The Energy Cooperative's 2014 Annual Meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 19th. The meeting will be held at the Reese Center on the Ohio State University, Newark Campus. Registration begins at 5:00 pm.
The Energy Cooperative’s Reports Financial Stability at the 2013 Annual Meeting
NEWARK, Ohio – Three incumbents were re-elected to The Energy Cooperative Board of Directors at the organization’s 77th Annual Meeting, held Monday, May 20 at the Reese Center at The Ohio State University/COTC Newark Campus.
Jack Schmidt, Jr., Daniel Dupps and Dustin Buckingham were re-elected to serve members in Districts 3, 4 and 7, respectively.
CEO Todd Ware carried on the tradition of reporting on the combined financial condition of Licking Rural Electrification and its subsidiary gas and propane businesses. “It was another good year, as we work to improve our equity.” he said.
Among the factors contributing to The Energy Cooperative’s strengthening financial state was a $6 million reduction of the organization’s post-retirement health insurance liability reduction and additional cost-cutting efforts have saved more than $1 million annually.
“We continue to look at what our expenses are, and we try to look for ways to do things more efficiently and effectively,” Ware said.
Outstanding member service and reliability remain key priorities for The Energy Cooperative, with a new right-of-way clearing plan instituted and continued system improvements underway for both electricity and natural gas. Also planned is a new phone system, which will enhance member interactions with cooperative staff.
Board Treasurer John Klauder noted that the comprehensive income from the electric and natural gas operations continues to be strong.
In his annual address, Board Chairman Nelson Smith congratulated the cooperative’s employees for their commitment to safety.
“I am proud to report that we never lost sight of our number one priority—safety,” Smith said.
“According to [Safety Director] Connie Hogue, this past year was the safest year on record for The Energy Cooperative.”
Indeed, The Energy Cooperative has experienced no recordable safety incidents and no lost time accidents in the past year. In recognition of this exemplary record, the cooperative was awarded a Licking County Safety Award and an Ohio Gas Association Award of Merit.
Smith also highlighted The Energy Cooperative’s extensive community service efforts, including the organization’s new lavender propane truck. For every gallon of propane sold, The Energy Cooperative donates one penny to The Ohio State University James Cancer Hospital.
Ken Keylor, vice president for statewide services at Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives, Inc., told members that the recently completed environmental upgrades at Cardinal Station – the chief power source for Ohio’s electric cooperatives – should signal a period of rate stability.
Said Keylor, “Cardinal is now among the cleanest coal-fired generating plants in the world, and the heavy lifting is now done.”
Keylor also warned members about the continued regulatory overreach of the Environmental Protection Agency and encouraged them to join Cooperative Owners for Political Action, a grassroots advocacy organization with more than 5,000 members in the Buckeye State.
“Your cooperative is going to need your voice, and we need to support elected officials and candidates who understand reasonable energy policy,” Keylor said.
The Energy Cooperative’s Operation Round-up Foundation remains a positive force in the community. The program, which is funded by members who choose to round up their bill to the nearest dollar, contributed $247,000 in grants and scholarships in the past year, according to Foundation Committee Chair Scott Obenour.
“If we all pitch in a little, great things can happen,” said Obenour.
Operation Round-up Foundation has now contributed $1.6 million to worthy causes since its inception in 2005.
Scholarships to high school seniors were also awarded during the meeting. The Energy Cooperative awarded a total of $10,000 to six students. The Operation Round Up Foundation awarded a total of $25,000 to ten students and one student received $1,000 in conjunction with Touchstone Energy.
Throughout the evening, former Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Electric Operations Bruce Sumner – who passed away in March – was fondly remembered for his warmth, humor and exemplary work for the organization. The Energy Cooperative has instituted two scholarships in his memory, and will rename the Operation Round-up Foundation Golf Outing to honor his contributions.
The Energy Cooperative 2012 Annual Report