The Administration & Financial Services Teams

The administration and financial services teams offer support for the entire Duck River Electric team, assist with strategic planning on many levels, and are responsible for all things financial, both receivables and payables.

Scott Spence, Jenny Armstrong, and Annette Williams make up the administration team. They work together and with the various departments and offices to lend support as needed to fulfill DREMC’s mission of providing safe, reliable electric service at the lowest possible cost.

Spence joined the team in 2019 and since has worked alongside the DREMC team to navigate through adverse events that affected the cooperative and its members: a 100-year pandemic, 40-year inflation, supply chain issues, and an 87-year electric load crisis that led to unprecedented rolling outages by the TVA.

The financial services team includes those who work in the accounting, billing, and warehouse departments. The team is led by James Bates, who joined the DREMC team in 2020.

“Our team manages $220 million in revenue as it comes in and goes out of the organization,” Bates said. He adds that for every dollar of electricity sold, 75 cents go back to TVA to pay for the power purchased by all members. The remaining 25 cents is used to cover DREMC’s operational expenses.

The purchasing and warehouse team is led by Julie Murdock and includes Holly Key, Tara Webb, Teresa Merlo, Rocky Lovvorn, Jeff Ray, and Ed Holt. Although their roles vary, they are responsible for purchasing and accounting for materials that range from transformers to bucket trucks to paper clips.

They oversee the headquarters warehouse inventory, which includes some $4 million of electric construction materials. Each week they order, stock, and deliver materials to DREMC’s other offices for new construction, system maintenance, and outage repairs.

Depending on the extent of the damage, major power outages have historically been restored and repairs made over several days. Even so, the work is just beginning for these teams. Invoices and work orders related to emergency work, such as materials, equipment, contracted labor, meals, and more continue to be assigned to the storm. Webb shares that when a disaster is declared and the Federal Emergency Management Agency assists, much detail is required to document storm-related expenses for DREMC, and the process could take up to two years for the cooperative to receive federal aid to be reimbursed for the emergency funds.

Other duties include processing work orders and producing reports for inventory and plant accounting for nine warehouses across DREMC’s system. According to Webb, over $350 million in total plant assets technically belong to the cooperative membership. These assets are also monitored by auditors, financial institutions, and the state for compliance. Tracking these assets is vital in being a good steward of the members’ investments in the Duck River system.

“With today’s supply chain issues, the purchasing function has been challenging,” said Murdock. “Many materials associated with electric construction have been difficult to obtain, with some delivery dates pushing out months beyond what was previously expected, and the cost of some materials has increased by 50 percent over the last two years.”

She adds that staying current on inventory and supplies has been aided by DREMC’s ability to purchase in volume and use comparable alternatives where applicable without compromising safety and service.

“I grew up in a neighborhood near the Shelbyville office and could see the building and trucks from my backyard,” said Merlo. “Duck River is known for being involved in the community and providing stable employment and benefits to its employees. I wanted to be a part of that when I grew up, although I didn’t know there were so many different roles at DREMC that keep the lights on. I like working with our team on budget reports and data analysis, which can be used to make decisions that affect and benefit the membership.”

The billing department includes Brooke Fabera, Fancee Spence, and Adria Sharp. Together, they help generate DREMC’s incoming revenue by ensuring that more than 82,000 electric bills are reviewed and sent monthly on schedule and electric rates are calculated and checked for accuracy.

Accountants Dawn Pope, Amanda Lovvorn, and Thomas Claxton make sure that all of DREMC’s received invoices are paid. Claxton shares that some of the larger expenses include ad valorem taxes, which are paid annually to the cities and counties where the cooperative’s offices and electric infrastructure are located; the monthly TVA power bill, which averages $?? million for every kilowatt of electricity purchased by residential and commercial members; and construction-related materials.

Lovvorn candidly describes the elementary basics of the two sides of financial services, “The billing group and our eight offices bring in the funds, and we, the accounting group, spend it.”

Pope has been a part of the accounting team for 33 years. After graduating college, she applied for an accounting position at DREMC. She recalls the early days of using a typewriter to produce checks to pay invoices and balancing the handwritten, accounts payable entries that were once entered in huge ledgers. “On average, we now pay 100 invoices per week and as many as 800 checks are sent out during the month,” she said and smiles, “I am thankful for my computer!”

DREMC warehouse and purchasing team

From left are Teresa Merlo, Julie Murdock, Rocky Lovvorn, Jeff Ray, Tara Webb, and Holly Key. Not pictured is Ed Holt.

Accounting and Billing teams

Above are members of the accounting and billing departments. They are Amanda Lovvorn, Dawn Pope, Brooke Fabera, Fancee Spencer, and Adria Sharp.

Thomas and James

Above are Thomas Claxton and James Bates.

Administration team

Jenny Armstrong, Scott Spence, and Annette Williams make up the administration team.