Annual Meeting of the Members
Each year, Central Electric holds the Annual Meeting of the Members on the first Friday in October. In case you’ve never been, the Annual Meeting is where members learn about the cooperative's business from the previous year. Each member in attendance gets a complete update on how their money was spent.
Members also have the opportunity to vote on the Central Electric Board of Directors, which is an important part of the cooperative business model. Cooperatives are guided by seven key principles, one of those being Democratic Member Control. Cooperatives are not-for-profit, democratic organizations controlled by their members. The members actively participate in setting policies and making decisions through election of member representatives who sit on the Board of Directors. The Board represents the membership by directing and working closely with the staff of the cooperative to guide the business decisions of the co-op.
When the COVID-19 situation first began to affect our lives back in March, we quickly realized that the upcoming Annual Meeting of the Members, held each year on the first Friday in October, could be impacted. At that time, and really to this day, we were uncertain as to whether or not we would be able to hold an in-person meeting, especially given that we typically host over 1,500 people at the event. Each year we look forward to seeing and interacting with each of our members that come out to support and take part in the operation and governance of the co-op.
In response, largely due to the uncertainties that we have all been operating under, we began to organize a contingency “Plan B,” that very quickly turned into “Plan A.” We had to start making decisions that would allow us to host an Annual Meeting, regardless of the COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions on large public gatherings that may still be in place in October.
With that being said, in place of our typical Annual Meeting held at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center, this year we will be hosting the co-op’s first ever “Virtual Annual Meeting.” In order to protect the safety of our members and employees, and also to avoid the risk and uncertainty of hosting an in-person meeting, we will be live streaming the business portion of the meeting. While we are disappointed to not be hosting a typical Annual Meeting this year, we are very excited about the opportunity of being able to bring the business of the co-op directly to you in your home on Friday, Oct. 2.
Here are all the details on this year's "virtual" Annual Meeting:
- When: Friday, Oct. 2 at 10 a.m.
- Where to view: Facebook.com/CEMCPower
- How to register for the meeting and vote for your directors: There are two EASY ways to register and vote this year. You can either vote online at directvote.net/cemc or mail in a prepaid ballot postcard. Look for your ballot and voting login instructions in the September edition of Carolina Country. Registration/voting begins on Aug. 30 and runs through Sept. 30. All those who submit a ballot by Sept. 30 will be entered to win one of thirty $250 gift cards! Winners will be announced during the meeting live stream.
- Note: One important note on the mail-in ballot card. Above the signature line, the text indicates that a signature is required that matches the name on the left side of the card. However, member names were omitted from the ballot fields and were not printed on the ballot. Sign your name as it appears on your Central Electric account.
- Annual Meeting Scholarship: If you’re a 2020 high school grad and the child of a Central Electric member (or, a member yourself), submit YOUR entry to win a $2,000 scholarship! The deadline is Friday, Sept. 18, and the winner’s name will be drawn at the conclusion of the Annual Meeting. See details below.
We hope to "see" you there on Oct. 2!
Annual Meeting Scholarship
Central Electric is committed to supporting our communities, which is why the co-op has a variety of programs that aim to develop and support our local youth. As part of the Annual Meeting of the Members, Central Electric is awarding a $2,000 scholarship to a student who is a Central Electric member or a child of a member. The scholarship will be awarded through a random drawing during the "virtual" Annual Meeting on Oct. 2. The deadline to submit an entry for the drawing is Sept. 18.
To apply for entry into the drawing, the student must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Graduated high school in 2020.
- Attending a two-year or four-year post-secondary educational institution full-time during the 2020-21 academic year.
- Applicant must be a Central Electric member or a child of a member.
- Student must have at least a 3.0 GPA; copy of high school transcript must be submitted with scholarship application.
- Student and/or legal guardian must register for the 2020 Central Electric Annual Meeting on Oct. 2, 2020 by participating in the Director Election through either an online or mail-in ballot. The recipient will be announced during the meeting on Oct. 2.