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Record Turnout for LREC’s 2024 Annual Meeting // May 2024 CEO Column

Members line up for dinner at the Fergus Falls Annual Meeting location.

We had a great 87th annual meeting on April 18th, and once again we had in-person meetings in Fergus Falls, Frazee, and Parkers Prairie, together with a livestream option. A record 1,332 people attended our 2024 Annual Meeting! LREC members who were unable to attend the live meeting are encouraged to watch the annual meeting video at www.lrec.coop/annualmeeting. We, as employees at LREC, must continue to provide our members meaningful ways to come together to visit, learn, and move our cooperative forward so it can be the best version of itself possible. Annual meetings are fantastic–member-owners coming together to elect their directors who make decisions on a local level that are in the best interests of the co-op’s membership.

District 9 Director Gary Olson greets members
attending our Parkers Prairie Annual Meeting location.

Before the meeting started, Tim Eggebraaten, known as the “Off Duty Chief,” kept our members and attendees entertained by playing live music and interacting with the crowd. We appreciate the energy he delivers to us during the meeting.

LREC’s Board Chair Tom Jennen opened the meeting and spoke about the role of LREC’s directors, who are elected by the members they serve. Their job is to make sure the cooperative is in the best position it can be to serve the members in the manner they all deserve. Jennen mentioned how the Board of Directors continues to look for ways to positively transform the experience of LREC members. Jennen also recognized the retirement of District 4 Director Earl Rydell and his 15 years of serving LREC members.

The Frazee Annual Meeting location was well-attended.

For those of you who were not able to attend the annual meeting, I highlighted a variety of topics that we hope are important to all of LREC’s members, directors, and employees. This included the importance of member engagement, positive 2023 member satisfaction survey results, LREC employees and their desire to serve LREC members around the clock, the cooperative’s growth, constantly looking at ways to continue to improve reliability for members, LREC projects, innovation and technology leading to positive results, LREC’s rate strategy that includes engaging with members, innovative programs, creating new revenue streams to keep rates as low as possible, the value of electricity, and LREC being actively engaged throughout its service area. LREC had a successful year in 2023. LREC increased its equity, reflecting the financial strength of the co-op. We paid $1,570,000 of capital credits to members, making it 11 consecutive years of capital credit retirements over $1 million. We also experienced continued growth of LREC and LREC’s natural gas subsidiary, Lake Region Energy Services (LRES).

I am grateful for the high level of engagement you have with your cooperative. Our goal is to make sure your annual meetings and other member events deliver the experiences you deserve. We want you to be as informed as possible so you can feel good about your cooperative.

Election Results from 2024 Annual Meeting

Incumbent director Kurt Krueger of District 1 was elected by acclamation, and incumbent director Tom Jennen of District 7 was elected by acclamation. LREC welcomes one new director, Lee Mindemann, who will represent District 4. Mindemann was elected in a two-member race in District 4. Mindemann will be the successor to Earl Rydell, who retired after serving as District 4 director for 15 years.

You are All Invited to Upcoming LREC Events!

I invite you to attend the 3rd Annual LREC Energy Forum at Thumper Pond in Ottertail City on May 30th. The event will start at 8:30 a.m. and will conclude around 1:30 p.m. A light lunch will be provided during the energy forum. LREC will host the event, Jeff Haase of Great River Energy (GRE) will serve as moderator, and the following panelists will be there to share and discuss all things energy: Jim Matheson, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Darrick Moe, CEO of the Minnesota Rural Electric Association, Zac Ruzycki, GRE’s Director of Resource Planning, Jim Horan, of the Mid-West Electric Consumers Association, Priti Patel, GRE’s VP and Chief Transmission Officer, Jon Brekke, GRE’s VP and Chief Power Supply Officer, and Steve Nisbet, of the Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association. After the panelists’ portion of the energy forum is completed, we will break for lunch and you will then have an opportunity to be part of our first ever breakout session portion of the event. During this time, you will have hands on opportunities to learn about and discuss electric vehicles, battery storage, generators, and GoWest Solar. If you would like to attend, please register by scanning the QR code located below or visiting www.lrec.coop/energyforum.

I also invite you to come visit us on August 8th at Maplewood State Park, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.  We will be celebrating all of you during our LREC Member Appreciation Day. LREC will provide food, and you will have free entry to the park. Please come and take one of LREC’s electric vehicles (Ford Lightning and Ford Mach E Mustang) for a test drive, or one of LREC’s electric bikes for a test ride. Our lineworkers will also provide electrical safety demonstrations. It will be a great time to get together and visit in one of the many beautiful places within our service area. I hope to see you there!