2015

2015

BECi Hires Tilley as Communications Specialist

BECi Promotes Williams as Manager of Human Resources

BECi Holds Contest to Send Students to Washington, D.C.

BECi Offers Ten $1,500 Scholarships to Students

BECi Reminds Members to Look Up and Stay Alert During Outdoor Work and Play

BECi Directors Elected at Annual Meeting

BECi Announces Winners of Essay Contest, Students Win a Trip to Washington D.C.

BECi Announces Scholarship Winners

BECi Encourages Members to Put Safety First

Pesky Animals and Power Outages

BECi Claims Safety Trophy for Third Straight Year

Why Electric Co-op Replace Utility Poles

BECi Director Completes National Co-op Board Certification Program

 

 

 

BECi Hires Tilley as Communications Specialist

January 1, 2015

DeRidder, LA – Beauregard Electric Cooperative, Inc. (BECi), hired Danielle Tilley as the communications specialist earlier this year. Tilley is responsible for managing the activities and related functions of marketing and public relations for the cooperative. Tilley writes content for BECi’s social media platforms, manages BECi’s community programs, and serves as a liaison for BECi’s partnership with United Way and with local schools through the Partners in Education Program.

Tilley, a graduate of Pitkin High School, holds a Bachelors of Science degree in mass communications and a minor in speech communication from McNeese State University. Before joining the co-op, Tilley served as event chairman for the American Cancer Society Vernon Parish Relay for Life, as leader for the Vernon Parish 4-H Club, and as pageant committee member for the West Louisiana Forestry Festival Fair Board.

“I am proud to be a member of a team that so generously gives back to its community” says Tilley. “As an alumna of Pitkin High School, I remember Beauregard Electric being an active supporter of our education, and I am a result of that investment. Now, I play a role in that continued tradition.”

 Spina resides in Pitkin with her sons, Carson and Cohen.

Danielle Spina

 


BECi Promotes Williams as Manager of Human Resources

Januray 5, 2015

DeRidder, LA – Beauregard Electric Cooperative, Inc. (BECi), announces the hiring of Leslie Williams as manager of human resources.

Williams will be responsible for salary and benefits administration, employee compliance and relations, organizational planning and development, recruiting and staffing, and performance and succession management. Prior to her promotion to the manager of human resources, Williams was BECi’s payroll administrator for ten years.

Williams is a graduate of Rosepine High School and is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Imperial Calcasieu Human Resource Management Association. She resides in DeRidder with her spouse, John, and two children, Reed and Reese, and is actively involved in youth league sports and community projects.

Leslie Williams

 

 


BECi Holds Contest to Send Students to Washington, D.C.

January 21, 2015

DeRidder, LA - Since 1979, Beauregard Electric Cooperative, Inc. (BECi) has awarded local students the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C., during the Rural Electric Youth Tour Conference.  The BECi Board of Directors and Management place much emphasis on supporting youth in education.  This year, BECi will sponsor an all-expense paid trip to four winners of an essay-writing contest who are sophomores, juniors or seniors. 

Students will travel with other winners from Louisiana, as well as numerous chaperones from Louisiana Electric Cooperatives, to meet with more than 1,500 students from 46 other states for an unforgettable week in our nation’s capitol. While in Washington, students will experience history first-hand by visiting monuments, the Smithsonian Museums, and meet with representatives and senators.

To enter the contest, students must write a 300-400 word essay on “What is the biggest issue facing your generation and how can we address that issue?” The topic should be stated and thoroughly discussed. Entries will be judged on originality, composition, neatness and grammar. Entries must be written in ink or typed and must contain a cover sheet. Entries can be mailed to Danielle Spina, BECi, Post Office Drawer 970, DeRidder, LA 70634 or emailed to marketing@beci.org.

BECi asks teachers and parents to encourage their students to enter this contest. To find out more information about the program, or to schedule a presentation to your students, please call (337) 463-6221 or (800) 367- 0275. Please visit www.beci.org for a complete listing of contest rules. Entries are due February 6, 2015.

 


 

 

BECi Offers Ten $1,500 Scholarships to Students

February 1, 2015

DeRidder, LA - This year, Beauregard Electric Cooperative, Inc. (BECi), is pleased to offer ten one-year scholarships, valued at $1,500 each, to students who reside on BECi service lines. The scholarship is open to first-time college students and current college students who meet requirements. The winners will be selected at the BECi Annual meeting held Saturday, March 28, 2015, by a random drawing.  The student does not have to be present to win.  Applicants can apply online at www.beci.org, pick up an application at any of the BECi offices or at local schools, or mail in the application published in the January issue of Louisiana Country. Applications must be postmarked by Friday, February 27, 2015.

