Curtis Tally retired from CoServ board after 22 years
CURTIS TALLY RETIRED from the CoServ Board of Directors in November, leaving a rich legacy of service that will remain for decades to come.
The retired Justin State Bank chairman and former Justin Seed Company owner served on the Board from 1999 to 2021, the longest tenure of any current Board member. Curtis brought the idea of rounding up bills to raise money for the CoServ Charitable Foundation, was instrumental in the hiring of President and CEO Donnie Clary and helped the co-op maintain a financially sound balance sheet that allowed CoServ to retire Capital Credits back to Members.
Though he knows the co-op is in capable hands, he will miss working with his fellow Board members and CoServ’s talented Employees.
“I think the Board and the top management is very, very competent and they’re really good people,” Curtis said. “So, my stepping down is not going to change anything with them, they’ll handle it fine. How well I do [with all this free time] might be something else.”
The Texas Tech graduate remains humble about his decades of service to CoServ and his business success.
“I was an agribusiness major before they ever heard the word. I majored in business but took several agriculture courses and minored in agronomy. I had a minor in economics so that played into the banking side and the agronomy into the seed side of it,” Curtis said. “I’m just a normal guy that the Lord really blessed. I don’t have any particular talents – I’m just here.”
What advice do you have for future Board members?
“What is your attitude? Why do you want on there? If you want to serve and you’ve got the time, because it takes a whole lot of time, it can be very emotionally rewarding,” Curtis said. “But you’ve got to have the right attitude and want to do it.”
You attended a National Rural Electric Cooperative Association conference where you heard a representative from a smaller co-op talk about how they round up Members’ bills. That led to Operation Roundup, which has raised $13 million for the CoServ Charitable Foundation since 2004. CCF is a critical lifeline to North Texas nonprofits and school districts. Can you talk about that?
“I was just amazed at what she was telling us. They were rounding it up, those few cents, to supplement people’s electric bills. It just blew my mind as to how much money could be raised with just with a few cents. Anything raised in Operation Roundup would be spent within our service territory. Those early decisions like that, I think I had a pretty good hand in those, maybe because I’m a little louder than anyone else. That’s probably the thing that I’m most proud of, but it was not a one-man effort.”
What sets CoServ apart from other electric utilities?
“For one thing, your Board of Directors. How many people can talk to a member of the Oncor board of directors? The basic attitude of a for-profit is to make a profit. That’s not a bad thing but that’s their motivation. CoServ’s deal is service. We’re not out here to see how much money we can make from this project but how can we serve the Members. I think that’s the attitude that prevails through the Employees and every department right up through the Board of Directors.”
What else are you particularly proud of during your time on the Board?
“One of the more obvious ones is the selection of Donnie as our CEO. That has been a wonderful thing for CoServ. He has been a great asset, and has made some key decisions. So, I’m really pleased with that choice.”
“It’s difficult to find the words that express what Curtis has meant to CoServ and to me, both professionally and personally, over the past 22 years. Curtis has successfully guided this cooperative through numerous challenges during his time on the Board. During his tenure, he has also witnessed the phenomenal growth of both our electric and gas businesses. His support of and love for this organization, its members and employees has never waivered. His words of wisdom and insight will be missed in the boardroom. CoServ is the organization that it is today because of Curtis Tally’s leadership,” said Donnie.
CoServ Board appoints District 7 Director
In November, CoServ appointed Chance Adair to Curtis’ unexpired term in District 7. Elections for Districts 2 and 7 will be held May 12 through June 2 with results announced at the Annual Meeting on June 7. Board Members must live in their assigned district but are voted on and represent all CoServ Members.