Trustees re-elected at Midwest annual meetingJune 14, 2013
In the trustee election conducted by mail and online, three members of the board of trustees of Midwest Electric were re-elected. Results of this spring’s voting were announced at the June 8 annual meeting at St. Marys Memorial High School.
Re-elected were George Brake, Ohio City; Steve Bauer, Wapakoneta; and Jim Wiechart, Spencerville. In the board re-organization meeting following the annual meeting, Larry Vandemark was named president and Jim Wiechart was named vice president. Tom Langhals remains secretary-treasurer.
More than 700 members and guests attended the 2013 annual meeting.
Manager/CEO Rick Gerdeman discussed the cooperative’s investments in service in 2012, including the four-year $13 million construction work plan. He also touched on new technologies enhancing member service, including automatic metering infrastructure (AMI meters), meter data management, field testing of data options for vehicles and Smart Hub, the new e-bill site.
“Finding and implementing the right technologies is critical to delivering the level of service you, as a member, expect and deserve,” he said.
Gerdeman said more than 900 Midwest Electric members follow the cooperative on Facebook, with the primary purpose being “real time” updates during large power outages. An outage information system via texts is being studied, he said.
He announced there was no distribution electric rate increase in 2012, and none planned for 2013.
“However, this does not mean your electric bill is not going to go up,” he said, noting the generation costs continue to increase primarily due to government mandates such as those imposed by EPA.
“That’s why it is so important that you get engaged in helping us wage this battle. To meet ongoing challenges, we need the help and involvement of every Midwest Electric member,” Gerdeman said.
He also noted that last November, Midwest Electric returned $1.4 million in patronage capital to eligible members and Midwest Electric outperformed the state’s municipal and investor-owned utilities in recent customer satisfaction surveys.
George Brake, Midwest Electric board president, discussed cooperative leadership and the investment the co-op makes in developing the knowledge and leadership skills of trustees and staff.
“You elect and entrust trustees with the well-being and financial health of the cooperative,” Brake said.
Trustees in turn hire an executive officer responsible for the day-to-day operation, who in turn hires employees to fulfill the mission and strategy as set forth by the board, Brake noted.
“The election of qualified trustees is critical to the well-being of your cooperative,” he said.
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