This month marks the start of the annual meeting season in Illinois with Norris Electric Cooperative, which will be held on Feb. 25. While most annual meetings occur in the summer, some do take place in the spring and fall. Some are held at outdoor venues, others in auditoriums, schools or churches, and some are hosted right at the co-op’s headquarters. Regardless of the location, be sure to plan to attend your co-op’s annual meeting this year.
During the annual meeting, your electric co-op will share a few brief business updates on financials, projects and the state of affairs. But it’s not all business. Many annual meetings include a free meal, activities for kids and prizes.
The annual meeting is an opportunity for employees of the electric cooperative to spend time with the members they serve. As each co-op navigates change in the coming years, hearing from the membership is essential for moving into the future.
You may wonder if your opinion really makes a difference, but it does. Gaining guidance and perspective from the membership helps set priorities for the co-op and guide future decisions. At annual meetings, issues are raised for voting consideration by the general membership, and it’s a time for members to vote on the co-op’s board of directors.
The boards are comprised of co-op members who live and work in each co-op’s service area, so they are in the best position to know where community investments are most needed.
Most consumers likely don’t equate active involvement with their electric company with helping their community. However, electric cooperatives are not ordinary utility companies. Their business model is meant to serve the members and the community in which it operates.
Each electric cooperative in Illinois has a core purpose and mission to provide safe, reliable and affordable power. As a member of your community and your electric cooperative, exercise the benefits of your co-op membership and plan to attend your annual meeting.
Anne Prince, NRECA