The 2020 Annual Meeting, a 75th Anniversary event, was supposed to be a much bigger celebration than presented on Saturday, August 22, at Sundance High School.
The national COVID-19 pandemic restricted the size and length of public gatherings in hopes the spread of this respiratory virus can be blunted. More than 360 members mailed in their ballots, with only 90 attending in person.
Even though an in-person quorum of 100 members was not received, the PRECorp Board of Directors voted to declare exigent circumstances and allowed the 2020 director elections to proceed.
PRECorp hosted 90 members in person, and 362 voted in advance.
The elections determined that Alison Gee was elected from Campbell County over Barry Hayden by a margin of 220-191. Clay Branscom narrowly won the vote for Walt Christensen’s seat from Weston County over Lucas Keeler by a vote of 206-204. Philip Habeck from Crook County and Mike Helvey from Sheridan County ran unopposed.
PRECorp officials presented annual reports, and time was set aside for special presentations.
Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon joined the meeting live and outlined his connection to the cooperative as a Powder River Energy member. He also addressed the financial affairs of the state and what the future will look like. “We have had tough times before,” Gov. Gordon said. “Wyoming has had this continuing boom and bust cycle. But through that boom and bust cycle, the resiliency of ag and the resiliency of companies like PRECorp, has really shown the character of Wyoming. And I am very confident…that Wyoming’s days are better and will become the best that we’ve had.”
U.S. Senators John Barrasso and Mike Enzi sent video greetings to the membership. A free lunch and prize drawings were also held.
Walt Christensen of Weston County, who stepped down from the Board of Directors, was honored with a special plaque of appreciation after more than 30-years of service to the cooperative membership. Christensen was also presented with the Earl Christensen Award. Walt credited much of his success on the Board to his wife Launa, who covered the home front while he devoted time on the Board. Unbeknownst to Christensen, the Board voted to put Walt Christensen on the cooperative’s wall of honor for his passion for rural electrification in northeast Wyoming.
Walt commented on his tenure: “This is very humbling. My dad would be particularly humbled. Dad, if you’re up there listening, thanks for everything you have done for me.” Christensen plans to present this award at future annual meetings.
CEO Mike Easley gave a short non-traditional speech. See page 2 for an excerpt of his comments.
Board Secretary-Treasurer Gerry Geis gave a brief financial report.
The meeting closed with a raffle drawing for the Apprentice Lineman Scholarship Program. Arlyn Gustafson was the winner of the 2020 Polaris Ranger side-by-side. The raffle grossed more than $23,000 for the program, which awards tuition scholarships to local students entering electrical line worker school.
While not a new practice, PRECorp live-streamed the meeting for the first time. YouTube and Facebook showed the video of the meeting, and it is archived on PRECorp’s YouTube channel. To view the entire meeting on YouTube, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHwR7lUkH-U