Vranic Honored for Community Service
DEMCO CEO and General Manager John Vranic has been named Cooperative Leader of the Year for 2016 by the Louisiana Council of Farmer Cooperatives (LCFC).
LCFC President Billy Gibson said Vranic received the honor primarily in recognition of his exemplary response to the Baton Rouge area flood of August 2016. The flood not only caused extensive property damage to tens of thousands of DEMCO’s members, but also damaged two of the cooperative’s district branches, and 60 DEMCO employees sustained damage to their homes, vehicles and other personal property.
“I’ve known John for a number of years and in many ways he’s an ‘old school’ type of leader,” said Gibson. “He doesn’t talk much or brag about his accomplishments, but through his actions he demonstrates his commitment to the community, service to his members and the support of his employees that characterize an effective and compassionate chief executive officer.”
Gibson recounted how Vranic sprang into action after the August 2016 flood by placing a priority on making sure his employees and their families had the resources and support needed to recover from their personal property losses and the stress caused by the disaster.
Vranic helped to manage a relief fund endowed by the donations of a wide array of power suppliers, fellow distribution cooperatives and organizations and individuals from across the country and oversaw the efforts to distribute and allocate those funds to employees.
Additionally, Vranic directed staff to work toward offering assistance in various forms to cooperative members and the community at-large. This included providing meals to flood victims and their families, promoting the cooperative’s charitable foundation and assisting local
hospitals, schools and other public agencies. Vranic also opened his own home to six flood victims to provide temporary shelter.
“It’s an honor to be recognized by the LCFC organization,” Vranic said. “But really, I don’t feel I’ve done anything extraordinary. When disaster strikes here in this community, people always pull together. There were so many people who came to the aid and rescue of those in need. We’ve seen it time and time again over the years. This is a wonderful place to live and raise a family and we’re just happy to have the opportunity to serve.”
Aside from the flood, Gibson noted that Vranic also orchestrated a grand display of support for the area law enforcement officers gunned down in Baton Rouge last summer. DEMCO employees and bucket trucks were on hand to display the colors from their extended booms along the paths of funeral processions, including that of Lt. Shawn Anderson who was killed in the line of duty in March.
DEMCO is a non-profit, member-owned electric cooperative serving more than 100,000 members in seven parishes.