Power and Progress

Posted on Jan 26 2015 in Co-op Connection
Indiana Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann speaks to electric co-op leaders at the meeting.

Indiana Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann speaks to electric co-op leaders at the meeting.

When 300-some Indiana electric cooperative leaders convened in Indianapolis on Dec. 8-9, their focus was definitely on the future. At the 80th annual meeting of Indiana Electric Cooperatives, attendees were updated on industry issues, including power generation adequacy, rural broadband and future EPA regulations.

Youth had key roles throughout the meeting. Indiana’s 2014 Youth Leadership Council Delegate Sarah Weaver spoke about her experience during the Indiana Youth Tour to Washington, D.C., and five past participants in various electric co-op-sponsored youth programs shared how they were impacted by the Youth Tour, Touchstone Energy Camp, the Cooperative Calendar of Student Art and the Youth Power and Hope Awards. As well, five community-minded middle school students received Youth Power and Hope Award “gold” medals from 2012 Olympic Gold Medal-winning diver David Boudia.

Other honorees during the meeting included 68 employees and directors who achieved service milestones. Together, they have served electric co-op members throughout the state for 1,485 years.

For the second year, lawmakers who have demonstrated leadership and provided steadfast support in the advancement of electric cooperative legislative and policy priorities were recognized with the Champion of Indiana’s Electric Cooperatives award. This year’s recipients were U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks and State Sen. Michael Crider.

During the reorganizational portion of the meeting, Indiana Electric Cooperatives board members re-elected officers Mark Evans from Parke County REMC, president; Ron Arnholt, Bartholomew County REMC, vice president; and Gary Gerlach, Carroll White REMC, secretary-treasurer. Re-elected to the executive committee were Larry Carlson, Tipmont REMC; Michael Ninde, Jay County REMC; Stephen Vail, NineStar Connect; and Walter Hunter, Jackson County REMC.

Meeting attendees continued a long-standing tradition by raising money for the Ronald McDonald House of Indiana. This year, $13,486 was collected through a silent auction of “community baskets” donated by several electric cooperatives and Indiana Electric Cooperatives, a Facebook challenge and monetary donations.