The 80th Annual Meeting is just around the corner and as a consumer-member of Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation, your participation in this event is vital to the ongoing success of the cooperative.
If you have been to Annual Meeting in the past then you know it’s a fun event with food, entertainment, and prizes. But you may not know that it’s also an important business meeting. This is the time when you can hear from co-op leaders about the state of the Cooperative and any upcoming changes that may affect you. It is also the time you elect our directors.
BEMC directors serve staggered three-year terms, and each year at Annual Meeting you will either vote for a new director by casting a ballot, or reconfirm an existing director if no one is running against him/her for the eligible district(s). When no one is running against an existing director, your registration card acts as your vote to reconfirm him/her.
If you’re new to the area and haven’t been to Annual Meeting before, or if you haven’t been in a long time, read on to learn more about what to expect at this year’s Annual Meeting.
Registration will begin at 8 a.m. in the lobby of the Odell Williamson Auditorium at Brunswick Community College. A few weeks before the meeting you will receive a registration card in the mail. Please bring that card with you to Annual Meeting to ensure a smooth registration process. Our friendly customer service representatives will greet you and confirm your membership. Once registration is complete you will be given a ticket for a gift and a voting ballot, and will be directed to the voting area. Once you have cast your vote you will be directed to the gift table to collect your membership attendance gift and then you may visit the different booths outside, or you may go inside for the business meeting.
Fun for the whole family
When you arrive at Odell Williamson Auditorium you will find fun for the whole family. First, visit the arts and crafts tables to check out the homemade products being sold by local vendors. Then stop by the health tent for a quick check-up, visit the promotions tent for free light bulbs and to purchase raffle tickets for our annual iPad giveaway. Finally, make your way to the food tent to pick up a box lunch, which includes a sausage dog, fruit, chips and more. And this event is kid-friendly with bounce houses and face painting, so bring the kids with you! At 10:30 a.m. sharp the outdoor activities, registration and voting will close and the business meeting will begin inside the auditorium.
At 10:30 a.m. all eyes turn toward the business meeting inside Odell Williamson Auditorium. While you wait for the start of the meeting you will enjoy live, local entertainment. Then you will hear from BEMC’s Board President, Frederick Tedder, and our CEO, Josh Winslow. Both men will provide an overview of the cooperative and give you a glimpse into what you can expect in the next year. At the end of the meeting several prizes will be given out, but remember, you must be present to win!
One of the most notable differences between investor-owned utilities (IOUs) and electric cooperatives is the process of selecting the Board of Directors. IOUs pay dividends to shareholders, and those shareholders typically appoint their Board of Directors. Cooperatives, on the other hand, are governed by multiple guiding principles, including democratic member control. This means that as a member of BEMC, you have a say in who sits on the board of your co-op.
Each director is elected by the membership to serve a three-year term and represents a specific district in BEMC’s service territory. They are responsible for planning and policy oversight, setting long-term objectives for the cooperative and providing the resources to meet those goals. And while each director represents a specific district, they are all concerned with the interests of all co-op members.
To be eligible to run for a seat on BEMC’s board, a member must obtain a specific number of signatures from fellow members in the community showing their support for that person. The number of signatures may change from year to year based on growth of the cooperative. For the 2019 election year, 116 signatures are required. The nominations are reviewed and confirmed by the Nominating and Election Committees.
Nominations for the Board of Directors are made by the Nominating Committee or by the petition process. In order to be considered for the 2019 election, completed petitions must have been received at BEMC headquarters by 5 p.m. on July 30, 2019. Questions regarding requirements for the board or the election process should be directed to Jeannie King at (910) 754-4391 x 4213.