The pandemic may have changed a few traditional ways the co-op has done business, but the pandemic did not change the business at hand – to safely provide our members with reliable energy at cost.
In our 83-year history, we have held our annual meeting in high school gymnasiums, church sanctuaries, fairgrounds and other public auditoriums. Then 2020 came along, and we found ourselves adapting to an entirely new venue – by web conference due to the constraints of COVID-19.
Materials regarding the 83rd Annual Meeting
Below is the information that normally would be presented at our annual meeting. We invite you to review it at your leisure.
- Pledge of Allegiance
- Spirit of Our Cooperative
- Recognition of MVEC’s Operation Round Up Program
- MVEC Board of Director Introductions
- Call to Order and Establishment of Quorum
- Proof of Publication
- Business Meeting Presentations
- Ryan Hentges, Chief Executive Officer – 2019 Cooperative Overview
- Gerry Mareck, Vice President Finance – 2019 Financial Review
- Unfinished and New Business
- Paul Johnson, MVEC Legal Counsel – Acclamation Voice Vote by Members of District II for Michelle Morrison
- April 2020 Election Results
Minutes of the 82nd Annual Meeting
Minnesota Valley Electric Cooperative
Tuesday, April 9, 2019 | 7 pm | Le Center Elementary/Middle School | Le Center, MN
Board President Brent Lawrence welcomed everyone to the 82nd Annual Meeting of Minnesota Valley Electric Cooperative.
President Lawrence led the Pledge of Allegiance. MVEC’s Spirit of Our Co-op was read by Director Gibbs. President Lawrence announced final collection of ballots for the Director Election, and then introduced the Board of Directors: Fran Barten, Jim Connelly, Deb Erickson, Kevin Gibbs, Gary Haberman, Bill Heinlein, Brent Lawrence, Michelle Morrison and Tom Wolf. Director Candidates were introduced: Gary Haberman and Raymond Briggs in District II. Attorney Paul Johnson and Chief Executive Officer Ryan Hentges were also introduced.
President Lawrence called the meeting to order and announced a quorum was present; proof of publication was confirmed. 2018 Minutes were approved by the membership as printed.
Chief Executive Officer Ryan Hentges provided a comprehensive summary of 2018 cooperative highlights. MVEC continues to focus on the key areas of safety, reliability, digital security, cost effectiveness and member satisfaction. After presentation of the summary he asked for any questions. One question regarding renewables was presented and answered.
VP of Finance Gerry Mareck reviewed 2018 audited financials. Highlights included recognition of 2018 being a solid year financially for MVEC, with a retirement of over $1.4 million in Capital Credits, and maintaining competitive rates locally and nationally. President Lawrence asked if there were any questions regarding the financial report. Two questions regarding capital credits and loan covenants were presented and answered. President Lawrence asked for and received a motion and second to accept the report as presented; motion carried.
President Lawrence asked for Unfinished Business; there was none.
President Lawrence asked for New Business; there was none.
MVEC awarded scholarships to sixteen high school seniors – five from each of the three districts. The winner of the Basin Power Electric Cooperative scholarship was also announced. The recently selected 2019 Youth Tour Representative, Natalie Thoms of Savage, was present and introduced by President Lawrence.
Attorney Paul Johnson read the results for the Director Elections, noting 1,387 official ballots were received:
- District 1 – 3-year term
- Deb Erickson – Unopposed
- District 2 – 3-year term
- Gary Haberman – 774 votes
- Raymond Briggs – 613 votes
- District 3 – 3-year term
- Jim Connelly – Unopposed
President Lawrence thanked employees, fellow directors, candidates and the membership for making this a successful meeting.
President Lawrence asked for and received a motion and second to adjourn, which was approved by the membership.
Though Minnesota Valley Electric Cooperative’s 83rd Annual Meeting was postponed in April, the election for board directors in two districts went ahead as scheduled. Results were certified by independent election vendor Survey & Ballots Systems and were announced by MVEC attorney Paul Johnson. A total of 2,985 votes (all by mail) were cast. This is 11.77% of 25,509 eligible MVEC voters in the two districts that had races.
