PALMYRA, Mo. — Missouri Rural Electric Cooperative’s 83rd Annual Meeting was held Saturday, Aug. 24 at the Palmyra High School Gymnasium. About 449 people were in attendance, with a total of 297 members registered to conduct the business of the Cooperative.
President David 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. Wright listed the cost of various items when the cooperative began in 1936 — the cost has changed significantly compared to today — but the role of the Board of Directors has not changed. Directors continue to offer leadership to provide safe, reliable and affordable electricity while thinking about their members. The chairman noted how important transparency is and feels MREC is a great cooperative because they have great employees and great managers now and in the past. He thanked the members for attending our business meeting in order to keep informed about their electric cooperative.
Treasurer Richard Disselhorst reviewed the highlights of financial data that were printed in the program. He noted that $19.4 million had been returned to the member-owners in the form of capital credits during the past 57 years. Disselhorst said more details will be provided to anyone who has questions regarding the Cooperative’s financial condition.
General Manager/CEO Matt Hudson thanked everyone for attending and the businesses who help the cooperative bring the service of electricity to its members. Hudson listed the purposes of the Annual Meeting and reported on the strong financial condition of the cooperative. He described the Emerson Substation improvements and the growth of the number of consumers and kilowatt hours sold. Hudson announced MREC received an 89 on the American Customer Satisfaction Index, which was tied for the best score out of the 49 cooperatives in the survey. He explained the three-tier system and gave percentages of the sources Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. (AECI) uses to generate electricity. It was uncertain whether rates would be increased for next year depending on power suppliers’ rates, Hudson said. He listed ways MREC gives back to area communities, and he introduced and thanked the employees and directors.
"It is an honor and privilege for me to serve as your General Manager," he said.
Elijah Greenwell, Missouri Rural Electric Cooperative youth tour representative, gave a presentation regarding his trip to Washington, D.C. Group members visited several monuments, toured the White House and learned the seven cooperative principles of a cooperative. Greenwell said he is proud to be an American and highly encouraged individuals to attend Youth Tour in the future.
Wright presented a service award pin to Disselhorst for 15 years of service as a director. The president announced Shon Haerr completed his Credential Cooperative Director Certificate (CCD) this year. Hudson presented service award pins to Jimmy Sutter for 15 years of service and Ben Martin for 20 years of service. The Manager recognized retired Missouri Rural Electric Cooperative employees and the Northeast Power employees in attendance.
There was a contested election in District 1 and District 3, with Disselhorst and Wright were re-elected to serve three-year terms on the Board of Directors. In an uncontested election, Ross Frankenbach was re-elected to serve in District 2 for a three-year term.
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 Harold Stockton of Ashland and Richard Hettinger of Philadelphia. Dale Lyons was the winner of the portable electric grill. The bicycle winners were Kemington Cook and Brantley St. Clair. Walnut Hill Farms served lunch to conclude the activities.