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2009 Annual Meeting

2009 Annual Meeting


The Indiana Statewide Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives held its Annual Meeting on December 17-18 at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Indianapolis.  The following were considerations and actions during that meeting. 

Following opening remarks, Katie Stam, Miss America 2009, provided a patriotic salute as part of the opening ceremony.  Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels addressed the membership and discussed current issues.  President Bob Hippensteel called the meeting to order and presented opening remarks in tandem with Bruce Graham

General Session I entitled “Powerful Tradition, Powerful Future, Powerful Partners” featured presentations by Sheldon Petersen, Governor and CEO of the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation; Bob Phillips, President and CEO of the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative; Phil Irwin, President and CEO of Federated Rural Electric Insurance Exchange; and Glenn English, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. 

The Spouses’ program on Thursday featured Miss America 2009 Katie Stam and her mother, Tracy Stam.  They shared stories about growing up in Indiana and reflected on their family’s life-changing, whirlwind year. Miss America also discussed her involvement in the Children’s Miracle Network which is the official platform of the Miss America Program.  In conjunction with the appearance, a toy and book drive was held to benefit Riley Children’s Hospital. 

General Session II continued with a presentation by Mike Williams, President and CEO of Texas Electric Cooperatives, to share lessons learned from the controversy at Pedernales Electric in Texas.  The cooperative’s previous Board and CEO became involved in a controversy that could likely have been avoided by cooperating with membership requests for information, allowing membership participation in meetings, and more conservative Board and management activities.   

Electric Consumer staff, Bruce Graham and Miss America Katie Stam honored five students, who are also Indiana electric cooperative members, with the Youth Power & Hope Awards for their commitment to making a difference in their communities. 

Breakout Sessions featured the following topics and speakers: “Powerful Partners: Coal & Nuclear Solutions to our Energy Needs” with Dr. Audeen Fentiman and Marty Irwin, Purdue University professors; “Powerful Technology: Smart Grid and CRN Update” with Robbin Christianson, Operations Manager at the Cooperative Research Network; and “Power for the Future: Hoosier Energy and Wabash Valley Power Association Generation Assets and Plans” with Rob Hochstetler, Vice President of Power Production for Hoosier Energy and Keith Thompson, Vice President of Power Production at Wabash Valley Power Association. 

President Hippensteel conducted the business session for the 75th Annual Meeting.  The Credentials Committee presented the certification of credentials and the Committee presented the Certificates of Nomination for Statewide Directors.

Minutes of the 2008 Annual Meeting were approved as distributed.  David Cox, Resolutions Committee Chairman, led review and approval of the new, amended, and continuing resolutions. 

Following the reading of the nominations by Secretary/Treasurer Larry Fetters, Chuck Ritz conducted the election and administered the Director’s pledge.  Larry Fetters presented a brief report on the financial statements, noting the association is in a strong financial position. 

ISA Directors in each region met to elect the following Executive Committee Members: Region 1 - David Cox, Newton; Region 2 – Karen Heltzel, Fulton; Region 3 – Larry Fetters, LaGrange; Region 4 – Donald Burnham, Central Indiana Power; Region 5 – Ron Arnholt, Bartholomew; Region 6 – Mark Evans, Parke; and Region 7 – Rodney Hager, Orange County.  During the reorganizational meeting, the Board elected the officers as follows: Rodney Hager, President; Larry Fetters, Vice President; and Mark Evans, Secretary/Treasurer. 

The Managers Association met and provided staff with input on possible legislation and other matters.  Former officers will remain the same for 2010: Mike Hammack, President; Mark Leu, Vice President; and Ken Frye, Secretary/Treasurer.   

Richard Biever, Bruce Graham, and Lynn Moore emceed the Recognition Banquet in appreciation for those who have reached significant service milestones as well as certain professional designations.  The evening included entertainment featuring dueling pianos from “Howl at the Moon” including lyrics to REMC.

Friday began with a breakfast ceremony by Jim Weimer, President of the Board of Directors at Utilities District of Western Indiana REMC, who led a program in remembrance of those we have lost who impacted our industry and our lives.      

General Session III on Friday continued with a presentation entitled “How Powerful is Our Future?” featuring remarks from Dr. Ed Seifried, Economics & Business Professor at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, reviewing our current economic status and trends found within various economic indicators. 

Blake Kleaving, Indiana’s Youth Leadership Council Representative (YLC) from Southern Indiana Power, provided a brief presentation on how Youth Tour and YLC have impacted his life

Annual Meetings were held for Statewide’s political action committees.  Kevin McGinnis conducted the FORE meeting and Donnis Mizelle conducted the ACRE meeting.  Maureen Ferguson conducted the awards presentation recognizing those member cooperatives that reached participation milestones in both political action committees in 2009.  

President Bob Hippensteel and Bruce Graham highlighted various Indiana Statewide activities that all of the departments have been involved in throughout the year.

If you have a chance, please express your appreciation to the many vendors and sponsors for their participation in our Annual Meeting. They were listed in the program. 

Thank you to the Annual Meeting Planning Committee for their work on the event:  Bill Cummings, Thomas Leak, Robert Allbaugh, Patricia Moster, Tom Dull and Indiana Statewide Staff. 

Thank you for participating in the Baskets for Blue Ribbon Communities fundraiser.  The generosity of our donating cooperatives and our winning bidders combined to raise $8,771 for Ronald McDonald Houses in Indiana. 

The next Indiana Statewide Board Meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 10, 2010.   This is a week earlier than normal in order to accommodate the NRECA Annual Meeting. 


75 Years