Applicants must be a BECi member or a child or a legal ward of a BECi member who has been a member in good standing for at least 12 consecutive months as of March 1, 2015.  The scholarship monies can be used by students to attend, on a full-time basis, any Louisiana accredited institution of higher education.  A complete list of requirements can be found at www.beci.org.

 This is the 22nd annual scholarship offering through BECi.  The scholarship funds are not taken from normal operating funds, but from BECi’s Share Program and unclaimed checks. Through legislative changes made in 1993, unclaimed checks were allowed to remain in the scholarship funds to assist students within the BECi service area rather than forwarding the monies to the state’s general treasury fund.

For more information, please call (337) 462-6221 or (800) 367-0275.


 

BECi Reminds Members to Look Up and Stay Alert During Outdoor Work and Play

March 10, 2015

 DeRidder, LA - As the weather begins to warm up, kids and adults alike will soon head outside to perform winter clean-up and play. Before you do, BECi would like to remind you to look up and be alert for power lines and other electrical hazards, the best way to stay safe from electrocution and even death.

“At Beauregard Electric, using proper procedures and safety measures is a matter of life and death,” explains Eddie Hanks, Safety and Training Coordinator. “We take safety seriously at home, too. Accidents happen, but if we educate ourselves and our children, we can keep them to a minimum.”

For kids

  • Never fly a kite on a rainy day or anywhere but an open space. A high point in the sky makes a kite a grounding point for lightning, and kites could easily become entangled in power lines.
  • Don’t climb trees that are near power lines and poles.
  • Stay far away from power lines lying on the ground. You cannot tell if electricity is still flowing through them. If there is water nearby, do not go near it. Water is the best conductor of electricity.
  • Obey signs that say “danger” and “keep out” around large electrical equipment, like substations. These signs are not warnings; they are commands to keep you safe.
  • Never climb a power pole.

For adults

  • If power lines run through your trees, call Beauregard Electric to get professional tree trimmers, with proper protective equipment, to trim branches safely.
  • Remember that power lines and other utilities run underground. Call 811 to have utility lines marked before you start digging.
  • Starting that winter clean-up yard work? Sweep dried leaves and debris from outdoor receptacles.
  • Consider upgrading your outdoor receptacles, or any outlets that could come in contact with water, to ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). GFCIs immediately interrupt power flow when a plugged-in device comes in contact with water. Regardless, keep your outdoor outlets and cords dry and covered.
  • Use only weather-resistant, heavy-duty extension cords marked for outdoor use.
  • Do not leave power tools or other yard equipment unattended for curious children or animals to find.

 

 

 

 


BECi Directors Elected at Annual Meeting

March 28, 2015

DeRidder, LA - The results of the Beauregard Electric Cooperative, Inc. (BECi), director elections were announced Saturday during the BECi Annual Membership Meeting at co-op headquarters in DeRidder.

Dale Peterson, District Two Incumbent Director, was re-elected without opposition. Peterson, a resident of Rosepine and owner/operator of Rosepine Family Pharmacy, has served on the BECi Board in District Two since 2004 and is currently serving as board president.  Peterson holds a bachelor degree in biology from McNeese State University and a bachelor degree in pharmacy from the University of Louisiana-Monroe. Peterson is a member of the Louisiana Pharmacist Association, Fellow of Society of Consulting Pharmacist, Louisiana Retrospective Drug Reviews, Louisiana Drug Policy and Review Board, St. Joseph Catholic Church, and is a NRECA Credentialed Cooperative Director. Peterson is involved with area school programs that include Big Blue Baseball, DeRidder Football and Rosepine Baseball. Mr. Peterson has also coached Dixie Youth Baseball and Optimist Basketball.

Incumbent director Alan Dane Slaydon was re-elected to represent District Four for a fifth term. Slaydon, receiving 610 votes, defeated fellow candidate James David Cain, who received 267 votes. Slaydon, a resident of Pitkin, has served on the BECi Board in District Four since 2003. Slaydon, Director of the Cardiopulmonary Department at Beauregard Memorial Hospital, is a Registered Respiratory Therapist through the California College for Health Science. Slaydon is a member of Smyrna Baptist Church and is a NRECA Credentialed Cooperative Director. 

District Seven incumbent director Douglas Sonnier was elected to represent District Seven for a sixth term.  Sonnier, receiving 631 votes, defeated fellow candidate James Dale Deshotel, who received 150 votes.  Sonnier, a resident of Oberlin, has served on the BECi Board in District Seven since 2000. Sonnier is a farmer and attends Oaklin Springs Baptist Church. He is a member of the Allen Parish Police Jury and a former member of the Allen Parish Fair Board and the Allen Action Agency Board.

