A streamlined meeting – the co-op way!
In case you missed it, we had another delightful Annual Meeting
of the Membership April 3. The good Lord looked out for us and
blessed us with a beautiful, sunny day. We did not quite set a
record, but we registered 4,123 of our members - almost three times
our necessary quorum! For those that were able to join us, I want
to say Thank You! For those that could not make it, I'd like to
encourage you to consider the event next year.
We have streamlined things quite a bit. Registration this year
was done with iPads. We were checking IDs while you were in line,
in order to be able to skip that step when you got into the
registration area. In fact, I was one of the people checking IDs in
line. That served as two positives for me: I got to help speed up
the process - AND - I got to personally speak to a couple thousand
of you. That was a real treat!
We also heard the suggestions of our membership a couple of
years ago, and you all approved a bylaws amendment last year that
really sped up the process. You told us that it did not make sense
to force the membership to go through the voting process when there
was nothing to vote on that year (no election opposition and no
amendments to consider). This year, we got to test that out. Not
only did we save a considerable amount of your time in line, but we
also saved thousands of your dollars by not having to pay for the
voting machines this year.
I want to mention a couple of individuals, specifically. First,
let me extend a warm congratulations to Mr. Herman Elliott - for
winning the grand prize. I hope it will serve him well! I also want
to mention Mr. Lewis Thames. I always like to make a point to go up
and speak to the first person in line, and I thought this year
would be a good time to recognize publicly their dedication to SEC.
So, on behalf of all of us here at Santee Electric, thank you, Mr.
Thames, for being first in line!
If you missed the business meeting, you missed a real treat. Our
Pledge was led by Ann Hadley Sutton and Emmett Johnson, both
children of SEC employees. Wanda Brown - one of our member-owners
(and a talented songbird!) - delivered a beautiful rendition of our
national anthem. Both were wonderful! I also thoroughly enjoyed
seeing all of the little children come up from the audience and
help us with the prize drawings. They were as excited as they were
Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank the 121 employees
of Santee Electric Cooperative - those that worked at Kingstree
High School and those back at our offices holding down the fort. I
said it during my speech, and I meant it -- mine was the easiest
job of all. All I had to do was give a speech and talk to a lot of
people -- things I love doing! The employees of SEC took care of
the rest. They truly are our greatest asset.
Robert G. Ardis III
President and Chief Executive Officer