More than 270 members and guests attended Pierce Pepin Cooperative Services' 82nd annual meeting on March 23, at Ellsworth High School. Board Chair Roger Wiff presided over the meeting.
The theme "Powerfully Connected" was reflected throughout the meeting in the director candidates' speeches, the reports and presentations.
Re-elected to the board were incumbent directors Gerald Drier, District 1; Edward Hass, District 2; and Brian Berg, District 3. These directors ran unopposed. Ann Young was elected to the District 5 seat, challenging incumbent Michael Fronmueller.
Brittany Story, auditor for Carlson SV, reported on the financial condition of the Cooperative for the year ended Dec. 31, 2018. The cooperative again received an unqualified report from the auditors, the highest level available.
Wiff began his report with a memorial to Director Lonnie Feuerhelm who died in July 2018. He also shared the subsequent process of the director appointment for District 5 resulting in the appointment of Michael Fronmueller.
Wiff used the theme to discuss the cooperative principle "Cooperation Among Cooperatives." He explained the cooperation between Pierce Pepin Cooperative Services and cooperatives such as Dairyland Power, Wisconsin Electric Cooperative Association, and many others. He continued to relate the cooperative principle "Concern for Community" through examples such as Operation Round Up and Youth Leadership Congress.
Wiff concluded with a video message from William Tuchtenhagen; Wisconsin representative to the 2018-2019 NRECA Youth Board.
President/CEO Larry Dokkestul began his report by recognizing Pierce Pepin's commitment to safety and appreciation to the linemen and employees for their continued dedication.
Dokkestul discussed energy efficiency programs provided through the cooperative including Electric$ense rebates and Focus on Energy initiatives. Dokkestul reviewed the current electric rate structure and emphasized the importance of cybersecurity and the protection of personal information for the cooperative members.
Dokkestul concluded with a commitment to renewable energy; promoting clean energy while ensuring a balance of reliability and affordability.
Board Secretary/Treasurer Ginny Huber presented the proposed Article and Bylaw amendments. The first proposed amendment updated membership provisions in the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws to reflect that joint memberships are memberships as joint tenants with right of survivorship. The second proposed amendment clarified the procedure for filling vacancies on the Board of Directors.
Wiff introduced 2018 Pierce Pepin Scholarship winner Cedric Kosnopfal, senior at Ellsworth High School. The meeting wrapped up with prize drawings totaling $1,600 in gift cards. Attendees also received coupons for free chicken dinners at the Ellsworth Fire Hall.
The board reorganized immediately following the annual meeting. All officers remain unchanged-Roger Wiff, chairman, Brian Bergseng, vice chairman, and Ginny Huber, secretary/treasurer. Ed Hass continues on the Dairyland Power Cooperative Board of Directors.