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2018 Annual Meeting: Schedule of Events

Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative

2018 ANNUAL MEETING

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Schedule of Events

3 P.M. – 7 P.M. ANNUAL MEETING REGISTRATION

  • $25 BILL CREDIT (member registration required)
  • ANTIQUE TRUCK DISPLAY
  • BUCKET TRUCK DEMONSTRATIONS
  • BOUNCE HOUSE
  • INFLATABLE OBSTACLE COURSE
  • MARVIN LEE BAND
  • MINIATURE GOLF
  • PETTING ZOO
  • SEMINARS

3 P.M. – 7 P.M. DINNER BY NIEMERG’S CATERING

  • SNACKS AND ICE CREAM IN THE COURTYARD

7 P.M. BUSINESS MEETING

  • CALL TO ORDER
  • NATIONAL ANTHEM
  • PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
  • INVOCATION
  • QUORUM DETERMINATION
  • RECOGNITION OF GUESTS
  • NOTICE AND PROOF OF MAILING
  • 2017 MEETING MINUTES
  • TREASURER’S REPORT
  • CHAIRMAN AND CEO REPORT
  • DIRECTOR ELECTION
  • QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
  • UNFINISHED BUSINESS
  • NEW BUSINESS
  • ADJOURNMENT
  • DOOR PRIZES (Ten $100 bills)

DIRECTIONS: The PBL Junior/Senior High School is located in Paxton. To get there from Route 9 (Ottawa Street), head north on Cherry Street (near Hardee’s) approximately five blocks, then turn west (left) on Orleans Street. Registration is at the north end of the school. We look forward to seeing you on Thursday, June 7 at the EIEC Annual Meeting.

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Board Chairman & CEO Report

On behalf of Eastern Illini’s Board of Directors and employees, we would like to welcome you to the 2018 Annual Meeting of Members!

Thank you for attending your annual meeting. We hope you enjoy the day with your family, take advantage of the activities and food, and learn a little more about how EIEC is much different than other utilities.

As a member-owned cooperative, we are dedicated to providing you – our members – with reliable electricity and excellent service. Our employees live in this area, just like you, and we are dedicated to improving the quality of life in rural east central Illinois. We would like to provide a few highlights from the past year:

SAFETY
Our driving and continual focus for the cooperative is the safety of our employees, our members, and the general public. The commitment to safety is reflected in the support of our Board of Directors, management, and our employees. The main portion of our safety goal each year is to experience zero lost time incidents. We did not achieve that goal in 2017.

MEMBER SATISFACTION
EIEC employees and Directors take pride in providing the service level our members deserve and expect. Each October, we survey each of you. This survey typically covers topics such as member service, employee professionalism, rates, programs, and reliability. We also include questions to calculate an American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) score, which tracks your overall view of EIEC numerically.

In 2017, our overall survey results were very good, and we again received an ACSI score of 89 (out of 100)! This score places us in the top 10 percent of cooperatives across the nation. We are proud of the level of service that we provide you, and we are constantly looking for ways to improve.

FINANCIAL UPDATE
2017 was a good financial year for your cooperative. Operating margins totaled slightly above $1.4 million, with total operating revenues of $34.7 million. These margins are in addition to $0.65 million prepayment made to our power supplier at year end to reduce 2018 wholesale power supply costs. Equity for the year ended at 47.2% which is slightly above our benchmark target. Our debt service coverage metric exceeded our lender’s requirements. These two factors allow us to optimize our borrowing costs.

MARGINS AND CAPITAL CREDITS
Each year, we review our revenue collected compared to our expenses in providing electric service to you. This difference is similar to profit, but for a not-for-profit cooperative it is referred to as operating margins. The margins try to balance internally generated operating cash (dollars we collect from your monthly electric bills) with capital provided from long-term borrowings (loans). These margins are then allocated as capital credits to be returned to you at a future date. Our Board of Directors have set a goal of returning margins back to our member/owners on a 25-year cycle. We anticipate reaching this goal in 2020.

In 2017, we retired nearly $1.6 million in capital credits to members who received electric service in 1986, 1987, and 1988. For 2018, we are budgeting a retirement of over $1.6 million for the years of 1989, 1990, and one half of 1988. This return of your equity, or prior investment in EIEC, is one of the unique benefits of membership in a local, not-for-profit cooperative.

