Employee Spotlights
June 5, 2024

My Utility Connection: Four Decades of Building Bridges

I’m Tracie Russell, and I’m thrilled to share a bit about my journey with Meridian and my deep connection to the world of utilities and cooperatives! As a Relationship Manager at Meridian, I deliver a personal touch and connection that many other technology providers lack. My role involves acting as a trusted partner to the utilities in my territories—Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alaska. With decades of industry experience, my goal is to provide unparalleled service and build relationships that exceed expectations. I’m also a Member of North East Mississippi EPA!  Being a member of a cooperative I serve allows me to truly understand and meet the needs of our Member/Customers.

My connection to the utility industry was forged and strengthened during my 34 years at North East Mississippi EPA, where I first served as Billing Manager and later transitioned to Marketing and Communications Specialist with the launch of NE SPARC, the co-op’s fiber project. This path has been incredibly fulfilling, allowing me to see firsthand how our technology can revolutionize utilities, making them more efficient and responsive to the needs of their communities. My personal experiences give me a unique perspective on the importance of reliable utilities. It’s not just about having reliable power; it’s about staying connected with the community and ensuring that every household has access to essential services.

Tracie’s granddaughter, Mary Madison Kelley, and Sherrie Smutzer

  For me, utilities are a family affair! While employed at North East MS EPA, I was an advisor for the Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi Youth Tour for 29 years. This year, my granddaughter got the amazing opportunity to attend the workshop in our state capital and will join high school juniors from around the country in June for the Washington, D. C. Youth Tour. My dear friend Sherrie Smutzer, from Twin County Electric Power, is an advisor for the program and was able to help my granddaughter along her own journey. These experiences highlight the deep, personal connections and community spirit that define the cooperative experience.

At Meridian, my story is not unique. Many of our employees have extensive experience in the utility industry. This collective knowledge allows us to deeply understand and meet the needs of the utilities we serve. Meridian Cooperative, with our rich history and dedication to excellence, innovation, and building lasting relationships, resonates deeply with me.

Reflecting on my journey, I’m proud to be part of an organization that values the cooperative spirit as much as I do. Together, we are creating a future of unparalleled progress for utilities and the communities we serve.

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