ANNUAL MEETING RECAP
‘Together we make a powerful difference’
By Carmen Devney
Making history by holding an abbreviated annual meeting in a parking lot and broadcasting live on FM radio, Slope Electric Cooperative welcomed members to their 76th annual meeting. It was held June 3 at the Community Center in Reeder. Nearly 70 members attended and received a $50 bill credit to thank them for their time and interest. For members who were unable to attend, messages from our co-general managers/chief executive officers and chief financial officer are available below.
In a year marked with challenges and changes, Slope Electric remained committed to providing members with safe, reliable and affordable electric service. This year’s annual meeting theme, “Together we make a powerful difference,” reflects our year of resiliency, thanks in large part to support from you, our member-owners.
Slope Electric continues to follow safety guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and North Dakota Department of Health. Needing to plan the annual meeting months in advance, and not able to predict the status of the pandemic at the time of the meeting, the board of directors determined an outdoor meeting would be the safest option to come together in-person. Members who attended received a bottle of water and a snack.
An election was held to elect candidates to the board of directors. Board President Lauren Klewin explained this process prior to voting: To make or second a motion, and approve or oppose the motion, members were asked to honk their horns at the appropriate times. To bring something forth for discussion, the same process would be followed and they would be provided with a microphone.
Because the cooperative’s milestone 75-year annual meeting was not held due to the pandemic, the candidates put forth by the 2020 Nominating Committee were not voted on by the membership. These candidates were incumbent board members, and they have been serving on an interim basis until an election of the membership could occur. These candidates are Angela Carlson and Charlotte Meier of Hettinger County, and Steve Wegner of Adams County. The directors whose tenure of office expires in 2021 are Lauren Klewin and Dale Hande of Slope County.
The Nominating/Resolutions Committee met March 22 via a conference call to make nominations and approve resolutions. Their work included nominating all the incumbents listed above to serve another three-year term respectively on the board.
With no nominations received from the “floor” of the parking lot, and no contested board elections, the five directors retained their positions on the board. The board will meet at a later date to restructure.
Members were also asked to vote to approve the minutes of the June, 6, 2019, annual meeting, as printed in the annual report, and approve the amended Bylaws that were provided in their entirety in the annual report packet members received in May. The motions passed without objection.
A condensed financial report was presented by Chief Financial Officer Alex Craigmile. Brady, Martz & Associates, P.C. audited the 2020 financial statements of Slope Electric, and presented their report to the board of directors with an “unmodified opinion,” the highest opinion they can give. The full report can be watched below.
The managers’ report was also pre-recorded and is available below. In the video, Co-General Managers Don Franklund and Travis Kupper noted some of the major events that took place last year and provided an outlook on what the future holds.
“Thank you to the members, for working with us and continuing to be a member of the cooperative. Thank you to the employees, for working through the last 12 months. Thank you to the board of directors, who had to adapt and learn,” Mr. Kupper said. “Together we make a powerful difference.”