As snow melts and the ground thaws, electric cooperatives start planning for their annual meetings. Did you know that as a retail member of your local energy co-op, you are also part owner? You have an ownership stake and a direct say in how things are run. As a result, your cooperative’s annual meeting directly impacts you.
Annual meetings are a lot more than simply business. For many electric co-ops, the annual meeting feels more like a family carnival with a brief meeting as just part of the day’s festivities. Seven things you can do at your local co-op’s annual meeting include:
Socialize. Catch up with family, friends and neighbors who you don’t regularly see. The annual meeting is a community event, with something to offer everyone.
Eat! Co-ops’ annual meetings have some of the best food around. They typically offer breakfast, lunch or dinner as part of the day. When you attend, be sure to go hungry.
Be entertained. Annual meetings frequently have a carnival-like atmosphere that includes music, live entertainers, kids’ activities (such as face painting) and more. It’s a family-friendly event.
Win prizes. Register when you arrive, stay for the annual meeting and you may be eligible for door prizes or even a bill credit. Each cooperative handles things differently, but prizes usually are involved. You don’t want to miss it.
Learn. You should learn something new every day, and at your co-op’s annual meeting you definitely will! Learn how your electricity supplier (that’s us) creates the energy powering your home, and even about programs offered by your local co-op that can help save you money.
Meet. Get acquainted with the folks who run your local co-op. They frequently live in and are part of your community. Shake hands with the CEO and meet your co-op’s board of directors, which makes decisions on your behalf.
Vote! Speaking of the board of directors, the annual meeting is your chance to have a direct impact. As a part owner of your local electric cooperative, you have a say in how it’s governed. Participate in your local co-op elections at the annual meeting to vote for the board of directors, which creates policy directly impacting you and all members. Democratic participation is a part of the foundational bedrock of all cooperatives, and voting is part of the cooperative principles!
As you make plans for your spring, keep an eye out for your local cooperative’s annual meeting. It’s a great time with fun activities and you get to participate in one of the best parts of the cooperative culture. Contact your local co-op for details about the next annual meeting.