People who make a positive difference in their communities and in the world share core behaviors that include:
- giving of themselves in their time and expertise.
- using their influence well.
- committing to continually bettering themselves, which in turn influences others to do the same.
- advocating for what they believe in.
Those are the types of individuals you will find advocating for cooperatives and the business model that puts its members first.
Martie Floyd, board president of Pioneer Electric Cooperative in Ulysses, Kansas, is one of those individuals.
I had the great privilege of witnessing the induction of Martie Floyd and Vern May into the Kansas Cooperative Council Hall of Fame in Wichita on Dec. 13. The Kansas Cooperative Hall of Fame was established in 1999 to honor individuals in Kansas who have been instrumental in developing and spreading the cooperative philosophy. Floyd and May received these honors for 2021.
Floyd is a lifelong resident of Johnson, Kansas, and was recognized by the KCC for his decades of service to the electric cooperative industry and the agriculture sector in Kansas.
His nomination for the Hall of Fame praised his advocacy, innovation, and vision “that has ensured the cooperative’s relevancy, value, and ability to lead.”
Floyd’s “sense of community” began early in his career as a county commissioner and it has defined his life. Truly a servant leader, Floyd and his wife have worked tirelessly in their community to improve the lives of others, instrumental in opening a thrift store and food pantry as well as a safe place for battered women and their children.
Floyd has served on Pioneer Electric Cooperative’s Board of Trustees since 1999. In addition to his work on the Pioneer board, Floyd has served honorably on the boards of directors of Farmland Industries and Skyland Grain.
Pioneer Electric CEO Steve Epperson said Floyd’s vision for change, transparency and planning has been the focal point of his presidential term.
“Martie works hard to ensure that we stay committed to our cooperative values,” said Epperson. “His leadership and commitment to the communities we serve helped us maintain our mission of providing world-class service and reliable power.”
Those inducted into the KCC Hall of Fame are honored for going “above and beyond the call” to further the cooperative philosophy. Inductees are nominated and meet the criteria set forth by the Hall of Fame Committee. Floyd’s nomination was a joint effort between Pioneer Electric and Skyland Grain, LLC.
Vern May of Wichita, was inducted into the Hall of Fame alongside Floyd for his 40 years of service to the cooperative industry. He began his cooperative career in the early 1970s with the Wichita Bank for Cooperatives, what is now known today as CoBank, a terrific partner to the electric cooperatives that provides financial services to vital industries across rural America.
May was nominated for being instrumental in helping managers and board members successfully navigate the ever-changing landscape in Midwest agriculture.
To date, 51 cooperators from all types of cooperatives have been inducted into this elite group. Floyd’s and May’s biographical information will be placed alongside other honorees in the Kansas Cooperative Hall of Fame showcase display at the Kansas State Fairgrounds. This permanent display, located in the Pride of Kansas building, educates the public about the cooperative business model while highlighting the achievements of these inspirational co-op leaders.
Lee Tafanelli is Chief Executive Officer of Kansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. in Topeka.Marty Floyd Induction Video