Yellow Warbler, near Salmon Lake

What Is An Annual Meeting?

Posted: August 1, 2021
Mark Hayden, GM

The benefit and importance behind MEC’s annual member event

As Missoula Electric Cooperative’s (MEC’s) 85th Annual Meeting draws near, I wanted to take the opportunity to explain the benefit of our Annual Meeting and why it is so important to our members.

Once a consumer signs up for electric service at Missoula Electric Cooperative, they become a part-owner of the Cooperative – we call these consumers “members.” As a member-owned electric cooperative, MEC’s members have a voice in how the Cooperative is operated. Whether a member prefers to run for a seat on the democratically elected Board of Trustees or instead, chooses to vote for a member to represent their district, each member’s voice is important.

MEC’s governing bylaws require us to host an annual meeting of the members once a year. MEC’s last Annual Meeting was originally scheduled for Saturday, March 21, 2020. However, due to the pandemic, MEC’s board made the challenging decision to cancel the first Annual Meeting in 84 years.

Traditionally, the annual election of board members takes place leading up to, and during, the Annual Meeting. Members can vote by mail-in ballot or in-person at the meeting. Trustees are elected to three-year terms on a seven-member board (one member per district). This group of elected officials set the policies and help guide the direction of the Co-op.

Annual meetings are a tradition at electric cooperatives – a tradition that celebrates our unique business model and brings members together to share the many ways we work to serve their current and future needs. Every year in mid-March, MEC holds an annual meeting, where members are invited to learn more about their cooperative and celebrate its accomplishments from the past year. During the meeting, members can cast their vote for district representatives, receive a full annual report from the prior year and better understand business programs and plans for the future. It’s also an opportunity for members to meet the employees and trustees who work together to keep the lights on for our members.

The Cooperative’s financial condition is also discussed in detail at the Annual Meeting. Fiscal responsibility is an important part of any business, but at a cooperative, you are more than a consumer, you are a member-owner. Financial transparency is a priority, making it even more important to provide our member-owners with clear financial reporting. We are proud to power our rural communities with safe, reliable, and affordable service while remaining financially strong.

Although it may sound like a business meeting, it isn’t just that — it’s also an event to celebrate YOU, our members! Each year we offer refreshments, light snacks, fellowship, and dozens of prizes – this years’ prizes include a riding lawn mower, valued at $1,500, a $450 Traeger grill, a $250 power certificate and so much more!*

* Members must be present to win.

Now that you have a better understanding of what an annual meeting is and why it’s important, I hope that you’ll plan to join us for MEC’s 85th Annual Meeting on Saturday, September 18th. We look forward to gathering once again, in-person.

Missoula Electric Cooperative’s 2020 Annual Report will be available at the 2021 Annual Meeting. Members who are not able to attend can email or call 406.541.4433 to request a copy in mid-September.