Former SEDC Employee Goes From Product Support to President
There have been many people who have come to SEDC from rural electric backgrounds. Some are still with us; some have returned to their roots at co-ops across the country. Back in 1995, Wendy Sellers came to us fresh out of college with a degree in accounting and experience as an intern at a Georgia CPA firm that serves many of the electric cooperatives across Georgia and the Southeast. What she didn’t know then is that her time at SEDC would steer her down the path to become a lifelong member of the cooperative family.
For three years, Wendy worked in a group that both implemented and supported SEDC’s General Accounting application. “When I came on board they were converting their clients from real time to turnkey,” she recalls, “and everybody had to be converted. There were a lot of site visits. I really learned a tremendous amount about electric coops that way.”
A typical conversion at that time took about four weeks, which meant Wendy was spending more time at the co-ops than she was in Atlanta. “I really started to get to know the co-ops and spend a lot of time in the co-ops. That experience was invaluable to me because once you go to a site, and you visit with them, and you get to know them, you want to be a part of that environment.”
The more time she spent working at co-ops, the more she realized she felt at home there. When her own local cooperative (an SEDC Member) announced an opening for their Vice President of Finance, she seized the opportunity to join a utility and shorten her daily commute. After spending seven years at Sawnee EMC, first as their VP of Finance and later as their Chief Financial Officer, Wendy was presented with another opportunity that she could not pass up – an opportunity to go home.
“My husband got an opportunity at a job back here in Milledgeville, which is only about 25 minutes from where we grew up,” she recalls. “At the same time he got the opportunity to come here, I found out that there was a vacancy at Washington for the VP of Finance position. It was a good opportunity, and if we wanted to come back home, that was the time to do it. So I took the opportunity to move back and my husband did too. And it’s been wonderful to be here raising my family.”
Wendy has come a long way from her days in product support, but looking back, she’s enjoyed the journey. “I didn’t know anything about SEDC other than they did accounting systems for electric cooperatives,” she remembers. “I didn’t take the normal route of working for a CPA firm and then sitting for the exam and then later on moving on to the electric co-op in the accounting department, but I have no regrets at all. My experience at SEDC and being at a lot of co-ops, I met some great people. I still have friends today that I met through SEDC, going to co-ops. You learn a lot about how to treat people at a co-op, and the way they treat each other, the way they treat their customers, is the way I want to be treated. It’s the type of company feeling you want to be a part of.”
Congratulations, Wendy. We’re proud to have you as a part of the SEDC family.