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, 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.
Our first full annual report 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 Member Alliance Program offers a direct pipeline to the Cooperative’s 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. Comments and suggestions will be reviewed each time the committee meets.
The answers to your questions, the annual report, the meeting video, and election results will all be made available on our website.
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 timeframe, as determined by their boards of directors, to be in the best interest of the cooperative and its members.
Members are encouraged to tune-in virtually. We will provide a call-in option for those who do not use or have access to the internet. Remember – your local WRVEC office parking lots will have hot spots as well. Only WRVEC staff participating in the meeting, the Board, and nominees will be in physical attendance.
Details on meeting specifics, such as the web link to live stream the meeting or the phone number to call in and listen in real-time, will be published once finalized. Stay tuned for more details.
All 2019 documentation (including Officer Reports, Meeting Minutes, and Statement of Operations) will be sent out in the 2020 Annual Meeting Edition of the Rural Missouri Magazine. Given the format change of the meeting this year, the edition will be released in August.
COMING SOON: Our first-ever annual report will also be delivered to your home as a polybagged attachment to the Rural Missouri mailing.
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. Members will be able to cast their ballots on-line, via mail, or at their local WRVEC office (if open). This is quite a change from how we usually operate so we want to give everyone plenty of time to participate.
The voting window will be open for the entire month of August. This means you will have one whole month 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.
Starting August 1st, you can cast your vote or request a mail ballot here. Remember, each member account receives one vote. 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.
Click here to learn more about each amendment.
Click here to learn more about who will potentially serve the membership and represent their district on the Cooperative’s Board of Directors.
Potential board nominees have already submitted their applications to the nominating committee. Since we will not have an in-person meeting, floor nominations are not viable this year. Given the circumstances, we are temporarily implementing the petition option presented in our 2020 bylaw amendments. This states that candidates choosing to run by petition will only have to obtain 15 member signatures total, versus the previous five percent of the district. This exception provides potential nominees an opportunity to still run even though the window to submit applications and be vetted through the nominating committee has closed and floor nominations are not available because the meeting format has changed due to the pandemic.
The Cooperative must receive any petitions by July 7 to verify that the candidate is a member in good standing and allow WRVEC an opportunity to notify the membership of all 2020 candidates. Visit the board of directors page to learn more about duties, time commitments, and qualifications.
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!