Monthly Message from the CEO/General Manager
Every month, CEO/General Manager Tony Mallory has a message for our members in Your Co-op Connection in Rural Missouri.
We wish you could have been here
In-person meeting canceled for second year
I’m someone who always likes to deal with facts and have data to back up decisions. While I’m always concerned with how decisions will impact people, it’s not my style to base a decision solely on emotional impact.
The board of directors and I based the decision to cancel our in-person annual meeting on facts and data available to us in early August. But we recognize that doing so for the second year in a row takes an emotional toll.
We love to interact with our members. We love hosting friends and neighbors and helping them have a good time. We love the fact that hundreds and hundreds of members want to come share the day with us. We love having active, involved members who care about the business of their cooperative.
We are well aware that canceling the in-person gathering this year was a big disappointment to many.
Your board of directors, in fact, had fully intended to host an in-person meeting in September 2021. All the plans were in place. Directors had even attended local county fairs to purchase livestock from the youth auctions to process for beef packs as prize giveaways.
Statewide, dozens of electric cooperatives that regularly hold their annual meetings in late spring all had to proceed with “pandemic-friendly” options. Virtual meetings or drive-thru were the norm in the first half of 2021.
The flexibility for co-ops to hold such meetings and to allow members to vote by “any means necessary,” basically, was enacted as a waiver to state statute at the start of the pandemic in 2020. This year, the state legislature extended the waiver through August of 2022.
The rollout of three safe and effective vaccines in late spring and early summer gave many of us hope. Like Crawford Electric, cooperatives that had meetings planned in July, August and September were holding out for a return to normal.
Then the Delta variant and all the COVID news just kept getting worse. The facts of the pandemic were staring us in the face.
One by one, starting in southwest Missouri in July, co-ops’ annual meeting plans took abrupt turns. There would be no return to normal this year.
As a critical infrastructure employer, Crawford Electric has a duty to its employees and the communities we serve to maintain mission readiness at all times. We have worked very hard throughout this unprecedented pandemic to maintain the health and safety of our workforce.
We appreciate the many ways our members have responded, and continue to respond, to our efforts.
Although we cannot be together again this year, I want to encourage members to check out the virtual business session that’s posted on the co-op’s YouTube channel.
Next month’s newsletter will have full details of the meeting. The uncontested director election, I think, is a sign that, in general, the co-op is meeting members’ expectations in terms of price and reliability.
Be sure to check out the listing in that edition of the dozens and dozens of members who won prizes just for voting. Your votes matter to us. Your participation is what makes this cooperative work. Thank you for your support.
We hope to host you at annual meeting in 2022.