2019 Annual Meeting
Prince George Electric Cooperative (PGEC) is doing what it has done for 80 years — meeting its members’ needs. It’s now doing it in a more high-tech way.
That was one of the messages as about 300 members and guests gathered Sept. 30 at the co-op’s Waverly headquarters for the 80th annual meeting.
High on the agenda was an update on RURALBAND, the co-op’s initiative that is bringing high-speed, fiber-to-the-home internet service to its unserved members, just as PGEC first brought power to them in the 1930s.
“As we sit here tonight, our community has come to us with another need,” President and CEO Casey Logan told the members and guests. “We stepped up. We stepped up for our community, the one we live in.”
So far, RURALBAND is available to 1,600 homes, with that number reaching 2,500 by the end of 2019, he said, emphasizing the quality of the connection. “We were not going to have our members settle for anything less than the best in the market when we decided to enter internet,” Logan added.
Pre-meeting activities included a variety of exhibits and displays on RURALBAND, the Fort Lee Federal Credit Union, Prince George County Fire and EMS, and photo ops with the LED Lucy character. Orange-shirted PGEC employees directed members to a covered area behind the headquarters where they enjoyed a complimentary meal of fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, green beans and ice cream.
Board Chairman Paul H. Brown called the meeting to order and the co-op’s Donnie Drew delivered the invocation. Brown recognized several guests including former co-op employees.
Robert Hall, vice president and chief financial officer, gave the treasurer’s report and told meeting participants the co-op remains in a strong financial position. The co-op had $75.5 million in assets and $42.2 million in liabilities at the end of 2018, with $30.9 million in equity.
PGEC had $38.6 million in sales in 2018 with a load that is almost equally divided between residential and commercial/industrial/governmental customers, Hall added. Electricity accounts for about 68 percent of total operating expenses, he said.
Three directors were reelected by acclamation to three-year terms: Brian E. Coey of District 1, John M. Brock Jr. of District 4 and Randolph G. Williams of District 6.
In other reports, Logan noted that PGEC donated some $50,000 to charities and other causes in 2018 as part of its commitment to community. And since 2000, PGEC has retired more than $11 million in capital credits. “We’re a not-for-profit organization. We’re here to serve you,” he said.
In his chairman’s report, Brown challenged members to reduce their bill a little bit at a time by replacing one incandescent bulb with an LED bulb every month. “Just do one a month and over time; it will become an LED-lit house and it will help you on your electric bill.” Brown also noted the co-op has had success participating in the Gaff-n-Go Lineman’s Rodeo and the lineworker program operated by Southside Virginia Community College, which has yielded three employees to PGEC.
Renee Chapline, vice president of communications and government affairs, commended three students who received $1,000 college scholarships through PGEC and the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives. She also gave a shout-out to Sarah Marks, Gabbey Miner, Alyssa Stadler and Sara Radford who represented PGEC on the prestigious Electric Cooperative Youth Tour with chaperone Cynthia Hasley. Stadler stepped forward to help draw for a variety of prizes, including electric bill credits, as the meeting ended. Chapline noted, “Leadership development for our youth is critical, and an opportunity for students to learn about democracy and how our government operates is a win-win for our community.” She also recognized local partners, including Fort Lee Credit Union, Prince George Fire Department and Old Dominion Electric Cooperative, for supporting PGEC’s annual meeting by providing information at vendor tables.
The meeting was capped with drawings for three $250 bill credit certificates given to both attendees and those voting by proxy. The door prizes continued with co-op employees hand-delivering a variety of gift certificates and special prizes for youthful attendees. Congratulations to our grand prize winners T.W. Bendall, James Corl and Janette Johnson, and winners by proxy Sandra Coleman, Kenneth Robinson and William Newton.
We thank all our members who returned their proxy ballots or attended the 2019 annual meeting. We appreciate the hard work of the staff who organized the event and support of our board of directors as our co-op continually seeks to innovate to improve the quality of life in the communities we serve.