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  Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative  
  "Together We Have The Power To Make  A Difference"

‘Deliberately Different’ Theme Shines for MEC at 2016 Annual Meeting


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Over 800 people attended Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative’s 2016 annual meeting in Chase City Wednesday evening, June 15.  This year’s meeting theme was “Deliberately Different,” and participants enjoyed the many booths set up around the outdoor Pavilion that demonstrated the “Cooperative Difference” in a variety of ways. 


There were booths with information on health and wellness, energy efficiency, safety, MEC services, a kid’s zone and a Miss Utility / 811 Call Before you Dig  truck with a large 10-foot outdoor viewing screen demonstrating the need for safety around underground powerlines.  The large crowd enjoyed an old-fashioned outdoor meal on picnic tables, dining on smoked chicken and pork barbeque. The friendly MEC staff helped serve the food and a local Boy Scout troop handed out cold drinks and carried away empty plates. 


 A trio of veterans from the Lake Country Marine Corps League Detachment 1085 presented the colors; and Semaja McKnight, a 2016 graduate of Park View High School, led the singing of our National Anthem, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. 


After welcoming the crowd and calling the meeting to order, Chairman of the Board David Jones talked about the successful accomplishments of Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative during 2015.  One of the highlights he mentioned was a revised strategic plan developed by the Board working closely with staff;  it's focused goals included safety, reliability, reasonable costs, and an emphasis on the communities the Cooperative serves.  


A solemn moment came over the meeting as President and CEO John Lee made mention of the recent death of a Cooperative employee due to illness. Guy DeSantis, also a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, was pictured and recognized. As is tradition, a video honoring our Armed Forces was shown.  


As an added attraction, Noah Nichols, a Youth Tour student from 2015, was the guest speaker for the evening and relayed to the crowd what a great experience it was to participate in this event available for children of MEC members. He stated that the time spent with legislators, visiting historical sights and learning about cooperatives was invaluable; he thanked MEC for sponsoring him and giving him the opportunity to have an experience he would never forget.  


Secretary-Treasurer Stan Duffer reported on another successful financial year, noting that over $1.45 million in capital credits were returned in 2015, bringing the total returned to MEC members through the years to over $35 million.  He explained that capital credits are another way the Cooperative is “deliberately different” from other utilities, as MEC continues its return of those margins. 


John Lee welcomed MEC member-owners to their “deliberately different” electric cooperative and talked about how MEC employees set an all-time record in 2015 by reaching over one million man-hours without a lost-time accident (LTA).  He pointed out that, since the last LTA on June 7, 2011, cooperative vehicles have traveled 4,940,551 miles, and 1,613 work days have passed.    


Lee also noted that “2015 was a year where we used innovation, technology, strategic planning and a lot of hard work to make your Cooperative stronger, both operationally and financially.” 


Lee thanked the employees for their dedicated service and then stated to the members, “As you have heard, your cooperative moved very steadily forward in 2015, guided by a dedicated Board of Directors and powered by a group of employees that are a source of great pride for me, and I sincerely hope for you as well. Rest assured, they are proud to serve you and thankful that we get to work for some of the best people anywhere, members that will frankly express when they are not pleased with us, but invest similar enthusiasm when expressing that they are…what more could we ask for.” 

 He closed by saying, “We want you to be proud to be an MEC member, and to be proud of us… ‘Deliberately Different’ describes your cooperative perfectly.”


Following Lee’s report, Cooperative attorney Warren Matthews conducted the election of four directors for three-year terms. Those elected to additional terms were incumbents Brandon G. Hudson of Virgilina, Fletcher B. Jones of Boydton, and Angela B. Wilson of Emporia. 

 David C. Hall of Hurt was elected for District 2, succeeding retiring director John Waller.


Chairman David Jones then thanked Waller for his service on the board and read a resolution of appreciation for Waller’s 17 years of dedicated service to MEC’s members.  After a standing ovation for Waller, the business meeting concluded with the singing of “God Bless America.”


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