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2017 Annual Meeting Summary

2017 Annual Meeting Summary

By Timothy J. Power, CEO

Nearly 380 attended DS&O’s 80th annual meeting, which was held on April 3rd at the Webster Conference Center on the north side of Salina.  KEC’s CEO, Bruce Graham, KEPCo’s Director of Member Services, Phil Wages, and KEPCo’s Director of Rates and Regulation, Mark Dolijac were also in attendance.  DS&O’s Communications Manager Derrick Rutherford again served as master of ceremony for the night.

Secretary-Treasurer Brain Lang presented the cooperative’s finances, average energy use per meter, and average outage time per meter in 2017.  All measures showed an improvement from prior years.  President Ron Seyfert then reported on our bid to operate and maintain the Fort Riley electrical distribution system, the board’s decision not to change the name of the company, the change in our billing dates, our peak generators, the residential peak reduction pilot program, and the new scholarship program.  Thanks to both for their informative reports.

After Mr. Seyfert’s report, I spoke briefly about recently passed legislation (Senate Bill 323), which provides electric cooperatives with financial compensation if a municipality chooses another electric utility to provide service in the electric cooperative’s certificated service territory.  I then introduced Mr. Graham.  He spoke about KEC’s mission and services it provides to electric cooperatives across the state.  He also discussed retail choice legislation that has been debated at the legislature various times in the past and will likely be discussed again next year.  Mr. Graham went on to explain why the retail choice concept is usually not as good as advertised and further explained how it can hurt electric cooperatives by raising rates for cooperative members.  We appreciated Mr. Graham taking the time to come and speak to our members and thought he did a great job!

Next, I had Operations Manager Mike Olberding, CFO Judy Barten, and Mr. Rutherford join me on stage for a question and answer period with the membership.  We had seven questions from the members and the whole staff participated in answering questions pertinent to their area of responsibility.  We also asked Mr. Wages for his take on answering a question about grid cybersecurity.  I appreciated the staff’s and Mr. Wages’ thoroughness in answering the questions.

Mr. Rutherford and Mr. Seyfert then presented certificates to youth tour/camp and scholarship winners.  These included Zechariah Rose of Rose Academy (Washington DC Youth Tour), Lukas Vogel of Minneapolis High School (Steamboat Springs Youth Leadership Camp), Jake Geisen of Central High School ($1,000 scholarship), Courtney Walker of Minneapolis High School ($1,000 scholarship), Claiborn Schmidt of Blue Valley High School ($1,000 scholarship), and Laura Peterson of Southeast of Saline High School ($1,000 scholarship).  Congratulations to all of them!

Lee Legleiter, attorney from Hampton & Royce, then announced the voting results.  Since directors Ken Hedberg, Dane Clark, David Butler, and Dean Allison all ran unopposed, they were automatically reelected to three-year terms.  Mr. Legleiter explained that the membership voted overwhelmingly in favor of bylaw changes, which included the implementation of a 15-year term limit for directors.

Thanks to all the companies that supported our meeting with donated gifts for door prizes, which were distributed throughout the meeting.  Again, the member selected to win the grand prize of $1,000 was not present, so three other names were drawn from those in attendance and each of those members won $100.  Congratulations to all the winners!

Special thanks to Ricky’s Café for catering another wonderful meal, to the employees of the Webster Conference Center for all their assistance, and to Mr. Rutherford for his work in organizing the event and doing a bang-up job as master of ceremony.

Finally, we want to thank all the members who attended.  We hope you enjoyed the evening and learned a little more about your electric utility.

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