Missouri Rural Electric Cooperative’s (MREC's) 82nd Annual Meeting was held Saturday morning, Aug. 18, at the Palmyra High School Gymnasium.

Missouri Rural Electric Cooperative’s (MREC's) 82nd Annual Meeting was held Saturday morning, Aug. 18, at the Palmyra High School Gymnasium.

About 407 people were in attendance, with a total of 260 members being registered to conduct the business of the Cooperative.

President Wright welcomed everyone to the Annual Meeting and thanked them for attending. Vice President Joseph Swisher offered the invocation, then the Pledge of Allegiance was recited in unison. President Wright provided a tribute to Justin Tobias, a Missouri Rural Electric employee, who passed away earlier this year and acknowledged his wife, Elizabeth, who was in the audience.

The Chairman noted one of the reasons MREC has been in business for 82 years is due to the Seven Cooperative Principles they continue to use today. Preparing for the future continues to be a high priority as cooperative employees continue to provide safe, reliable and affordable electric service.

Due to the absence of Treasurer Richard Disselhorst, Vice President Swisher reviewed the highlights of financial data that were printed in the program. He noted that $18.5 million had been returned to the member-owners in the form of capital credits during the past 56 years. Swisher stated more details will be provided to anyone who has questions regarding the Cooperative’s financial condition. The report was approved as submitted.

General Manager/CEO Matt Hudson began his report by thanking the people that allow everyone to do their job well and assemble this Annual Meeting. He stated everyone is here to serve the members and noted our cooperative is in strong financial condition. Hudson would like to add one more item to the list of providing safe, reliable and affordable electricity which is caring for our communities. He said, “change will happen.” He offered numerous examples of these changes that have significantly impacted our world today. He then listed nine qualities of what it takes to be a good person and emphasized how these traits will never change with time. The Manager introduced each employee and thanked them and the Board of Directors. He announced no rate increase in 2019. Manager Hudson ended by saying, “it is an honor and privilege to be the Manager of Missouri Rural Electric Cooperative.”

Johnie Hendrix, Training Instructor, described his lineman background before going to Association of Missouri Electric Cooperative (AMEC) almost three years ago. He mentioned young people take electricity for granted and pointed out that today’s society has been greatly improved by something as simple as a piece of wire. Hendrix explained the history of how electricity began in the rural areas and the affect it had on peoples’ lives. He noted Morgan Wootten, a successful high school basketball coach, invested his time in kids and community. Hendrix compared extra money in a bank account to spending time in your community which will make a difference.

Wright presented a service award pin to Robert Hall for 15 years of service as a Director. Vice President Swisher presented a service award pin to David Wright for 30 years of service. Hudson presented service award pins to Jamie Mannigel for 10 years of service, Kyle Schneider for 10 years of service and John Coleman for 20 years of service. The Manager recognized retired Missouri Rural Electric Cooperative employees and the Northeast Power employees in attendance.

In an uncontested election, Robert Hall was re-elected to serve in District #1, Trent Gottman in District #2 and Joseph Swisher in District #3. They will serve a three-year term on the Board of Directors.

After the close of the meeting, prizes furnished by the Cooperative and dealers, manufacturers and local businesses of the area, were awarded to members whose names were drawn from the registration slips. Grand prizes of $250 in cash were awarded to Taunua Godman of Hannibal and Irene Riney of Taylor. Virginia Happel and Karen Drebes were the winners of electric grills. The bicycle winners were Nora Schwieter and Radley Schwieter. To conclude the activities, lunch was served by C & R Market.