Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative’s (PPEC) 87th Annual Meeting of Members premiered on Facebook and YouTube at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 18, 2023. More than 1000 viewers tuned in to watch the meeting over the weekend to hear co-op updates and a recap of 2022.
Board election results were announced, with each board member elected to serve a three-year term:
- Incumbent Joe Kohnen of Monroeville, Indiana was re-elected to District 1 (represents Marion, Madison, Monroe, Preble, and Union Townships in Allen and Adams Counties in Indiana). No candidates submitted petitions to run against Kohnen, so he was re-elected by affirmation.
- Incumbent Dr. John Saxton of Oakwood, Ohio was re-elected to District 6 (represents Auglaize, Brown, Latty, Washington, Defiance, and Highland Townships in Paulding and Defiance Counties in Ohio). No candidates submitted petitions to run against Saxton, so he was re-elected by affirmation.
- Incumbent Dr. Ron Black of Ottawa was re-elected to District 9 (represents Sugarcreek, Pleasant, Union, Ottawa, and Riley Townships in Putnam County, Ohio). No candidates submitted petitions to run against Black, so he was re-elected by affirmation.
Board Chairman Steve McMichael, Secretary-Treasurer Dr. Ron Black, and President and CEO George Carter reflected on 2022’s challenges and successes, highlighting the numerous ways the cooperative “defied the norm.”
“Operationally, we had a particularly good year,” said PPEC President and CEO George Carter. “This past year, upgrades were done to the Antwerp substation, the Convoy station, and the Columbus Grove substation. These improvements should help to safely provide reliable service for many years to come.”
Carter also reported that the cost of purchased power from Buckeye Power (PPEC’s electricity supplier) increased nearly 7.5 percent this year. This includes an 18% increase in transmission charges. The transmission charge is the cost to move power from generation plants to our local substations.
“Paulding Putnam is not unlike you and your business,” Carter said, “We are faced with the same inflation problems, higher gas and diesel prices, shortages of needed materials… all the same things you face. Thankfully our board and employees work hard to maintain cost competitive rates and reliable service.”
Other 2022 highlights reported on during the meeting included:
- More than 2,000 members, families and kids enjoyed PPEC member appreciation day at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo.
- The cooperative invested nearly $5.5 million in line rebuilds and replacements (poles, wires, transformers, and other equipment used to bring power to homes and businesses.)
- PPEC’s SmartHub account management system received 900 new enrollments, totaling more than half of the membership participating.
- PPEC employees were recognized with two national awards. The cooperative was awarded two silver Spotlight on Excellence awards: one for “Best Event” for the 2021 member appreciation Dinosaur Movie Night and one for “Best Video” of our employees in action.
- The cooperative provided the Village of Ottoville with a $360,000 USDA load for industrial park expansion that created the revolving loan fund to help community organizations.
- Members were asked to save the date for PPEC’s Member Appreciation Family Fun Event on Saturday, July 22, 2023.
Board Secretary-Treasurer Dr. Ron Black reported that “the financial health of our cooperative is strong,” with total margins of $4.5 million, exceeding the budget by nearly $500,000. PPEC’s auditing firm of Bashore, Reineck, Stoller, and Waterman issued an unqualified or clean audit opinion.
Board Chairman Steve McMichael gave an overview of the board’s priorities, including that safety is top of mind, and emphasized the cooperative’s commitment to its members.
“Despite many closed offices and automatic systems in today’s world, our member service team is available five days a week and with our partnership with CRC, after-hours calls are answered promptly and courteously,” said McMichael. “Additionally, our lineworkers and operations staff work not only Monday through Friday, but they go to work when we take shelter.”
Board Chairman Steve McMichael introduced incoming CEO Randy Price, who will be taking over after current CEO George Carter retires on April 3.
“It is my honor and a privilege to follow George Carter – somebody I admired and considered a mentor during my career,” said Price. “I am humbled to be joining this co-op and work for you… I thank you for the opportunity and am looking forward to being a part of the community.”
A total of $750 in bill credits were drawn at random from those members who watched the meeting and left a comment or who called the office to pre-register. The winners were as follows:
$50 BILL CREDIT WINNERS:
- Becky Neireiter
- Kim Hohlbein
- Travis Young
- Cheri Estle
- Ginnie Riepenhoff
- Erin Young
- Eric Roughton
- Diana Decamp
- Diana Kaufman
- Rose Bowers
- Staci Miller
- Lynn Bryan
- John Smalley
- Noah Gerschutz
- Kevin Kettels
Those wanting more information can call the office at 800-686-2357.
Three Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative trustees have been re-elected to the board: Joe Kohnen, District 1; Dr. John Saxton, District 6; and Dr. Ron Black, District 9.
- District 1 includes members who reside in Marion, Madison, Monroe, Preble, and Union Townships in Allen and Adams Counties, Indiana.
- District 6 includes members living in Auglaize, Brown, Latty, and Washington Townships in Paulding County Ohio; Defiance and Highland Townships in Paulding County, Ohio.
- District 9 includes members who reside in Sugarcreek, Pleasant, Union, Ottawa, and Riley Townships in Putnam County, Ohio.
PPEC members will not be receiving official ballots for the 2023 Board of Trustee elections in the mail this February, as no members submitted petitions to run against incumbent trustees. As stated in the co-op Code of Regulations, uncontested elections allow for re-election of current trustees by affirmation. This saves the co-op and membership in election, printing, and postage costs for ballots.
Each trustee serves a three-year term. The PPEC board of trustees consists of nine co-op members who each represent one district within the territory. Trustees set the strategic direction of the co-op and are responsible for establishing, reviewing, and revising corporate policies to ensure that service to the PPEC membership is foremost in mind, while maintaining a stable yet competitive position in the industry by setting rate structures.