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A record turnout of nearly 3,500 attendees (members plus guests) were at White River Valley Electric Cooperative’s 72nd annual meeting of members on Sept. 10 at the Tri-Lakes Center in Branson to vote on three board of director positions.
Nominees for the board who were voted on and approved are: Keet Short, Stone County; Joe Brazeale, Christian County; and Pat Funk, Ozark County. They will each serve a three-year term on a nine-person board with Bob Simmons, Bill Cook, Layne Morrill, Russell Loftin, George Simpson and Russell Jackson.
Attendees watched a video highlighting two of WRVEC’s linemen, Bill Marr and Bill Geiger, who joined an effort through the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s international program which assists countries in need of safe, reliable, and affordable electricity.
They spent a month in Haiti this year helping rebuild destroyed power lines after the 2010 earthquake. The two men also taught the Haitian lineworkers unfamiliar safety procedures and how to use tools and equipment brought from the U.S.
CEO Chris Hamon discussed current issues: capital credits, bylaw changes, EPA regulations and possible options for future power sources for WRVEC’s power provider, Associated Electric Cooperative, such as wind farms, nuclear and natural gas. He then opened it up for questions from the floor.
Hamon said to the packed auditorium, “Cooperative enterprises build a better world. Two of our linemen spent a month in a third world country bringing power back to a situation of chaos and tragedy. That’s the cooperative difference.”
Members were treated to a car show, free refreshments, a health assessment from Skaggs Regional Medical Center and entertainment by the popular bluegrass band “Big Smith.” The children’s play area included a live trout fishing pond.
Over a hundred attendance prizes, including $350 in free electricity, were given away throughout the morning.
The date for next year’s WRVEC annual meeting is Sept. 8, 2012.
White River Valley Electric Cooperative serves nearly 50,000 meters in southwest Missouri. It is one of 47 distribution cooperatives in Missouri’s electric cooperative network and is a Touchstone Energy Cooperative.