The three directors officially began serving a three-year term at Saturday’s annual meeting.

Dale Peterson

 

Alan Slaydon

 

Sonnier

 

Peterson Slaydon Sonnier

 

 

 

 


BECi Announces Winners of Essay Contest, Students Win a Trip to Washington D.C.  

April 6, 2015

DeRidder, LA -  Beauregard Electric Cooperative, Inc. (BECi), announces the top four winners of the 2015 Beauregard Electric Cooperative Youth Tour Essay Contest.  Students entered the contest by writing an essay addressing the most important issue facing their generation. BECi received over 140 entries and awarded four of the top ten winners a trip to Washington, D.C. The winners of the contest who will participate in the Youth Tour are as followed:

  1. Randi Adams – South Beauregard High School
  2. Nicholas Puzon – South Beauregard High School
  3. Leah Worley – DeRidder High School
  4. Skylar Starbuck – DeRidder High School.

Prior to the trip, winners joined other Louisiana high school students during the Youth Leadership Summit held March 23-25 2015, in Baton Rouge where they toured the “Big Cajun II” power plant in New Roads, spoke with Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain and spent an afternoon touring the State Capitol accompanied by Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne.

In June, the students return to Baton Rouge and then will travel to Washington, D.C., where they will join over 1,500 students from 36 states. While in Washington, they will visit the offices of Louisiana's representatives and senators, the U.S. Capitol, the Smithsonian Institution, the Arlington National Cemetery and many other monuments and historical sites and will take a riverboat cruise down the Potomac.

BECi invites the public to visit the NRECA Youth Tour website to view photos of current and past tours. To keep up with the latest news from BECi, visit our Facebook and Twitter page.

 

2015 YLT

Pictured, left to right: Nicholas Puzon South Beauregard High School, Randi Adams South Beauregard High School, Skylar Starbuck DeRidder High School, Leah Worley DeRidder High School.

 

 

 


BECi Announces Scholarship Winners

April 15, 2015

DeRidder, LA — For over twenty years, Beauregard Electric Cooperative Inc. (BECi), has randomly selected students within its service area to receive a scholarship to attend a Louisiana University.  These funds were made possible through legislative changes in 1993 to allow unclaimed funding to stay in local communities assisting families to further their education.

Since its inception, BECi has awarded 118 students totaling more than $158,750.  The results of the scholarship drawing were announced Saturday during the BECi Annual Meeting at co-op headquarters in DeRidder.

The following students were chosen for the 2015- 2016 academic school-year:

Whitney Lynn – 2013 graduate of DeRidder High School currently attending Louisiana State University

Garret Baldridge – 2013 graduate of DeQuincy High school currently attending SOWELA

Blake Ortego – 2015 graduate of Sam Houston High School

Makarios Jackson – 2015 graduate of Leesville High School

LC Lawrence, IV – 2015 graduate of Pickering High School

Alexandra Liles – 2015 graduate of Sam Houston High School

Maddison Cholley – 2015 graduate of Sulphur High School

Anna Claire Miller – 2015 graduate of Sam Houston High School

Carley Allen – 2012 graduate of Oberlin High School currently attending McNeese State University

Phillip Comeaux – 2015 graduate of Sam Houston High School.

For more information on BECi’s scholarship program, visit www.beci.org.

BECi is the distribution cooperative that serves the electric needs of more than 40,000 residential, commercial and industrial members in a 7-parish area of southwest and central Louisiana.

 

Alexandra Liles

 

Anna Claire Miller

 

Blake Ortego

Carley Allen

 

Whitney Lynn

 

Alexandra Liles Anna Claire Miller Blake Ortego Carley Allen Whitney Lynn
         

Garrett Baldridge

 

LC Lawrence

 

Maddison Cholley

 

Makarios Jakcson

 

Phillip Comeaux

 

Garrett Baldridge LC Lawerence Maddison Cholley Makarios Jackson Phillip Comeaux

 

 

 

 


BECi Encourages Members to Put Safety First

May 21, 2015

DeRidder, LA - May is National Electrical Safety Month. While safety for our members is top priority year-round at Beauregard Electric Cooperative, Inc. (BECi), Electrical Safety Month is a time to acknowledge the importance of safety excellence.

Electricity is the cause of over 140,000 fires each year, resulting in more than 500 deaths, 4,000 injuries and $1.6 billion in property damage, according to Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI).

There are many measures you can take to ensure the safety of your loved ones. Use these helpful tips from ESFI to safeguard your home.

