Lauren Irby and Jeremy Tucker head up Delaware Electric Cooperative’s communications team. (Photo By: Jim Robertson)
Equally important as the work electric cooperatives perform is the story of the history co-ops have made and continue to make today. Jeremy Tucker and Lauren Irby consider themselves fortunate to share the Delaware Electric Cooperative story with members, media, the community and others.
“It’s the story of our members, the story of our history and the story of where we’re going,” says Tucker, manager of strategic communications and engagement. With a background in broadcast journalism, Tucker thrives on the ever-changing environment where no two days are the same. “I love telling stories.”
Influenced by the coverage of 9/11, Tucker had his career path figured out early in life, or so he thought. The American University alum studied broadcast journalism and political science with determination to become a network news anchor and reporter. Working in Washington, D.C. Tucker interviewed high-profile figures like Condoleezza Rice and the late Colin Powell.
Despite being on a national stage telling amazing stories, Tucker believes the story of Delaware Electric Co-op, its members and employees is the most important he’s told, and the one of which he is proudest.
Lauren Irby was born and raised in Southside Virginia, studied communications and psychology at Longwood University, and started her career in the nonprofit sector. DEC’s manager of public relations and community outreach recalls applying for her first co-op role in Virginia to appease her mother and friends.
“I didn’t know anything about electricity,” Irby says. “It’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Just bring your enthusiasm. Co-ops will teach you what you need to know.” Irby relocated to Delaware from Southside Electric Cooperative and joined DEC just weeks prior to the pandemic.
Tucker and Irby emphasize the uniqueness of the national network of professionals within the co-op community. “We are looking out for each other,” says Irby. “We are not in competition; not keeping trade secrets.” Coming from an environment where ideas are guarded, Tucker and Irby found it refreshing to be able to call a neighbor, near or far, and discuss solutions.
“You feel like you can make a difference,” says Tucker. “We’re not focused on profits, we’re focused on people. Doing something that matters, something that makes the world a better place.”