Value of Membership Focus of REC Annual Meeting
Aug. 11, 2014
On Saturday, Aug. 9,REC members exercised the Cooperative's democratic process as they voted for candidates on the board of directors, received reports on REC's 2013 accomplishments and end-of-year financial status, and learned about REC's plans for continuing to provide reliable and affordable electricity in the future.
"We want members to see the value in their REC membership," said Kent D. Farmer, REC's president and CEO. "That is why in 2013 we introduced several innovative services to meet the changing needs and expectations of our members. From easy-to-use online services, to convenient payment choices, extended safety measures and reliability improvements, we are constantly looking out for our members and seeking new ways to enhance our services."
As she addressed those in attendance, Darlene H. Carpenter, chairman of REC's Board of Directors, explained, "REC now serves almost 160,000 homes and businesses spread across 22 counties. Our focus is to keep members informed and to have open communications to ensure the needs of our membership are being met. As our membership needs change, we want to be responsive by altering current programs or adding new ones to fit those needs."
"The way we communicate with each other and conduct business is changing every day," noted Farmer. "For example, last year REC became the first utility in Virginia to offer prepaid electric service to its members. This innovative approach gives you, the member, greater control over when you pay for electricity and how much you use, providing an additional tool for managing your energy budget."
At the meeting, the 6,346 members participating in-person or by proxy re-elected three directors to REC's board for three-year terms: William M. Alphin, Region I - Culpeper County; John C. Levasseur, Region IV - Spotsylvania County; and Richard C. Oliver, Region VII - Orange County and Albemarle County. In addition to comments from chairman, Darlene H. Carpenter and president and CEO, Kent D. Farmer, members also heard reports from REC officers Christopher G. Shipe, secretary, and Thomas T. Grady, treasurer.
Both Carpenter and Farmer noted that the 2014 Annual Meeting marked a change in format that will be followed in future years. Based on input from REC's members, recognition of the large geographic area served by REC, and the value of members' time, this year's and the following years' annual meetings will focus more on the business session and less on the pre-meeting activities.
In an effort to reach more members at places closer to their homes, REC has begun holding member appreciation events, called Get Connected, in different parts of its territory. The most recent Get Connected event was held this past spring at Meadow Event Park in Caroline County. Just under a thousand members came out to visit with REC. In 2015, Get Connected will be held in the Culpeper area. Members are encouraged to attend an event convenient to them.
"Democratic Member Control is the second of the Seven Cooperative Principles," said Farmer. "This meeting is an annual forum where REC members can exercise that principle by participating and being involved in their cooperative's decision-making process."
As plans are made for the 2015 Annual Meeting, members will be notified through Cooperative Living magazine, as well as other communications. Cooperative Living magazine is distributed to REC members in 10 issues each year and is also available online at www.myrec.coop.
REC provides electric service to over 158,000 connections in parts of 22 Virginia counties. With its general office in Fredericksburg, Va., the Cooperative operates and maintains more than 16,000 miles of power lines through its service area, which ranges from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay. Follow REC on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.