Georgia Magazine - April 2012 - (Page 5)
BY PAUL WOOD President/CEO, Georgia Electric Membership Corporation
www.georgiamagazine.org (800) 544-4362, in Georgia; (770) 270-6500
GEORGIA Magazine, the largest-circulation monthly magazine in the state, is published by Georgia Electric Membership Corp. (GEMC), the trade association for Georgia’s 42 consumer-owned electric utilities. On average, more than 500,000 members welcome the magazine into their homes each month. Georgia’s notfor-proﬁt electric cooperatives provide reliable, safe and affordable electric service to more than 73 percent of the state’s land area serving 4.5 million residents. For more information, visit www.georgiaemc.com.
EDITOR Ann Orowski, CCC MANAGING EDITOR Jennifer Hewett, CCC ASSOCIATE EDITOR Victoria Scharf DeCastro PRODUCTION COORDINATOR Steve Jacobs ASSISTANT EDITOR Kevin Braun ASSISTANT EDITOR Jim Jess EDITORIAL INTERN Amanda Robinson CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Lynn Coulter, Ren Davis, Tricia Despres, Jane F. Garvey, Jackie Kennedy CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Ren Davis, Jane F. Garvey, Jennifer J. Hewett, Donn Jones, Alana Joyner, Jackie Kennedy, Peter McIntosh, Elizabeth Noles, William D. Powell ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVES
Layaway lessons learned
Laurel George, (404) 541-0628; Laine Kirby Wood, (770) 289-5700 Country Market, (800) 626-1181 National
NATIONAL ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVE
Trudie Thibodeaux, Kerstin Weis Mary Wellman, (770) 270-6981
2012 ADVISORY BOARD
Matthew Akins, Gale Cutler, Ren Davis, Nicole Dover, Hinson Mosley, Steve Mullice, Amy Orr, Jane Perfect, Rodney Reese, Angela Shipp, Brad Thomas, Louis Tonsmeire, Neal Trice
GEORGIA EMC OFFICERS CHAIRMAN Alice Mallory, Coweta-Fayette EMC VICE CHAIRMAN G. Anthony Norton, Snapping SEC.-TREASURER Randy Crenshaw, Irwin PRESIDENT/CEO, GEMC A. Paul Wood
GEORGIA Magazine (USPS-473120, ISSN 10615822) is published monthly by Georgia Electric Membership Corp., P.O. Box 1707, 2100 East Exchange Place, Tucker, GA 30085. Periodicals postage paid at Thomaston, GA, and additional mailing ofﬁces. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to GEORGIA Magazine, P.O. Box 1707, Tucker, GA 30085. Printed in Georgia by Quad/ Graphics.
Acceptance of advertising by GEORGIA Magazine does not imply endorsement by the publisher or Georgia’s electric membership corporations of the product or services advertised. GEORGIA Magazine’s LIABILITY FOR ERRORS IN, OR OMISSIONS OF, ADVERTISEMENTS, WHETHER IN CONTRACT OR IN TORT, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO DAMAGES TO THE ADVERTISER’S BUSINESS, SHALL IN NO EVENT EXCEED THE AMOUNT OF CHARGES FOR THE ADVERTISEMENT THAT WAS OMITTED OR IN WHICH THE ERROR OCCURRED.
was in a local jewelry store the other day, a family-owned, independent shop, unafﬁliated with any chain store. As I looked around, a lady approached the counter and said she wanted to make a payment on a layaway item. The clerk went to the back to get his ledger, and while he was gone, she turned to me and said, “I put a pendant on layaway two years ago, and I’ve only got two more payments.” I could hear the excitement in her voice. “They usually require $20 as a minimum payment, but if I have only $10—like today—they’ll be ﬁne with that.” When the clerk returned, she handed him 10 $1 bills, and with his pen, he subtracted $10 from the balance due and gave her a receipt. She looked at me and, as she walked out the door, excitedly announced, “I’m getting closer.” It’s been a long time since I have witnessed such a personal interaction between store and customer. The whole scene took me back to a purchase I made in my youth in my hometown of Natchitoches, La. The local hobby shop had a model airplane for sale with “a real motor in it.” It was just $10. The shop owner could see by the look on my face that I couldn’t afford it, so he asked if I had a job. I told him I sold eggs regularly to my neighbors from chickens I raised. “Great,” he said. “How much can you afford to pay weekly?” I did a quick calculation, and with income from the eggs and some allowance thrown in, I could afford $1 per week. “Sold,” he said, and made an entry in his handwritten ledger. For the next 10 weeks, I rode my
(Contined from front flap)
bicycle to his shop on Friday afternoons and gave him $1, usually in change. That plane became the most satisfying purchase I ever made, and it was my most valued possession for years. The shop owner had just taught a young boy the value of money, as well as how to discipline himself if he wanted to own an item he thought he could not afford. He could have said, “No cash, no sale.” I would have understood, but he also would have missed the opportunity to inﬂuence a young life. The shop owner also displayed a trusting side that is lacking in our click-it, swipe-it, scan-it culture. I thought it was great to hear last Christmas that stores had brought back layaway plans, and that customers liked it. Undoubtedly, it will be back again next Christmas. I hope it will be adopted again by familyowned shops in small communities everywhere. The layaway plan offers us all a chance to perpetuate the special relationship that exists between a customer coming in to pay down on a pendant and a merchant happy to see her every month. It’s called the human touch, and we need more of it.
