Lake Region Electric Cooperative (LREC) hosted its 83rd annual meeting on Thursday evening, June 4, 2020, through a live YouTube webcast to over 575 registered members and guests. LREC Board Chair Charles Kvare welcomed the online audience to the co-op’s first ever virtual annual meeting. This was followed by a video presentation of the Pledge of Allegiance recited by several LREC employees and their families. Sid Wisness, LREC Director from District 8, offered the invocation.
A total of 421 members registered for the annual meeting webcast and 154 guests also viewed. View the video from the meeting at the end of this article.
LREC Board Chair Charles Kvare addressed ways LREC remains focused on meeting its members’ needs even during the challenges posed by COVID-19. He discussed some of the innovative ways the co-op is using technology and how important the strategic planning process is in maintaining a focus on goals. Kvare noted that LREC had set a goal of maintaining member equity at 40 percent and in 2019 was close to reaching 45 percent.
Tim Thompson, LREC CEO, reported on the cooperative’s response plan and thanked employees and members for their support during this time. Thompson mentioned how overall member satisfaction continues to rise due in large part to maintaining rate stability, improving system reliability, and the forward thinking of the cooperative. He provided updates on the success of the LRES natural gas business as it enters its third financial year, the residential standby generator program, and shared details about LREC’s other upcoming projects.
The virtual annual meeting also included a presentation from special guest Mark Fagan, Great River Energy’s (GRE) vice president and chief corporate and member services officer. Fagan discussed GRE’s evolving generation portfolio that seeks to deliver reliable and affordable energy in harmony with the environment. GRE plans to retire the Coal Creek Station in 2022 and add 1,100 megawatts of wind energy by the end of 2023. This will make its power supply resources more than 95% carbon dioxide free, virtually eliminating carbon risk.
DIRECTOR ELECTIONS - LREC welcomes newly elected director, Cecil “Bud” Hensel, the winner of a two-member race in District 2 to replace retiring director Dennis Mathiason. Incumbent director Sid Wisness was nominated without opposition from District 8 and, according to cooperative bylaws, elected by acclamation. LREC also welcomes newly elected director Patrick Meyers, who will replace retiring director and LREC Board Chair Charles Kvare. Meyers was the winner of a two-member race to represent District 5.