McFee believes in the future and potential of YazooBy JAMIE PATTERSON,
Dennis McFee has a positive attitude that is contagious within moments of meeting him.
He is a dedicated employee of Yazoo Valley Electric Power Association, proud to wear the uniform that bears its name.
He sees the potential in the Yazoo community through a variety of volunteer efforts and civic duties.
He is husband to Ashley and father to Addison and Aiden, totally investing in his family and their future in Yazoo.
He believes in Yazoo. And the community believes in him.
“This place has so much potential,” McFee said. “I just try to stay positive and reach for that potential.”
McFee spent the majority of his childhood in Michigan, living with his grandmother.
“I was the first grandchild, and my Grandma wasn’t going to let me leave her,” he said, with a smile.
With family roots in Yazoo City, he did manage to arrive in town when he was 13 years old.
“I always thought I would go back to Michigan, but there was something about this place,” McFee said. “There is something to be said about southern charm. It captivated me and kept me here.”
McFee graduated from Yazoo City High School in 2004. After a few years out of high school, he began to show interest in a lineman program at Holmes Community College. He completed and graduated from that program in the spring of 2009.
McFee joined the Yazoo Valley family and worked as a lineman for about three years. He then moved to the staking and engineer department, where he remained in the staking division for two and a half years. From there, he served in the meter department and was soon named safety coordinator.
McFee is now the manager of member services, handling communications, public relations, a youth leadership organization and member relations.
“I hope to encourage members to see that I am here for them,” he said. “I exist for them, to help in any way I can.”
Although McFee continues up the career ladder at Yazoo Valley, he appreciates the experience he gained in the field.
“You expected something new every day, but you were mainly able to represent Yazoo Valley,” McFee said. “People are always watching you. You are the unofficial representative of Yazoo Valley, and you have to be able to prove yourself.”
And the community noticed McFee as well.
“When I was out with a crew, people would always tell me that I wouldn’t always be out on a crew,” McFee said. “They said I would move on. I took that as a compliment.”
The biggest challenge for McFee is trying to convey the message that Yazoo Valley is a member-owned corporation.
“We exist for our members,” McFee said. “Most members have had power or utilities their whole lives. But their parents before them did not have it. It was remarkable to have a corporation that provides that service for the first time.”
Being able to spread that message and give back to the community is what makes coming to work every day a reward for McFee. “Serving the community” is his greatest accomplishment.
“We out our hands in the community and our boots on the ground,” he said. “Seeing the joy in people’s faces and being able to spread a positive message is the biggest reward.”
Outside of his role at Yazoo Valley, McFee is also a member of the Yazoo City Rotary Club and is involved with various other volunteer efforts.
“There is potential here to be a truly great community,” McFee said. “Seeing our guys in uniform with the American flag on our shirts represents something and something we stand for. It is a job I am proud of and proud to represent.”
“I admit there are problems here,” he continued. “But we have to come together to find solutions. Keep positive. Keep an open mind. Allow the people who want the community to grow to push ahead. That will lead to a turnaround.”