Thank you to everyone who tuned in for Lake Region Electric Cooperative’s (LREC) Annual Meeting on June 3rd. This year marked the second consecutive year that LREC hosted the meeting virtually through electronic technology. We were excited to be able to provide closed captioning for this year’s meeting.
We recognized that many members faced unique challenges during the past year, a reality that reinforced LREC’s mission to provide reliability and safety for all. The necessity of clear and open communication with our members was also realized. In his annual meeting message, LREC Board Chair Tom Jennen reiterated LREC’s desire to remain member motivated and future focused.
Also highlighted at the annual meeting were the Cooperative’s implementation of new and advanced technology, investment in clean and renewable energy, and pursuit of affordable and reliable electricity. While LREC is in an extremely stable and viable position, Jennen recognized that now is not the time for status quo thinking, but rather, LREC must be innovative and explore new ways to continue to improve service and reliability to its members.
The number of registered members logging into our 2021 annual meeting was 426, five more than last year. Also, since the conclusion of the livestream, there have been 47 views of the recording of the annual meeting that has been made available on LREC’s website at lrec.coop.
A new board member, Kurt Krueger, representing District 1, was nominated and elected at the annual meeting. Krueger fills the seat vacated by retiring director Denny Tollefson. Tollefson, who served District 1 for 12 years and also served on the Great River Energy Board of Directors for two years, was thanked for his many years of service. Incumbent Tom Jennen, nominated without opposition, was elected by acclamation to represent District 7. Incumbent Earl Rydell was re-elected in a contested election in District 4.
I want to recognize and express my deep appreciation for the Board of Directors and LREC employees for their resilience, dedication, and focus over this past year. Although 2020 was a difficult year for many, it was, from a financial perspective, a strong year for LREC. The Cooperative strives to continue achieving positive financial results in the future by, among other things, keeping its energy rates stable. LREC retired (paid out) a record amount of capital credits in 2020. We retired a total amount of $1,685,230, $239,087 of which was the capital credit return from Great River Energy.
The annual meeting always provides a great opportunity for LREC employees to respond to questions from members. During this year’s meeting, LREC employees responded to questions regarding time-of- use rates, capital credits, distributed energy resources, residential and commercial storage of energy, and plans to support greater demand for charging electric vehicles. In addition, LREC employees have followed up with members on other questions that were not able to be addressed at the annual meeting. One of our top priorities is engaging members so they stay connected with the operations and decisions of the Cooperative.
Although the 2021 annual meeting was virtual, LREC has now been able to have all employees back in the office and they no longer work remotely. LREC’s office facilities are filled with a lot of energy and it is great to have everyone back in person!
Watch a recording of the 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting by visiting www.lrec.coop/annualmeeting on any device.