In the kitchen

  • Vacuum refrigerator coils every three months to eliminate dirt buildup that can reduce efficiency and create fire hazards.
  • Ensure all countertop appliances are located away from the sink.
  • All appliance cords should be placed away from hot surfaces. Pay particular attention to cords around toasters, ovens and ranges. Cords can be damaged by excess heat.
  • The area above and on top of the cooking range should be free of combustibles, such as potholders and plastic utensils. Storing these items on or near the range may result in fires or burns.

Light the way to safety

  • The wattage of the bulbs you use in your home should match the wattage indicated on the light fixture. Overheated fixtures can lead to a fire.
  • Check lamp cords to make sure they are in good condition – not damaged or cracked. Do not attempt to repair damaged cords yourself. Take any item with a damaged power cord to an authorized repair center.
  • Extension cords should not be used to provide power on a long-term or permanent basis. Have additional receptacles installed by a professional to provide power where needed.

Be prepared

  • Nearly two-thirds of fire deaths result from fires in homes without working smoke alarms. Smoke alarms should be located on every level of your home, inside each bedroom and outside each sleeping area.
  • Test smoke alarms every month. Batteries should be replaced at least once a year – or sooner if indicated in the manufacturers’ instructions. All smoke alarms should be replaced at least every 10 years.
  • Talk to your family about an emergency plan in the event of a fire in your home. If you have small children, include them in planning an emergency escape route – they are more likely to remember the plan if they’re involved in creating it.

Electrical safety awareness and education can save lives. For more tips and information about electrical safety, visit www.esfi.org.

 

 

 

 


Pesky Animals and Power Outages

July 16, 2015

DeRidder, LA — We are all aware that lighting, wind and trees can cause power outages, but animals that climb, dig, fly and slither can also cause numerous problems for electric utilities. Squirrels, snakes, raccoons and birds are the most common of animals that cause power outages, squirrels being the number one cause of animal related outages throughout the United States.

Each month, significant amounts of BECi outages are animal related. In 2013, 596 outages were due to squirrels and another 108 were due to snakes, birds and other animals. This year, BECi is experiencing an increase in animal related outages with 339 reported animal related outages (282 squirrels, 57 birds, snakes and other animals) since January compared to the 403 animal related outages in all of 2014. In May, 1,299 members in the Ragley area were without power for a few hours after two snakes made their way into the Ragley substation.          

There are many ways animals can cause outages. Nesting, chewing, roosting and plain curiosity top the list of causes around the country, but the most common is when an animal sitting or crawling on a line causes a short circuit. A short circuit happens when an animal’s body comes in contact with a piece of energized equipment. The path of electricity is diverted, traveling through the animal’s body, in search of a ground source. When the path of electricity is interrupted, special equipment senses this change and stops the flow of electricity, causing a power outage.

While there is no way to completely eliminate animal related outages, BECi uses a variety of special equipment including barriers, coverings and special coated wiring, to keep animals away from lines and equipment. It is important for members to remember to keep trees, bushes and feeders, where animals congregate, away from power lines.    

Outages are an unavoidable event for an electric provider, but BECi is continuously working to supply our members with safe, affordable and reliable electricity. If you experience a power outage, you can report it using our 24-hour automated answering service by calling (800) 367-0275.

BECi is the distribution cooperative that serves the electric needs of more than 40,000 residential, commercial and industrial members in a 7-parish area of southwest and central Louisiana.

Snakes in Substation

 

 

 

 


BECi Claims Safety Trophy for Third Straight Year

August 27, 2015

DeRidder, LA - BECi recently received recognition for having the most outstanding safety program among the state’s electric cooperatives.

The Statewide Safety Trophy was presented by the Association of Louisiana Electric Cooperatives (ALEC) at the organization’s annual meeting held at the Baton Rouge Hilton on July 27-28. It was the eighth time in the past 10 years BECi has received the coveted award.

On behalf of all BECi employees and board members, Safety Coordinator Eddie Hanks accepted the trophy. He also accepted a plaque honoring the co-op’s achievement of logging 1,180,327 consecutive work hours without a lost time accident since March of 2010.

The figure includes emergency restoration work performed after storms and during other adverse conditions.

“Safety is a true team effort, and the credit goes to all of our employees who make safety a priority in performing their day-to-day tasks,” said BECi General Manager Kevin Turner. “Our success begins with our member-elected leadership at the board level and runs throughout the entire co-op. Everyone plays a critical role in creating a program we can all be proud of.”

Turner said the locally owned cooperative places a premium on safety not only as an effort to protect the health and well-being of employees, members and the public, but also because it simply makes good economic sense.