RATES
EIEC has not had a distribution rate adjustment since April 2013. There is no increase budgeted in our distribution rate for 2018. Our projections for total revenue needs the next few years is also stable, barring any catastrophic events. However, we do pass along any increases from our wholesale power provided as necessary, in the power cost adjustment portion of our billing. Our wholesale power costs reflect the capacity, energy, and transmission portions of electricity pricing delivered to the EIEC metering points,. In 2018, we have initiated a cost of service study. This study will help determine our future total revenue requirements, along with reviewing the fairness of the allocation of costs to our members in the various rate classes.

TECHNOLOGY
As the technology around us continues to change rapidly, we are always on the lookout for technology that will allow us to better serve you. Our online and smart phone account portal – SmartHub – continues to evolve. SmartHub lets you easily and conveniently pay your bill, view your electric use history, report an outage, and more. You can sign up for your FREE SmartHub account by visiting our website at www.eiec.coop.

POWER SUPPLY
About 60 percent of our power is provided by the Prairie State Generating Campus coal-fired power plant, located in Washington County, Illinois. Our wholesale power provider, Prairie Power Inc. (PPI), owns 130 MW of this facility,
along with various other natural gas fired generation units. On the renewable front, PPI has two solar panel arrays and a portion of wind energy provided by the Pioneer Trail wind farm near Paxton. PPI also contracts for power supply in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) market. PPI is continually monitoring existing and future market trends in balancing the decision of owning or contracting for future generation resources, to provide you with supply diversity and a stable long-term portfolio.

RELIABILITY
Our distribution system performed well this year, resulting in an available reliability of 99.98 percent (excluding major storms and transmission supply outages). Even with the inclusion of major storm events and transmission supplier outages, our available reliability was 99.96 percent. We continue to monitor and upgrade our system to maintain the high level of service you’ve come to expect.

Power from PPI is delivered through the Ameren 69 kV transmission system. Annually, nearly one-third of our member’s average outage time is a result of outages on the Ameren system that impact EIEC power substations. We have been discussing this issue with Ameren to jointly seek means to improve their service and reliability. We recently signed an agreement that allows EIEC personnel to operative selective Ameren line switches during outage situations.

CHALLENGES
Rural areas in general are experiencing population decline and a lack of adequate job opportunities, along with inadequate Internet access. The EIEC territory experiences similar trends, which leads to flat or minimal energy sales growth. We continue to actively monitor the State of Illinois’ renewable incentives, primarily for wind and solar. The final rules for this program should be completed during 2018.

A large increase in member-owned solar could present significant challenges to our current business model and rate structure. All members share in the cost of cooperative assets and annual expenses. Any loss of revenue resulting from member owned generation (such as solar) must be re-allocated and recovered from the total membership.

OPPORTUNITIES
Most of the recent additions in energy sales in our territory has been driven from existing member expansions of grain, livestock, and other agricultural related businesses. We continue to work with our member/owners to optimize the value they receive from electricity.

Cooperatives are not just in the business of selling energy and providing service, but also in the business of improving the quality of life for our members. There is still a potential for a large industrial load to materialize in our system in the Tuscola area. We expect a decision on this project’s viability in 2018.

We are in our 81st year operating a successful electric distribution cooperative, and we appreciate the confidence that you have placed in us and our employees to represent your interests. We hope you’ve enjoyed this brief recap of our 2017 performance. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you.

Tom Schlatter, Board Chairman                                     Bob Hunzinger, President/CEO

 

 

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2018 Annual Meeting: Director Election

Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative’s Board of Directors is made up of co-op member/owners – just like you. They are tasked with setting the policies and guidelines that Eastern Illini’s management team then carries out. Each year, three of the nine positions on the board are up for election. Board terms are for three years.

Credentials Committee: 

The 2018 Credentials Committee met at the office of Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative in Paxton on Thursday, April 12, 2018 to determine the eligibility of candidates who had filed nominating petitions for the June 7, 2018 director election. Directors will be elected in Directorate Districts 3, 4 and 6. Attending the meeting were Herb Aden of Newman, Dale Gillette of Chatsworth, Roy Johnson of Penfield, Terry Kaeb of Hoopeston and Mark Waldbeser of Loda. In accordance with the cooperative’s bylaws, the Board of Directors appoints members of the Credentials Committee to serve a 1-year term.

