Members of the Intercounty Electric Cooperative Association met Friday for updates, giveaways and more at the organization’s annual meeting in Licking.
The business meeting started with the presentation of colors by Mountain Grove Junior ROTC after an invocation by Bro. John Jordan, pastor of Rock Springs Baptist Church in Licking. The Harper Family, a local family bluegrass gospel group, sang the national anthem.
The business meeting was a forum to both share the previous year’s financial and business reports and keep members informed of progress in various projects, system upgrades and development. IECA members re-elected all three incumbents to the board of the cooperative: James E. White from the north district, Matthew A. Duncan from the central district, and Richard H. Ichord III of Houston from the south district.
In the board president’s report, White shared stories regarding Intercounty’s beginnings 80 years ago and how far the cooperative has come since those early times. White stressed that while Intercounty has grown and advanced since 1936, certainly changing as the years have gone by, the co-op’s focus on serving members and their need for reliable, affordable electricity has never wavered.
“Our values of honesty, integrity, fairness, democracy and concern for community are still at the heart of how we operate,” White said.
White encouraged members to take time to visit with employees and the directors while at the annual meeting to learn more about the co-op and to share their ideas and any concerns.
CEO Aaron Bradshaw began by thanking Intercounty’s team of managers, supervisors, employees and directors for their work throughout the year. He explained how co-op member-owners are different than customers of other utilities. To illustrate the difference, he shared that nearly $8 million in capital credits and discounts had been returned to members just during the last two years.
“When adjusted for inflation, power is cheaper today than it was 60 years ago,” he said.
Bradshaw acknowledged the members for their participation and honesty in the co-op’s recent satisfaction survey. He shared his thanks for the high marks given during the survey and assured members that moving forward, Intercounty would continue to focus on member and community needs.
Luke Holtschneider, rural and community development liaison with the Missouri Department of Economic Development (MDEC), was the guest speaker. He explained that growth frequently comes from existing people and businesses with great ideas and how MDEC is capitalizing on that potential with an initiative aimed at improving and educating the Missouri workforce.
“Projects are happening daily across the state,” he said, “and that there are increasing opportunities for growth, especially in tourism development for both the urban and rural areas of Missouri.”
The day was more than just a business meeting. Families gathered for a picnic atmosphere complete with great barbecue and some classic bluegrass gospel music performed by The Harper Family. Many members also took time to visit this year’s huge craft fair.
At the health tents, Texas County Memorial Hospital staff was on hand to provide valuable blood work services to the membership at a reduced price. There were several other healthcare booths set up to provide services and information: Tri-County Center for Independent Living, Three Rivers Hospice, VFW Veteran’s Benefits, Texas County Health Department, Licking Bridge Builders, Texas County Home Health of the Ozarks, AirMedCare, Rinne Pharmacy and other vendors.
Each registered member received a gift bag and was eligible to win one of the many prizes given away. Jerry Cramer, of Salem, claimed the grand prize, a $600 electric credit. Winners of the $100 electric credits were: Howard Fedie, Cabool; Tina Williams, Licking; John Moser, Jadwin; and Janet Widger, Salem. The winner of the 42-inch flat screen TV, courtesy of Sho-Me Power, was Will Young.
Bicycle winners were: Dylan Carter, Paige Akers, Garrett Crocian and Kira Graves. Coloring contest winners were Saydi Michel and Addie Spencer.