2018 TCEC Annual Meeting
More than 900 Tri-County Electric Cooperative members and guests gathered Saturday morning, September 15, 2018 at the Madison County High School Gymnasium for the 78th Annual Meeting. After registering, attendees visited several booths with information from local businesses and organizations such as Generlink®, North Florida Community College, Madison-Jefferson Counties Health Department, Florida Rural Electric Credit Union, Seniors Citizens Council, Healthy Start Coalition and Seminole Electric Cooperative.
Younger guests received bags of treats while posing for photos with special guests Solar Sam and LED Lucy. Everyone enjoyed breakfast served by Covington’s Dining and Catering and the great music provided by The Michael and Jennifer McLain Band.
The meeting was opened by Board President Gary Fulford, followed by the presentation of colors presented by the Jefferson Somerset Junior ROTC. Next President Fulford welcomed 2018 NRECA Youth Tour Participants Jalen Sanders and Ellie Cherry to the stage to lead the Pledge of Allegiance and invocation, respectively.
In his address, President Fulford explained how the Tri-County Electric Cooperative Board of Trustees is always looking to the future to ensure that electricity needs of the communities served by the co-op will continue to be met and reminded the members “every decision in the boardroom is based upon you, the member(s).”
Julius Hackett, CEO of Tri-County Electric Cooperative, shared that low natural gas prices, declining costs of solar and the emergence of lithium ion batteries “is creating a dramatic shift” in “future energy needs over the next decade.”
CEO Hackett also discussed the proposed bylaw amendments that have been brought about by requests of the members to simplify the trustee election process. He explained how the proposed changes would allow members to cast their votes for trustee at a district meeting location which will be open for voting a few hours prior to the start of the meeting. “Moving the elections to the district meetings becomes very convenient for members,” he stated and as a member of the co-op, “you have the power in your voice and vote to influence how your electric co-op is run.”
President Fulford then introduced special guest speaker Commander Drew Brown, a former Navy jet pilot and motivational speaker. Commander Brown wowed the audience with inspirational stories of growing up in a disadvantage neighborhood, making his way through college and joining the United States Navy where he went on to fly fight jets and become a Top Gun pilot. He offered 11 Facts in Life to living a better life and encouraged everyone to “wake up, show up and pay attention to details.”
Catherine Bethea, Board Secretary-Treasurer announced that a quorum was present and the business meeting was called to order at 11:05 a.m. She conveyed to the members the cooperative had revenues of $38.5 million with operating expenses of $35.7 million which resulted in net margins of $1.7 million at the end of 2017 and the Board of Trustees authorized the return of $971,000 in capital credits to members. She reported on major line rebuilding projects in Taylor and Madison counties, as well as investments in the power system, all of which were meant to provide a reliable and efficient distribution system for the members of Tri-County Electric. She concluded by saying benefiting the members of the co-op by “managing costs are extremely important to the Board of Trustees and officers and employees.”
Cooperative Attorney Dylan Rivers announced incumbent trustees Junior Smith (District 1), Bobby Dodd (District 2) and George Webb (District 4) were re-elected by acclamation. The attorney then reaffirmed the proposed changes to the Bylaws to be voted upon by the membership. He then proceeded with conducting the vote and Tri-County Electric members voted in favor of the bylaws amendments which will be effective with the district meetings in 2019.
The meeting ended with the drawing for over a hundred door prizes and member Ms. Shamelle Pryor winning the grand prize of an extended cab pickup truck retired from the co-op fleet vehicles, and member Mr. Richard Cone winning the second grand prize of a Generlink generator complete with complimentary installation.
Michael & Jennifer McLain Band
Author & Navy Veteran - Drew Brown
Questions? Call 850.973.2285