Herb Aden was selected as chairman of the committee.

The committee reviewed the qualifications of Joel Hastings of Loda, District 3; Steve Meenen of Melvin, District 3; Bruce Ristow of Cissna Park, District 4 and Brad Ludwig of Fithian, District 6 who had each filed nominating petitions. No other candidates filed petitions. After reviewing the petitions, affidavits, and qualifications, the Credentials Committee determined that all candidates are eligible to serve as directors of the cooperative. There being no other business to come before the committee, upon a motion made by Mark Waldbeser, seconded by Dale Gillette and unanimously approved, the meeting was adjourned.

June 7, 2018 Election Information

District 3 (Contested Election)
Joel Hastings, Loda Candidate

Joel Hastings is General Manager of Operations at Nexstep Commercial Products. He has responsibility for overseeing manufacturing and distribution for O-Cedar products. Hastings has over 30 years of business experience in transportation, distribution and warehousing. He has worked for SuperValu Distribution Center, ACE Building Center, CX Roberson and Prairie Farms Dairy.

Hastings is a member of the Paxton First United Methodist Church and served on the Pastor Parish Board. He also served on the SuperValu Credit Union Board.

Hastings is a graduate of McKendree University. He is the son of Dave and Judy Hastings of Paxton and the brother of Cliff Hastings. Hastings, and his wife, Mary, reside near Loda in Ford County. They have two daughters. Asti is a senior at McKendree University and Jolee is a sophomore at PBL High School.

Steve Meenen Melvin Incumbent

Steve Meenen has served on the EIEC Board of Directors since 2006. He is currently District 3 Director and assistant secretary/treasurer. He received NRECA Credentialed Certification in 2008. He sees serving EIEC members as a privilege. He has served on many EIEC committees: executive, audit and finance, land use and facilities, and policy, regulation, member and public relations.

These experiences have given him a solid background to help implement decisions for EIEC. Meenen believes cooperatives are one of the best ways to do business. He believes in the philosophy of servant leadership for the common good of the whole. He sees giving back to his community as a way to enrich his life and to help build better organizations. Meenen is a farmer, a DuPont Pioneer Hi-Bred seed sales representative and a highway commissioner in Wall Township. He resides near Melvin in Ford County, with his wife, Kimberly and sons, Mitchell and Spencer.

District 4
Bruce Ristow Cissna Park Incumbent

Bruce Ristow was elected as a director of EIEC in 2006. He received the NRECA Credentialed Certification in 2008 and Board Leadership Certification in 2017.

Ristow cares about his neighbors and his community and wants to do all he can in decision making to provide the best electrical service to EIEC members while being fiscally responsible.

He is active in his church as Sunday school teacher and has served on the board of Eastern FBFM and 30 years as Fountain Creek Township trustee and clerk.

Ristow farms and is a DuPont Pioneer Hi-Bred seed sales representative. He and his wife, Pam, reside near Cissna Park in Iroquois County.

District 6
Brad Ludwig, Fithian Incumbent

Bradley J. Ludwig was elected as a director of Eastern Illinois Power Cooperative in 1985 and has served EIEC as chairman, vice chairman and is currently serving as secretary/treasurer. Ludwig has received the NRECA Credentialed Certification, NRECA Board Leadership Certificate, and the NRECA Director Gold Certificate. Ludwig also serves as Director for Prairie Power, Inc. and is finance committee chairman. Ludwig’s goal is to keep electric rates reasonably priced while providing excellent electric service to members. He takes his fiduciary duty very seriously.

Much like his commitment to EIEC, Ludwig values the opportunity to belong to organizations where he can impact the community and people associated with it. He is a farm owner/operator and an insurance agent. He and his wife, Sally, reside near Collison in Vermilion County.

 

If you can’t attend our annual meeting on June 7 to vote, consider filling out a Proxy Ballot and giving it to an Eastern Illini member this is going to attend.

