Lake Region Electric Cooperative held its annual meeting Thursday evening, June 6th, 2019, at Life Church in Fergus Falls, MN. Approximately 700 members and friends began the evening with a meal catered by Betty’s Pantry of Ottertail. Pastor Nicholas Preston of Life Church offered the invocation to open the co-op’s 82th annual meeting.
424 registered members attended the meeting in person, and in a first for the cooperative, over 100 members viewed the meeting through a live stream webcast.
In LREC Board Chair Charles Kvare’s address, he spoke about how electric cooperatives were founded on the idea that neighbors could work together to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Kvare said, “Our pledge to you is simple. It is to stay accessible to members, keep rates affordable, improve system reliability, and employ technology to create new opportunities to better serve you.” Retiring District 3 Director Ken Hendrickx was presented a plaque by Board Chair Kvare in honor of Ken’s 15 years of service to the cooperative, which included turns as LREC Board Chair and as LREC’s representative on the Great River Energy board.
LREC CEO Tim Thompson reported on the outstanding year the cooperative had in 2018 which included; record margins, 6 straight years of at least $1 million in capital credit retirements, the success of the cost control and rate stability plan, potential profitability in just year 2 for the natural gas subsidiary, savings from the renewable energy project and the improved reliability that will result from investments made by GRE to upgrade local transmission lines and substations.
DIRECTOR ELECTIONS- LREC welcomes newly elected director, Mike Brasel, the winner of a four person race in District 3. Incumbent director Joyce Valley of District 6 was elected by acclamation and incumbent director Robert Shaw was elected in a two member race in District 9.
Special guest, Steve Bravo, Product Manager of Renewables for General Electric (GE) was on hand to help celebrate the recent operational launch of the Lake Region Hybrid Renewable Energy facility near Erhard. The wind solar hybrid is a first of its kind in the nation.