If you didn’t attend this year’s Kankakee Valley REMC annual meeting on April 11 at the Porter County Expo Center, you missed a great celebration. The cooperative welcomed 597 members to the event. Each member received a $10 bill credit as a welcome gift and were treated to a buffet-style dinner.
Additional highlights included musical entertainment by country music artist John Berry and a performance by magician Magic Mike along with face painting, balloon art and a magic show for the children.
The business meeting began with the presentation of colors and the Pledge of Allegiance by Boy Scout Troop 963 from Valparaiso. Throughout the evening, members could vote for director candidates from District 4 and the at-large position. Mike Yankauskas, Grovertown, was elected District 4 director and Andy Blastick, Valparaiso, will represent the at-large position.
During the business meeting, members heard remarks from Board President Otto Werner and Chief Executive Officer Dennis Weiss. Werner welcomed the attendees to the meeting and talked about the importance of the cooperative being “plugged into” the membership.
“Your needs might only be the reliable electricity we provide, but we are always looking for other ways to be influential in the community. Your board of directors are plugged into the community, the needs that you have as a member and the changes and challenges of the industry,” stated Werner.
Weiss followed with a reflection on the theme, “Plugged Into You,” and related it to various aspects of the cooperative.
“When we are plugged into you, your cooperative is successful and fully connected to you, not just with the electricity we provide, but helping to improve the quality of life in our rural communities,” stated Weiss.
He went on to explain the recent broadband survey and how it will be used to measure the viability of bringing high-speed, high-capacity broadband service to the membership.
“Results of this survey, along with an engineering study, will be instrumental in determining if the demand and need is great enough for your cooperative to invest in the infrastructure to deploy broadband service,” Weiss explained.
Weiss also highlighted the cooperative’s commitment to youth and the community through programs like Operation Round Up and youth summer trips such as Touchstone Energy Camp and the Indiana Youth Tour to Washington, D.C.
Operation Round Up President Dolores Surfus then presented the Operation Round Up scholarships to area students. (See story on here.)
The meeting ended with the awarding of the grand prize, a $4,000 travel voucher, four $250 and five $50 cash prizes.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF BELLA VITA PHOTOGRAPHY