Our Annual Membership Meeting is something BEMC employees and management look forward to every year. It’s heartening to see so many members gathered together, and great to mingle with hundreds of folks young and old who are shaking hands and sharing stories with friends and neighbors from throughout our service territory. And don’t forget the team of volunteers grilling sausage dogs. Lots and lots of sausage dogs.
The meeting typically falls on the last Saturday in September every year and is held at Brunswick Community College, in the Odell Williamson Auditorium that seats thousands. But BEMC’s annual meeting wasn’t always held in such a modern venue.
For decades, it was held in the late fall in the Smith tobacco warehouse in Whiteville. Long-time members and BEMC retirees from way back have told me what an important community event this has always been. The gathering was a big deal. It was a little noisy inside that cold warehouse, tobacco leaves were piled up against the walls and the smell of cured tobacco hung in the air. Much work went into setting it all up to make room for the hundreds of folding wooden chairs, the temporary stage, and several shiny new freezers and washing machines to be given away as prizes. There were refreshments and contests, including who could grow the largest pumpkin, and random drawings for other prizes like cash and small electric appliances.
Much has changed, yet much has not: You are still met at the door with a smile and welcomed to your meeting. Pencil and paper are long gone, and today, customer service representatives check you in on a laptop (don’t forget your registration card that you’ll get in the mail) and hands you a program with your ticket for the prize drawing. Don’t miss the Health Fair tent and info booths about Energy Efficiency and what’s new in Renewable Energy. There is musical entertainment on the stage, and members still hear business reports from the CEO and executive team, as well as a brief message from the Chairman of the Board.
We invite you to come to this year’s meeting to speak with your directors, and say hello to our linemen and service representatives who work hard for you every day. Every BEMC employee is involved in some capacity in making this year’s 80th Annual Membership Meeting something you won’t want to miss.
Hope to see you there!
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