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Annual Meeting Board of Directors Election

EIEC’s Board of Directors is made up of co-op member/owners – just like you. They are tasked with setting the policies and guidelines that Eastern Illini’s management team then carries out. Each year, three of the nine positions on the board are up for election. Board terms are for three years.

 

Directorate District 3
Joel Hastings, Loda, Candidate

Joel Hastings is General Manager of Operations at Nexstep Commercial Products. He has responsibility for overseeing manufacturing and distribution for O-Cedar products. Hastings has over 30 years of business experience in transportation, distribution and warehousing. He has worked for SuperValu Distribution Center, ACE Building Center, CX Roberson and Prairie Farms Dairy.

Hastings is a member of the Paxton First United Methodist Church and served on the Pastor Parish Board. He also served on the SuperValu Credit Union Board.
Hastings is a graduate of McKendree University. He is the son of Dave and Judy Hastings of Paxton and the brother of Cliff Hastings.

Hastings, and his wife, Mary, reside near Loda in Ford County. They have two daughters – Asti is a senior at McKendree University and Jolee is a sophomore at PBL High School.

 

Directorate District 3
Steve Meenen, Melvin, Incumbent

Steve Meenen has served on the EIEC Board of Directors since 2006. He is currently District 3 Director and assistant secretary/treasurer. He received NRECA Credentialed Certification in 2008. He sees serving EIEC members as a privilege. He has served on many EIEC committees: executive, audit and finance, land use and facilities, and policy, regulation, member and public relations.

These experiences have given him a solid background to help implement decisions for EIEC. Meenen believes cooperatives are one of the best ways to do business. He believes in the philosophy of servant leadership for the common good of the whole. He sees giving back to his community as a way to enrich his life and to help build better organizations.

Meenen is a farmer, a DuPont Pioneer Hi-Bred seed sales representative and a highway commissioner in Wall Township. He resides near Melvin in Ford County, with his wife, Kimberly and sons, Mitchell and Spencer.

 

Directorate District 4
Bruce Ristow, Cissna Park, Incumbent
Bruce Ristow was elected as a director of EIEC in 2006. He received the NRECA Credentialed Certification in 2008 and Board Leadership Certification in 2017.
Ristow cares about his neighbors and his community and wants to do all he can in decision making to provide the best electrical service to EIEC members while being fiscally responsible.

He is active in his church as Sunday school teacher and has served on the board of Eastern FBFM and 30 years as Fountain Creek Township trustee and clerk.
Ristow farms and is a DuPont Pioneer Hi-Bred seed sales representative.

He and his wife, Pam, reside near Cissna Park in Iroquois County.

 

Directorate District 6
Brad Ludwig, Fithian, Incumbent
Bradley J. Ludwig was elected as a director of Eastern Illinois Power Cooperative in 1985 and has served EIEC as chairman, vice chairman and is currently serving as secretary/treasurer. Ludwig has received the NRECA Credentialed Certification, NRECA Board Leadership Certificate, and the NRECA Director Gold Certificate.

Ludwig also serves as Director for Prairie Power, Inc. and is finance committee chairman. Ludwig’s goal is to keep electric rates reasonably priced while providing excellent electric service to members. He takes his fiduciary duty very seriously.

Much like his commitment to EIEC, Ludwig values the opportunity to belong to organizations where he can impact the community and people associated with it. He is a farm owner/operator and an insurance agent.

He and his wife, Sally, reside near Collison in Vermilion County.

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2018 Annual Meeting Proxy

1. Designate the EIEC member to whom you
are assigning your proxy vote. Write that member’s name where it says
INSERT NAME;

2. Date and sign the proxy;

3. Print your name and address;

4. Give the proxy to your designate to bring to the annual meeting.

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2018 Annual Meeting Sample Ballot

Cooperative Principle:
DEMOCRATIC MEMBER CONTROL

Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their member/owners, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. Elected representatives are accountable to the membership. Cooperative member/owners have equal voting rights-one member, one vote.

At each annual meeting of the members, directors shall be elected by secret written ballot by the members present in person or represented by proxy. One director, and one only, shall be elected from each directorate district. Voting for directors shall be by the membership of the entire Cooperative at large and shall not be restricted to districts.

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