Members of Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative gathered for their 79th annual meeting of members on Thursday, June 9 at Glenwood High School in Chatham. Before the meeting, about 550 members and guests enjoyed a pork chop dinner, vendor displays, bucket truck rides and a variety of activities for kids.
Chris Wilcox, Vice Chairman of the Board, welcomed members and recognized the service anniversaries for several co-op employees and directors. He congratulated Journeyman Lineman Craig Costello and Equipment Serviceman Clark Bowman on their impending retirements this year.
Elections were held for three positions on the Board of Directors, with Clayton Bloome of Pawnee (District 1), Chris Wilcox of Waverly (District 2) and Jimmy Ayers of Rochester (District 3) running unopposed for new three-year terms.
In the officers’ reports, Treasurer Mel Repscher said that revenue for 2015 totaled $15,166,616 resulting in net margins of $364,548. He pointed out that capital credit equity earned by Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative members in 1982 was retired in December, with $268,957 returned to present and former members. To date, he said the co-op has paid back over $3.4 million in capital credit equity to its members.
RECC Chairman of the Board Jimmy Ayers and President/CEO David Stuva provided updates on member programs including SmartHub, which allows members to pay bills or track daily or hourly use. They also discussed the shortened collection period for unpaid bills, and explained a new payment option available to members, Prepaid Electric Service.
Two area students were introduced who were planning to leave on June 10 on the annual Rural Electric Youth To Washington trip. Hannah Gudgel of Pawnee and Riley Jennings of Litchfield were at the meeting, and Lucas Motley of Palmyra is also being sponsored on the week-long trip.
The Youth Tour has been a big part of co-op members Harold and Linda Peper’s family, with a strong commitment that reached its conclusion this year with grandson Riley Jennings. Harold Peper served on the RECC Board from 1972-1984, so his children weren’t eligible to win the sponsored trip to our nation’s capital. He and Linda paid for their five children (Bethany, Cindy, Jerry, Lorinda and Tom) to go on the trip during their high school years.
Harold passed away in 2002, but Linda continued the family tradition by paying the way for all four of their grandchildren on the Youth To Washington trip in recent years. Riley Jennings, son of Lorinda and Mark Jennings of Litchfield, was the last grandchild to attend the trip this year. Linda Peper was recognized at the meeting, and presented with a flower bouquet and a gift card.