2018 Annual Meeting Recap

This March, employees, board of trustees and members of Pioneer Electric gathered for the 74th Annual Meeting of the cooperative. The day began with communities coming together for a free health fair. Various local organizations provided information on numerous health services, and 1,219 attendants participated in free blood profile tests.

“It’s humbling to receive such wonderful support from our community,” said Dee Longoria energy services coordinator for Pioneer Electric. “Events like this wouldn’t be possible without the participation from these organizations. It’s the cooperative spirit at work— communities coming together for a joint cause.”

At the annual meeting, Pioneer Electric employees and guests discussed the co-op’s achievements from the past year and an outlook for the upcoming year.
“Currently, the cooperative is working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help with costs from the storm,” Epperson said. “Members can expect restoration to take four to five years before completion.”

Epperson then discussed results from the 2017 American Customer Satisfaction Survey. “Going into a survey after a snowstorm, we were a little nervous of the results,” explained Epperson. “However, your cooperative rose to the challenge and received a 91 in total satisfaction from members— one of the highest scores out of all electric cooperatives that opted to participate in last year’s survey.”

Finally, representatives from Sunflower Electric Power Corporation and Mid-Kansas Electric spoke on the Johnson Corner Solar project. The project (to be constructed near Johnson City) will be the largest solar project in the state. Construction of the project is set to begin in the first quarter of 2019 and is planned to finish in second quarter of that year. Additional information regarding the project can be found online at midkansaselectric.net.

“Democratic control is a part of our business model,” Epperson said. “You, our members, are what powers the cooperative. You have the power to elect board members, vote on proposed changes and share your thoughts with your fellow members. This is the purpose of your annual meeting and we thank you for your continued commitment.”

Meet our 2018 Youth Tour Winners

NICOLE WILKEN, SLATER HEGLIN, CINDY NOLASCO-RIOS and REBECCA JOHNSON were selected to represent Pioneer Electric at this year’s Youth Tour experiences. These students will be joining other representatives from across the state and country on two all-expense-paid trips in June and July.

Wilken and Heglin, both from Ulysses, will be traveling to Washington, D.C., as part of the 2018 Electric Cooperative Youth Tour. The pair will join delegates from Kansas and Hawaii as they tour the capitol, visit museums and take a dance cruise on the Potomac River.

Rios and Johnson will be heading to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, for the 2018 Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp. Besides learning about the cooperative world and working on leadership skills, the two will take part in adventures like white water rafting, touring a coal mine and visiting the Craig Generation Plant.

“Pioneer Electric is proud to support the Youth Tour and Youth Leadership Camp and to provide this opportunity for our students,” said Drew Waechter, Youth Tour Coordinator. “Our hope is that these students will gain leadership skills and see the importance of community involvement.”
For additional information, contact Drew Waechter at dwaechter@pioneerelectric.coop.

Kris Wagner Represents Cooperative at 2018 NRECA Annual Meeting

From Feb. 24 through 28, Youth Tour alumnus KRIS WAGNER ,Satanta High School, served as the Kansas Youth Leadership Council representative at the NRECA Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee from February 24 through 28. Fourty-four Youth Leadership Council (YLC) members appeared together carrying their state flags during the traditional parade of the states at the beginning of the first general session. Throughout the event, these students gained hands-on experience with by participating in every facet of the meeting. The students helped board members communicate with their legislators at the Co-ops Vote booth, served as pages during the business session, and provided assistance during the educational forums.

“The theme for the NRECA Annual Meeting was, Leading The Energy Future, and this theme couldn’t have been better directed at the youth of the convention,” said Wagner. “Cooperatives are doing great things by sponsoring kids on life-changing experiences like the Youth Tour in Washington, D.C., and the Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, where kids connect with other youth and see how our nation’s government works. These trips, as well as scholarships, are a direct investment in our youth as we will grow and become local, national, and global leaders. We are the future of this industry.”

Wagner and his fellow YLC delegates helped pack over 10,000 pounds of food at the Second Harvest Food Bank. Photo provided by Kansas Electric Cooperatives.

The YLC members were selected from more than 1,800 state delegates during the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour in 2017, in part for their speaking and writing abilities. Sponsored on Youth Tour by Southern Pioneer Electric (a subsidiary of Pioneer Electric), Wagner was selected by his peers as
an alternate to the YLC. Wagner was able to attend when Butler Electric Cooperative’s youth, Ben Black, who had been originally elected as the Kansas YLC, had another commitment.

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my opportunity as a member of YLC, it’s that the next generation is fi lled with amazing individuals who are already serving as leaders,” Wagner said. “Thank you to the cooperatives for trusting us with the honor to serve on the YLC.”

In addition to their work at the NRECA Annual Meeting, the YLC students also volunteered their time at Nashville’s Second Harvest food bank. The youth packed 10,171 pounds of food, which equates to approximately 8,476 meals.