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  Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative  
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Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative’s Annual Meeting Held

Over 400 Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative members and their families came to the Cooperative Pavilion in Chase City on June 15 for the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Members held for those who own and receive electricity from the Cooperative. Chairman of the Board Bobby Conner welcomed MEC members and guests to the event.

The meeting is held each June to conduct business with the membership and for Board of Director elections. Four directors were elected for three-year terms: Donnie Moore of Chatham, Peggy Lee of Freeman, Frank Myers of Gasburg, and Mike McDowell of Vernon Hill. The opportunity to select representatives on the Board and participate in the election of the Board of Directors is among the benefits of being a Cooperative member.

Special guests in attendance were recognized by MEC director Mike McDowell and included Delegate Tommy Wright, who represents District 61 in the Virginia House of Delegates, Delegate Don Merricks, who represents District 16, Senator Frank Ruff, who represents District 15 in the Virginia Senate, and newly elected State Senator, William M. Stanley, Jr., who represents District 19. Stanley, who recently had an opportunity to accompany Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative crews as they restored power to Staunton River State Park after an EF2 tornado struck the area, spoke to the group of his admiration for the work of the Cooperative’s linemen. “I have a new and profound appreciation and respect for the work done by the Cooperative in their efforts to keep the lights on,” he said. “They make the tough tasks that they do look easy.”

A portion of the meeting was set aside to honor military veterans and their families. John Lee, President and CEO of Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative, introduced a video by saying, “In recognizing our special guests, we would like to take a moment and honor three groups of true American heroes . . . our veterans, those currently serving in our armed forces, and the warriors who have been laid to rest after making the ultimate sacrifice for this country and our way of life. We ask that you join us in remembering that, as we speak, there are brave men and women in harm’s way in faraway lands, protecting our freedom, and that each day, their families also make great sacrifices for each and every one of us.” A video presentation of soldiers returning and surprising their loved ones was shown.

Hilda Puryear, Chase City Elementary School principal, made a special presentation to John Lee and Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative for support and encouragement of the readers at Chase City Elementary.

The theme of this year’s meeting, “My Electric Cooperative,” emphasized that Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative is owned by those it serves. President and CEO John Lee highlighted the major responsibilities that the Cooperative has to its members.

He pointed out that safety for the members and employees is the top priority. “There is no greater responsibility for our organization than doing everything possible to ensure that our employees all go home safely to their families every day,” said Lee. He explained the Rural Electric Safety Achievement Program (RESAP) audit administered every three years that reviews 16 areas of safety which are subjected to intense scrutiny by an evaluation team of safety officials from other electric utilities across the state. Lee announced that this year’s evaluation rendered excellent results, and the Cooperative’s safety practices were verified as sound and effective.

In his address to the audience, Lee talked about system improvement projects that have taken place over the past year to better serve the members. Upgrades and rebuilds to various substations will pay reliability dividends for years to come and will assist in meeting the membership’s ever increasing electric needs.

Also mentioned was the Cooperative’s intensified efforts to encourage the wise use of energy. While the concept of conservation and energy efficiency has been promoted by Mecklenburg Electric for many years, it has become an increasingly more important subject, given the continuing volatility of power supply costs and the regulatory uncertainty associated with traditional generation sources. The president and CEO pointed out that a residential energy audit is available for members who desire an advisor to complete a 100-point checklist and use an infrared camera to document air infiltrations and temperature variances in their home to determine where losses of conditioned air may be occurring.

Of special interest to MEC members is a pilot program being conducted where load management switches are being installed on heat pumps and air conditioners of 500 volunteers, allowing a reduction in system demand at times of peak usage to help the Cooperative save on wholesale power costs. If the program renders the desired results, it will be rolled out to the entire membership.

Another critical factor in providing reliable service to the members is the Cooperative’s right-of-way maintenance program, which includes bush-hogging, herbicide application, side-trimming, mitigating yard trees, and removal of danger trees. Lee stated that the Cooperative continues to evaluate the right-of-way program to improve service reliability and verify that maintenance costs are in accordance with industry benchmarks.

Last but certainly not least, Lee shared information about ratings that Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative received in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). MEC received an ACSI score of 84 which surpasses an elite group of acclaimed consumer friendly corporations, including Nike, Outback, Dell, Hyatt, Nordstrom, and Starbucks. He emphasized that MEC employees continue to put the members’ best interests first and are working diligently to provide the very best in customer service.

He closed by recognizing the efforts of the Board of Directors and employees saying, “I would like to again say thanks for the honor of working for each of you and with the determined and dedicated employees of this organization. I am proud to be your President and CEO and pleased to be a part of the outstanding team of professionals here at Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative.”

This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer

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