2018 Kentucky Electric Cooperatives Annual Meeting educates, inspires

With the theme of “Your Neighbor, Your Energy,” Kentucky Electric Cooperatives’ 72nd Annual Meeting on November 19-20, 2018, highlighted both the important role electric co-ops play in their communities and the issues facing the cooperative program today. Co-op directors, managers and staff from across Kentucky received practical training,  inspiring presentations and important updates from the energy sector.

The meeting debuted the new name for the statewide association, Kentucky Electric Cooperatives, and featured speakers such as a former major league baseball player, the pilot of Air Force One on 9/11 and a longtime livestock show judge who has impacted the lives of countless Kentucky youths.

“This was one of the most important events we’ve hosted,” said Chris Perry, president and CEO of Kentucky Electric Cooperatives. “We offered an immense amount of training for our members, which will continue to be a priority for us. Overall, the meeting highlighted the values, goals and challenges we face, and underscored Kentucky Electric Cooperatives’ mission of serving and supporting Kentucky’s electric co-ops.”

On Monday, Nov. 19, nearly 350 people representing the 26 electric co-ops served by the Kentucky Electric Cooperatives joined valued partners attending the two-day meeting at the Marriott in downtown Louisville.

The first day began with a meeting of the Kentucky Chapter of Women in Rural Electrification (WIRE) committee followed by the Annual Membership and Board Meeting.

During the Annual and Board meeting, the 2019 Kentucky Electric Cooperatives Board of Directors was elected:

Big Rivers Electric Corporation: Bob Berry, Wayne Elliott
Big Sandy RECC: Bruce Aaron Davis, Greg Davis
Blue Grass Energy: Mike Williams, Paul Tucker
Clark Energy: Chris Brewer, Steven Hale
Cumberland Valley RECC: Ted Hampton, Vernon Shelley
East Kentucky Power Corporation: Tony Campbell, Alan Ahrman
Farmers RECC: Bill Prather, Paul Hawkins
Fleming-Mason Energy: Joni Hazelrigg, John Roe
Grayson RECC: Carol Hall Fraley, Jimmy Whitt
Gibson EMC: Dan Rodamaker, David Kimbell
Inter-County Energy: Jerry Carter, Jason Todd
Jackson Energy:  Carol Wright, Phil Thompson
Jackson Purchase Energy: Greg Grissom, Lee Bearden
Kenergy Corp: Jeff Hohn, Chris Mitchell
Licking Valley RECC: Kerry Howard, Tommy Hill
Meade County RECC: Marty Littrel, Darla Sipes
Nolin RECC: Mickey Miller, Linda Grimes
Owen Electric: Mark Stallons, Robert True
Pennyrile Electric: Alan Gates, Jimmy Futrell
Salt River Electric:  Tim Sharp, Linda West
Shelby Energy: Jack Bragg, Jr., Pat Hargadon
South Kentucky RECC: Dennis Holt, Rick Halloran
Taylor County RECC:  Barry Myers, Christopher Tucker
Tri-County EMC: Paul Thompson, Veachel Harlan
Warren RECC: Scott Ramsey, Michael McGuirk
West Kentucky RECC:  David Smart, Eddy Wright

During lunch, Michael Hodges, a high school senior who attended the 2018 Washington Youth Tour, sponsored by Pennyrile Electric, Hopkinsville, and was elected to the Youth Leadership Council, spoke about what a great impact the trip has had on his life.

Joe Arnold, vice-president of Strategic Communications for Kentucky Electric Cooperatives, moderated a discussion with Scott Jennings, a founding partner of RunSwitch PR and political analyst for CNN. Jennings provided analysis of the 2018 mid-term election, handicapped the 2019 election cycle in Kentucky and made some predictions about the 2020 presidential election year.

In the afternoon, Terry Boston, retired CEO of PJM Interconnection, presented “Smart, Secure and Sustainable… “The Future Ain’t What It Used to Be.”  In his presentation, Boston covered many of the key issues co-ops face, including Co2 emissions and cybersecurity.

Following a reception hosted by Federated Rural Electric Insurance, guests filled the ballroom for the annual banquet.

Since 1982, Kentucky Electric Cooperatives has presented the Distinguished Rural Kentuckian award to individuals who have helped improve the lives of those living in rural Kentucky.  The list of previous recipients includes Gov. Bert T. Combs, Barney Arnold, Gov.Martha Layne Collins, Joe B. Hall, and last year’s honoree, Byron Crawford.

The 2018 Distinguished Rural Kentuckian honored at the banquet is Warren Beeler, an accomplished agriculture leader in the state who has worked on behalf of farmers for two decades and is regarded as one of the most experienced livestock judges in the nation.

After Beeler’s remarks, Chris Burke, who sealed a playoff series for the Houston Astros with a dramatic 18thinning home run, delivered the banquet’s keynote speech. Burke, a Louisville native, echoed Beeler’s remarks on the importance of family and how encouraging words from parents and coaches inspired him to achieve his baseball dream.

The next morning, Col. Mark W. Tillman (ret.), gave a harrowing account of what it was like to be the pilot of Air Force One during the 9/11 attacks in 2001. Tillman recounted how he flew President George W. Bush from Florida to several points across the United States on that day to keep him safe from the terrorist attacks.

The meeting wrapped with the announcement of the new co-op managers, directors and attorneys and recognition of several co-op employees for their years of service.

New Managers, Directors, & Attorneys

Richard Cobb, Director,  Blue Grass Energy
Lu Young, Director, Blue Grass Energy
Tyson Kamuf, Attorney, Big Rivers Electric
Greg Carter, Attorney, West Kentucky RECC
Tim Purcell, Director, Warren RECC

Service Awards

15 Years

Joan Mouser, Trustee, Gibson EMC
Rana Buchanan, Trustee, Gibson EMC
A.C. “Happy” Cahoe, Director, Salt River Electric
Raymond Rucker, Vice President, Taylor County RECC
Ronald Bailey, Director, Tri-County Electric
Jeff Downing, Director, Tri-County Electric
Robert Moore, Director, Big Sandy RECC
Greg Davis, Director,  Big Sandy RECC

20 Years

Dennis Moneyhon, Chairman, Bluegrass Energy
Don Leathers, Trustee, Gibson EMC
Paul Thompson, CEO, Tri-County Electric
Tom Saunders, Director, Fleming-Mason Energy
Dennis Barnes, Director, West Kentucky RECC
Steven Hale, Director, Clark Energy

25 Years

Lee Bearden, Director, Jackson Purchase
Wayne Elliott, Director, Jackson Purchase

30 Years

Robert Rhodes,  Director, Meade County RECC

35 Years

A.L. “Buddy” Rosenberger, Director, Nolin RECC

45 Years

Michael “Mickey” Miller, CEO, Nolin RECC
Gayle Robbins, Attorney, West KY RECC