All three incumbents were returned to the Board of Directors for three-year terms.
Incumbent Brent Lawrence of Credit River Township was re-elected with 665 votes. Challenger Barbara Marschall of Prior Lake received 369 votes. Lawrence received 64.3% of the 1,034 votes cast in District I, which covers portions of Prior Lake, Savage, Burnsville, Credit River and Elko-New Market.
Incumbent Michelle Morrison of Belle Plaine ran unopposed in District II, which covers portions of Carver, Hennepin, Sibley and Scott counties. Michelle was returned by vote of acclamation during the virtual annual meeting on Sept. 15.
Incumbent Fran Barten of New Prague was re-elected with 1,551 votes. Challenger Terese (Terri) Gulstad of Prior Lake received 396 votes. Barten received 79.7% of the 1,947 votes cast in District III, which covers portions of Scott, LeSueur, Rice, Blue Earth and Waseca counties.
MVEC is proud to award sixteen $1,000 scholarships for member-students’ continued education. Though their senior year has been interrupted by the pandemic, we wish them the best as they take the next step in their educational path. See below as we highlight each recipient individually.
Basin Electric Power Cooperative Winner:
Rachel Henderson of Jordan High School plans to attend Winona State University.
District 1 Scholarship Recipients:
Carson Meurer of Shakopee High School plans to attend Winona State University.
Hunter Nieson of Prior Lake High School plans to attend University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
Katie Struzyk of Burnsville High School plans to attend University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Mark Friedges of New Prague High School plans to attend Montana State University-Bozeman.
Parker Long of Prior Lake High School plans to attend Minnesota State-Mankato.
District 2 Scholarship Recipients:
Benjamin Fink of Holy Family High School plans to attend the University of St. Thomas.
Caden Bruzek of Jordan High School plans to attend the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
Charles Tesch of Le Sueur-Henderson High School plans to attend South Dakota State University.
Mary Monsen, who is homeschooled, plans to attend Normandale Community College.
Theodore Kakacek of Chanhassen High School plans to attend the University of Iowa.
District 3 Scholarship Recipients:
Alexis Wondra of Cleveland High School plans to attend Minnesota State-Mankato.
Ariana Krautkremer of Tri-City United High School plans to attend the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
Dylan Androli of Waterville-Elysian-Morristown High School plans to attend the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
Mackenzie Close of Southwest Christian High School plans to attend Carthage College.
Mitchell Callahan of New Prague High School plans to attend the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse.
It is bittersweet to announce that Nicholas Peterson of Chanhassen, a junior at Eden Prairie High School, was selected to represent MVEC on the 2020 Youth Tour trip to Washington, D.C. The annual youth leadership experience, usually held in June, was cancelled by the host, the National Rural Electric Association, due to COVID19.
MVEC’s Board of Directors voted to award Peterson with a $1,000 scholarship. He plans to attend the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities and double major in Political Science and Business/Marketing before attending law school.
On his application, Peterson said, “I’ve always had a strong interest in current events and politics. I discovered in fourth grade that I have a strong desire to learn about history and geography. This has grown into me pursuing classes that increase my knowledge of our government and how it works, or sometimes doesn’t work.”
Elijah Mechtel, a sophomore from Shakopee, was chosen as the trip’s alternative. He
received the usual $200 runner-up prize.
More than 1,800 students from all across the U.S. take part in the Youth Tour to learn more about government and electric co-ops, explore museums, memorials and monuments, and make friendships that will last a lifetime. There have been over 50,000 participants since 1958.
MVEC will announce the application process for the 2021 trip in December, online and in this newsletter.
Thank you for “attending” our Virtual Annual Meeting. We hope the information presented here has been beneficial in learning more about YOUR cooperative. If you have questions at any time, please feel free to ask them here.