HEMC holds annual meeting

Thousands turn out for the local cooperative’s biggest event of the year!

Habersham EMC held its Annual Meeting July 21 at Habersham Ninth Grade Academy in Mt. Airy. There were 858 registered Members with approximately 2100 people in attendance. An additional 191 members voted by absentee ballot. Attendees enjoyed activities for children, a barbecue meal and a door prize drawing with a $500 credit on a member’s electric bill as a grand prize. Blue Grass/Gospel music by The Watkins Family entertained Members prior to the business meeting.

In addition, a health fair featured blood pressure checks by students from the Medical Assisting Program at North Georgia Technical College, carotid artery screening by The Heart Center at Northeast Georgia Medical Center, as well as informational booths representing Habersham Medical Center Physical Rehabilitation, HMC Sleep Lab, HMC Infection Control, Northeast Georgia Physicians Group Radiation Oncology – Toccoa, and Total Fitness. Children enjoyed face painting, balloon animals, clowns, a photo booth and bounce houses.

Rick Wood, board chairman, welcomed everyone and called the meeting to order. Following the invocation by Wood, Washington Youth Tour Delegates Kaitlyn King and Victoria Sesam led the meeting in the Pledge of Allegiance. Vocalist Nealy Webster performed the National Anthem.

HEMC Chairman/CEO Jonathan Cantrell and Wood recognized the achievements of HEMC Board of Directors Emeritus Wallace Beggs and Ray Meaders, both of whom passed away in 2015.

Cantrell updated attendees on cooperative activities:

  • Electrical demand continues to grow at a steady pace. Two new substations are being built to handle these demands as well as future energy needs of HEMC members. Also, a new advanced meter infrastructure is being installed. This upgrade will allow members to access timely information about their power usage.
  • In 2015 for the 29th consecutive year, HEMC returned capital credits to members, approximately $1.5 million – the largest amount ever returned in the co-op’s history.
  • All of the 80 blocks of HEMC’s Cooperative Solar program, which launched on Earth Day 2016, sold out in less than two weeks. Due to member interest, HEMC is participating in two new cooperative solar facilities and will notify members on the current waiting list once the facilities are complete.
  • More than 6,100 members recently submitted surveys. This feedback will be used to plan enhancements. James Riley of Rabun County won the survey drawing for the $500 credit on his electric bill.
  • Voluntary member participation in Operation Round Up and Operation Round Up Plus has awarded over $1.4 million to individuals, families and organizations since the beginning of the program. This includes more than 80 scholarships for high school seniors.

Bessie Brown of Mt. Airy won the grand prize credit of $500 on an electric bill.

Directors Dustin Hulsey, Dan Thurmond and David Wall were re-elected to serve three year terms. Board of Director Officers for the upcoming year will be Rick Wood, Chairman; George Fry, Vice-Chairman; and Jeff Ferguson, Secretary-Treasurer.

article by HEMC Director of Marketing & Communications Nicole Dover 

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