Wrap .375 Spine .8125
What readers asked
PAUL WOOD is the president and CEO of Georgia Electric Membership Corp., headquartere d in Tucker. Georgia EMC represents Georgia’s 42 electric membership corporations (EMCs), Oglethorpe Power Corp., Georgia Transmission Corp. and Georgia System Operations Corp., providing electricity to more than 4.5 million residents and businesses in Georgia.
Prior to his move to Georgia, Wood was executive director of the Association of Louisiana Electric Cooperatives . Today, he has become one of Georgia’s most fervent promoters through his service to the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Georgia Chamber of Commerce, 4-H Foundation, FDR Warm Springs Memorial Advisory Committee and KidsPeace. In 2004, Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue tapped Wood to serve as co-chairman of the Governor’s Conference on Tourism, and, in 2007, Wood to chair the Commission Perdue also asked for a New Georgia Service Delivery Taskforce. Not long after Gov. Nathan Deal was inaugurated in 2011, he appointed Wood to serve on his newly formed Georgia Competitiven ess Initiative. During his nearly half-century of service to electric membership cooperatives, Wood has held many leadership positions, including president of the Rural Electric Statewide Managers’ Association.
It’s If you enjoy reading My Paul Wood’s “ViewView point” columns, see page 43 to order “It’s My View,” a hardbound book By Paul Wood featuring 100 of the magazine readers’ favorite columns from past years.
GEORGIA Magazine readers have loved Paul Wood’s monthly most 15 years; response columns for alto the magazine points of every issue. After numerous readers suggestedto this being the most-read page columns in a book, that Wood put his “Viewpoint he did. This book is ” the result. What readers say about “Viewpoint,” the monthly column of Paul Wood: “A new decade begins” was just chock-full of wisdom that many on both sides of the of our leaders aisle seem to lack. I’d like to shake your hand tell you how much I think of you.” one day and —Dave K., Townsend, inspirational in his common-sense “Mr. Wood … is so Ga. “Paul, keep up the good work. I always approach to everything! ” —Jamie W., Richmond Hill, Ga. enjoy your articles.” —Larry W., Perry, Ga. “I am thrilled about this book. Paul Wood’s ‘Viewpoint’ is the first the magazine.” thing I read in —Jeanette G., Cleveland, Ga. “My GEORGIA Magazine arrived yesterday. … Wood’s. His words My first article is always ring true to me. Please Paul pass along my applause.” —Angela S., Blairsville, Ga. “Paul Wood always gives us something to think about.” —Vickie H., Thomson, Ga.
IT’S MY VIEW 2011
It’s My View
It’s My View
—Anita J., West Point, Ga. “Thank you very much for the ‘Viewpoint’ article, ‘Growing older? This is a splendid article Who, me?’ on aging. We always enjoy Paul’s articles …”
JACKET DESIGN BY TRUDIE THIBODEAU JACKET PHOTOGRAP X HY BY LOUIS TONSMEIRE PRINTED IN THE U.S.A. © 2011 GEMC GEORGIA MAGAZINE
A collection of reader s’ favorite ‘Viewpoint’ columns from GEOR GIA Magazine
hen Paul Wood writes in his monthly “Viewp GEORGIA Magazine reflections are often laced w lessons he learned while gro town of Natchitoches , La. One has only to read a gain an appreciation for a li faith and education. Small towns in the 1950 The character of the town’s y shaped by adults who accept in life, putting every child on and successful citizenship. It “Remember who you are” wa small-town mother, a caution on your best behavior when y door to meet the world. A tee that anyone in the community report.” In Wood’s column, “Good remember growing up when ro born, perhaps with parents wh understand it. In “My mother s raise,” you’ll discover Paul’s pu humor. In “The parade of our t it all about,” he waxes philosop meaning of life. In “Good friend times,” you’ll think of someone when the going was rough. He a advice for graduates looking for celebrating the Fourth of July an a more meaningful Christmas fo There is also considerable comm officials could make government levels. Hardly any subject escape opinion of Paul Wood. This collection of readers’ fa is more than a nostalgic look at th reminder that many of those learned are just as applicable early toda in mid-20th-century America. Woo every person possesses a unique gi discovered and cultivated, has the change the world. At the very least is apt to find Wood’s insights a help for understanding the problems tha complicated world in early 21st-cen
By Paul Wood
More online at www.georgiamagazine.org
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - April 2012
Georgia Magazine - April 2012
Calendar of Events
Horses, hats and hospitality
Head for the border
Georgia Magazine - April 2012