“When you can create an effective culture of safety on the job, everybody wins,” he said. “Not only do all of our employees get to drive out of our parking lot and go home to their families at the end of the work day, but it also keeps our costs down when it comes to insurances rates, broken equipment and many other expenses.”

Recognition for exceptional safety performance is determined by using a comprehensive formula that accounts for safe operation on the job including field work, warehouse work, transportation and all other aspects necessary to deliver reliable, affordable power to BECi members.

“That’s just incredible, when you think about it,” Turner said. “When you consider all the rain and bad weather and difficult conditions that our employees have to handle while they’re traveling to and from the job sites, it’s a real testament to the attention our employees give to safety.”

The award was presented to the cooperative by Mike Bergeaux, Director of Safety and Loss Control at ALEC.

“I want to applaud the cooperative, the board and the employees for a job well done,” Bergeaux said. “It’s extremely difficult to keep up this kind of safety performance over time. Great job.”

Bergeaux also recognized BECi Board Member Teddy Welch, who serves on the ALEC board and is chairman of the association’s Safety and Loss Control Committee.

Safety Award

Shown above, left to right, are ALEC Training Coordinator Aarron Graham, BECi Vice President of Marketing and Member Services Kay Fox, BECi Executive Assistant Darlene Collins, BECi Director Donald Bush, BECi General Manager Kevin Turner, BECi Safety Coordinator Eddie Hanks, ALEC Director of Loss Control Mike Bergeaux, and BECi Directors Teddy Welch and J.R. Hickman.

 


Why Electric Co-op Replace Utility Poles  

October 2, 2015

DeRidder— You probably don’t pay much attention to the utility poles found throughout Beauregard Electric Cooperative’s service territory, but did you know these tall structures are the backbone of our distribution network?

Strong, sturdy utility poles ensure a reliable electric system, which is why we routinely inspect the hundreds of thousands of poles found on our lines. Throughout the year, our crews check poles for decay caused by exposure to the elements. They know which poles are oldest and conduct inspections through a rotational process. Typically, a standard wooden distribution poles is expected to last for more than 50 years.

Occasionally, poles need to be replaced for other reasons besides decay and old age. Weather disasters, line relocation and car crashes are potential causes for immediate replacement.

Here is a quick breakdown of how crews replace a utility pole:

When a pole needs to be replaced, crews will start the process by digging a hole, typically next to the pole being replaced. The depth of the hole must be 15 percent of the new pole’s height. Next, the new pole will be fitted with bolts, cross arms, insulators, ground wires and arm braces – all of the necessary parts for delivering safe and reliable electricity. Then, crews safely detach the power lines from the old pole. The new pole is then raised and guided carefully into position, and the lines are attached, leaving the new pole to do its job.

So, the next time you come across a Beauregard Electric crew replacing a pole, use caution and know that this process ensures a more reliable electric system for you, our members.

BECi is the distribution cooperative that serves the electric needs of more than 40,000 residential, commercial and industrial members in a 7-parish area of southwest and central Louisiana. To learn more about BECi, visit www.beci.org.

Utility Pole Diagram

To view in a larger window, click here.

 

 


 

BECi Director Completes National Co-op Board Certification Program

November 17, 2015

DeRidder, LA - At the November Beauregard Electric Cooperative, Inc., (BECi) board meeting, District Six Director Dan O’Dell II was recognized for achieving national electric cooperative board certification. O’Dell received the Credentialed Cooperative Director certificate for his commitment to education from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA).

Today’s electric utility environment imposes new demands on electric cooperative directors, particularly increased knowledge of changes in the electric utility business, new governance skills and a working knowledge of the cooperative principles. The NRECA Credentialed Cooperative Director, or CCD, program requires attendance and demonstrated understanding of the basic competencies contained in five core courses:

• Director Duties and Liabilities

• Understanding the Electric Business

• Board Roles and Relationships

• Strategic Planning

• Financial Decision Making.

O’Dell, a resident of Ragley, was elected to the BECi Board in District Six in 2013 and is employed as a Project Manager for CITGO Petroleum Corporation. He attended McNeese State University and holds a bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering. He is a member of FirstPresbyterian Church, a Scoutmaster with Boy Scouts of America Troop 21 with 25+ years of experience, a current executive board member of Boy Scouts of America-Calcasieu Area Council and has been as a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers for 35 years.

BECi is the distribution cooperative that serves the electric needs of more than 40,000 residential, commercial and industrial members in a 7-parish area of southwest and central Louisiana. To learn more about BECi, visit www.beci.org.