Energy Co-op members re-elect three trusteesMay 29, 2013
Jack Schmidt, Dustin Buckingham and Daniel Dupps were all re-elected to The Energy Cooperative Board of Directors.
Three incumbents were re-elected to The Energy Cooperative Board of Directors at the organization’s 77th Annual Meeting, held Monday at the Reese Center on the Newark campus of The Ohio State University.
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 that 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 electricity sales comprised $6.3 million of the co-op’s comprehensive income, while one of the subsidiaries, National Gas, produced $4.4 million.
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.”
The 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, one penny is donated to OSU’s James Cancer Hospital.
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.
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 10 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.
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