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One Member, One Vote


From Your CEO: The power of


I am pleased to announce the boards of trustees of Canadian Valley Electric Cooperative and Central Rural Elec- tric Cooperative are excited to bring a consolidation vote to the member- ships in the next few months. The decision to consolidate does not come lightly. Over the last three years, the boards had many engaging discussions among themselves and with regulatory agencies, power providers and lending institutions. The boards feel now is the opportune time for the two coopera- tives to become one. Now the decision is in the hands of the members, and you have the opportunity to be a part of changing the course of history.


Every cooperative – rural electric cooperative, credit union or agricultur- al co-op – follows the basic principle of one member, one vote. Most often the vote is to elect an individual to represent you on the board of trustees. Occasionally, you may be asked to vote on a bylaw change. Rarely, will you be asked to vote on something as monumental as a consolidation. In the


history of CVEC and CREC, a con- solidation attempt has never reached a membership vote.


Member participation is critically im- portant to the survival of cooperatives. If members are not actively involved with the cooperative, the entire organi- zation suffers. As the electric industry evolves, having members who are willing to take an active role is of the highest importance.


As with other elections, I ask you take the time and due diligence to learn about the issues facing utilities, watch the videos from industry leaders about the consolidation and make an educated choice on the consolidation. While I am 110 percent supportive of the consolidation and believe it is truly in the best interest of the members of both cooperatives, I also believe the measure of success for this signifi cant event is not whether the vote passes, but rather it has reached this point – a membership vote. I believe the best gift we can give to you, the members,


is the opportunity to voice your opin- ion and vote.


Someone once stated, “you have to be in position to fi nd success.” It is our fi duciary responsibility to con- front the challenges of our time and position your cooperative for future success. This consolidation represents that responsibility and accountability to you the members. We are collec- tively committed to providing you with affordable power, providing high standards of reliability and continu- ing to play a leadership role within our communities.


In the early days of electric cooper- atives, neighbors helped neighbors. While our lives seem busier and more electronically driven than ever, the need for member engagement has never been more vital. Inform yourself and make a decision that is right for you. Vote and encourage your neigh- bors to vote. There is power in the cooperative principle of One Member, One Vote.


David Swank | CEO


Spring 2015


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