Each year the Kansas Cooperative Council (KCC) inducts individuals into their Hall of Fame. Individuals are nominated and honored for their substantial engagement in the cooperative industry. This year retired board member from Wheatland Electric Cooperative, Charles Ayers, was honored as an inductee for going above and beyond in advancing the cooperative philosophy.
Ayers has served electric cooperatives for several years, serving on the Wheatland board of trustees from 1986 to 2017. During that time, he also served on boards for Sunflower Electric Power Corporation, Western Fuels Association, ACES Power Marketing and the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation.
“On the evening of my induction, I suggested that really the greatest honor began when the board was moved to put my name forward in consideration,” Ayers said. “In the evening, it was really clear, what the cooperative council has put together is a marvelous way to lift up the importance of the cooperative community and to identify the value of strong leadership to keep that a vibrant dynamic. I really appreciated the effort that they’ve gone to to create that history.”
Ayers was nominated by fellow inductee Earl Watkins. Watkins is a retired Sunflower president and CEO and was inducted into the KCC Hall of Fame in 2017.
The KCC has created a permanent home for the Hall of Fame at the Kansas State Fairgrounds. The Pride of Kansas Building plays host to the display of achievements by some of Kansas’ greatest co-op leaders and shares in educating the public about the cooperative industry. Since established in 1999, 46 individuals from all different types of cooperatives have been inducted into the KCC’s Hall of Fame.