Home is Where the Heart Is

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If you are a frequent reader of this magazine, you know that we are passionate about our state. From Burlison to Bristol and Clarksville to Counce, we want The Tennessee Magazine to tell the story of Tennessee. This is an amazing place. Inspiring people live here, nature’s beauty abounds here, incredible events take place here and mouthwatering food is prepared — and consumed — here.

We often say that this publication “celebrates the best of Tennessee,” highlighting the unique, remarkable and beautiful aspects of the Volunteer State.

I suppose every state can boast of its food, people, culture and natural beauty, but Tennessee also has heart. You find it in the music we make, the food we enjoy, the art we create and the natural wonders that lie just beyond the next hill.

You also find heart in the Tennesseans who serve their friends and neighbors. I am proud to say that there are more than 2,600 electric co-op employees who get up each day to do just that. The Tennessee Magazine is published by the state’s electric cooperatives; I think the passion we have for our state comes from the unique connection co-ops have with the communities we serve.

Our co-op workforce has a different perspective than employees at many companies. Most employees of a co-op are also members of the co-op; they live and work in the community they serve. That ensures that their attention is rightly focused on where they live. When you make a decision that affects you and your neighbors, you want to get it right. If you don’t, your neighbors will let you know about it. Co-op employees put their backs — and their hearts — into their work.

I found it interesting that the theme for the 2018 Tennessee State Fair is “The Heart of Tennessee.” Like our publication, the fair is an annual celebration of Tennessee life — the music, art, food and culture that is unique to our state — our “heart” if you will.

To open this annual event, one of our co-op linemen will flip a switch to light the midway and kick off the festivities.

Whether you are a lifelong Tennessean or a recent transplant, I hope you take time to visit this year’s fair. I’m confident that the music, art, food and culture will fill you with a new sense of pride for this place we call home.

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About Author

David Callis

David Callis is a 1982 graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, with a degree in business administration. He began his career at the Tennessee Valley Authority in Chattanooga as an accountant, later becoming supervisor of power revenue. A Nashville native, he relocated back to Middle Tennessee in 1992 to join Tri-County EMC in Lafayette first as director of finance and administration and then as general manager. In February 2001, he joined the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association as director of government and public affairs. In June 2010, he was named vice president of statewide services with oversight over government relations, communications and marketing and member relations for the association. He became general manager in January 2012.

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