September 12, 2020 | 9:00 A.M.
Your Virtual Meeting Experience
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, White River Valley Electric Cooperative’s 2020 Annual Meeting will be virtual. The business meeting will occur on September 12, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. and will be live streamed from our website and social media channels. Learn more about this year’s meeting below.
White River Valley Electric’s concern for community extends to the health and welfare of each member, neighboring friends, traveling visitors, and all those we do business with each day. Many hours have been spent evaluating best alternatives to conduct White River’s 2020 Annual Meeting in light of possible restrictions and health concerns surrounding the COVID-19 Pandemic.
After weighing the pros and cons of all options, we will join other cooperatives and utilities around the nation and move to a virtual meeting for this year. The business meeting will still occur on September 12 at 9:00 a.m., but it will be live streamed from our website and social media channels. More specific information will be posted here as it is finalized.
Many avenues were considered in the decision to host the meeting virtually, first and foremost the health and safety of our members and employees. We also realize convenient voting options will encourage participation from all members. With the format change, we can also drastically cut the cost of a traditional meeting which has turned this scenario into a tall glass of lemonade. We are happy to pass that savings on to you while still delivering need-to-know information about your Cooperative.
Due to Corona Virus outbreak, the Missouri Governor authorized a waiver of statutory requirements related to cooperative annual meetings found at Section 394.120 (2) and (7). This waiver allows cooperatives to hold and conduct annual meetings and voting in a means and time-frame, as determined by their boards of directors, to be in the best interest of the cooperative and its members.
All 2019 documentation will be sent out in the August/Annual Meeting edition of the Rural Missouri magazine. You may also access it here:
You may notice another item attached to your Rural Missouri mailing: our first-ever annual report! The report highlights the Cooperative’s initiatives, projects, programs and other successes throughout the past year. View it here:
Even though we will not see you in person, your engagement is vital to the success of our cooperative. Voting options will be modified to accommodate everyone since the meeting will be held virtually.
The voting window will be open for one full month, August 1-31, to cast your ballot for board candidates and bylaw amendments. The Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives, a third-party, will securely handle the election. They will tally all votes and deliver the results during our virtual meeting.
Members will be able to cast their ballots online or request a mail-in ballot to be sent directly to your home and/or business. If you do not have internet access, you can request a mail-in ballot by calling the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives directly at 800-949-2591. All mail-in ballots will be pre-addressed and sent back directly to AMEC. This is quite a change from how we usually operate so we want to give everyone plenty of time to participate.
Remember, each member account receives one vote. This is explained in our 2020 Annual Meeting video, starting at marker 7:55. Members will verify their name, address, and unique membership account number to participate. The unique membership account number can be found on the monthly billing statement, incorporated into the account number minus the last three digits.
In the example, 123456 would be the unique membership account number:
White River Valley Electric Cooperative does everything with our members in mind. You are not just customers, but members who own and control the organization. That’s why we want to share some information you will need before voting at the 2020 Annual Meeting. Voting is your right and responsibility as a member, and participation is key to our success.
Since the last annual meeting, we formed the Bylaws, Governance, and Engagement Committee to help evaluate what we do at the cooperative in order to provide best-in-class service for our members.
After closely reviewing our bylaws, there are three amendments that will be presented to the membership for a vote. These amendments are part of an effort to improve our governance practices and better represent the entire membership.
Potential board nominees have already submitted their applications to the nominating committee, which met on July 10, 2020 to complete the vetting process. View their recommendations here:
Since we will not have an in-person meeting, floor nominations are not viable this year. Given the circumstances, we temporarily implemented a petition option presented in our 2020 bylaw amendments. This option’s deadline has also passed. Duties, time commitments, and qualifications are listed on the board of directors page.
Any member who votes in the election will receive a $10 bill credit. Those who vote will also be registered for prizes that will be drawn and announced during the virtual meeting, ranging up to 500 dollars in free electricity!
Have questions? Make sure to read the 2019 Annual Report. It’s the first of its kind, and will be sent directly to the homes and businesses of each member prior to the meeting. The report will cover the 2019 year-in-review as well as a look into the Cooperative’s future.
If there are questions for the staff that the report does not cover, we encourage members to send in questions to be addressed during the meeting through our Member Alliance Program — the Cooperative’s direct pipeline to the Bylaws, Governance, and Engagement Committee. The committee was formed to evaluate best practices to continually improve the organization and help the Cooperative to better reach the membership. The answers to your questions, the annual report, the meeting video, and election results will all be made available on our website.
You can tune into the virtual meeting up to 30 minutes early. We’ll have a waiting room and closed captioning.
If you do not have internet access, you can dial toll-free to listen live at 833-491-0328.
Election results, member questions, and Cooperative updates will be delivered during the meeting. If you miss it that day, a video recording will be on our website the following Monday.