Back after a pandemic pause

Hoosier Energy Annual Meeting attendees urged to work toward the future

Hoosier Energy Annual Meeting
Hoosier Energy President and CEO Donna Walker, far left, looks on during a business update panel with senior staff members, from left, Jon Jackson, Rob Horton, Chris Blunk and Shannon Thom during the 2022 Annual Meeting on April 7 at French Lick Resort.

The 2022 Annual Meeting of your electric cooperative’s power provider, Hoosier Energy, returned to the French Lick Resort on April 7 after a three-year pause due to the pandemic.

All of the generation and transmission cooperative’s 18 member cooperatives (including your local electric cooperative) were represented and on hand. The guest list was pared down for this year’s meeting and a more serious approach followed the day’s business session.

Hoosier Energy President and CEO Donna Walker kicked things off by welcoming attendees back to an in-person meeting format. “This is such a nice change from the past few years,” she said. “I don’t think any of us were thinking when we left the 2019 Annual Meeting that in just a few short months we’d be facing a global pandemic that has forever changed so many aspects of our lives.”

That was especially true on the business side of things. Walker hosted a panel discussion with Hoosier Energy’s senior staff members – Rob Horton, Jon Jackson, Chris Blunk and Shannon Thom. They addressed decisions made on the future of the Merom generating station, the pandemic, financial status, resource portfolio, demand side management, distributing energy resources, risk management and cost management, to name a few.

Other meeting highlights:

  • Guest speaker John Bear, CEO of MISO (Midcontinent Independent System Operator), shared his insights on the transitioning energy market with its impact on both generation and transmission.
  • Change remained the unofficial theme as the day wrapped up with a Grid Reliability Panel, moderated by National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC) CEO Tim Bryan. The panel consisted of Hoosier Energy Chief Technology Officer Bob Richhart, Jackson County REMC CEO Mark McKinney and South Central Indiana REMC CEO James Tanneberger. Topics ranged from the smart grid to load control to the impact of fiber on communications and broadband as well as the funding for those programs.

As the meeting concluded, Walker encouraged attendees to look ahead toward the future. “My hope is as we leave here today, we feel optimistic about the future we’re working toward together,” she said.

Fun fact: Just as your local electric cooperative hosts an annual member meeting each year, your co-op’s generation and transmission cooperative holds an annual meeting for its member electric cooperatives. The article on this page summarizes what happened at this year’s Hoosier Energy Annual Meeting.