric

Keith McKinney, General Manager

Our business organization knowledge was again stretched as we learned about 501c12’s (the corporation set-up for cooperatives) and the history of rural electrification at Norris Electric based in our very own Newton, IL. Norris is democratically member controlled with 11 elected directors. They service an eight county territory in southeastern Illinois, and have 62 employees. Norris Electric services over 4,000 miles of line, 20,000 meters and 110,000 poles!

A very interesting tidbit in regards to rural electrification…do you remember which president was responsible? It was FDR! He went to Warm Springs, GA in 1942 hoping to find a cure for polio that had struck him in 1921. During his presidency and the Great Depression, he developed many New Deal Programs (such as Rural Electrification Administration) based upon his experiences in this small rural town.

PitchCo Farm

Wes Pitcher, Owner, and John Licktart, Farm Manager

Our dress attire was exchanged for chore clothes and rubber boots on Wednesday as we explored a very different segment of the business world, commercial livestock production. Jasper CEO was welcomed by PitchCo Farms’ owner Wes Pitcher and farm manager, John Licktart for an informational tour starting with the analytics and science of the business, a biochemistry demonstration about self-created, all natural vaccines (which used to be a common practice many years ago), to only be followed by a boots to the ground tour of their farrowing and gestation facilities. A simple business it is not and a more eye opening experience to the professionalism behind commercial livestock production could not have been had. It was a statistics, biochemistry and business management lesson all wrapped up in one morning!


Tammy Bergbower

Past, present, and future. That is the statement resonating in Tammy Bergbower’s mind as she enters her latest business venture formerly known as the Fairview Drive-in located east of Newton on IL Hwy 33. Although the business was just purchased in the Fall of 2014, Tammy was elated to invite Jasper CEO to discuss with her the new business start up plans. It was a great opportunity to be a part of what it is like to navigate our way through the struggles and triumphs of the beginning planning stages. Tammy shared her plans with us to tear down the existing restroom/concession facility and erect a new concept building that will include restrooms, concessions, party rooms, and the new digital projector. Our plans are to meet again in the Spring of 2015 to see what progress has been made and to celebrate with the Bergbowers as they plan to re-open the new “Drive-N-Theatre” in April 2015!

So what did they all have in common?  A week of tremendous history lessons! From FDR and his part in rural electrification, to the nostalgia of drive-in theatres to a return to holistic medicine used in past practice livestock farming. We can't wait to see what next week has to offer, be sure to check out our newsletter next week!

Be sure to visit us on Twitter too! @JasperCEO

Be sure to visit us on Twitter too! @JasperCEO

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