85th Annual Meeting of the Members
2023 Annual Meeting
This past July we celebrated our 85th Annual meeting of the Members. AS these years have come and gone, our missions have remained the same, keeping our linemen safe, taking care of our members and to provide the best service possible at the least cost possible. We have been able to be successful in these achievements thanks to our Board of Directors who ensure business is running safely and efficiently.
We refer to ourselves as a Co-op Family, whether that be rallying around one another when disaster strikes or spending more time together working then we may with our own personal families. However, day in and day out we take great pride in powering your homes and serving you, our members.
We plan this meeting with the entire family in mind. We displayed our “Safety Town” demonstration. This allows us to relay the importance of taking all the precautionary measures to ensure safety around electricity and high voltage areas. Along the same fence members and mini members could be seen getting vibrant and elaborate face paintings, as well as detailed and meticulous drawings from the caricature artists who brought each individual piece of paper to life.
The weekend leading up to the 85thAnnual Meeting was spent how most have been spent in past years – slow smoking brisket for our members for BBQ sandwiches for all to enjoy Annual Meeting night. We also had hot dogs, Kona Ice and the Order of the Eastern Star – Leah Elliott Chapter #1119 who sold homemade ice cream for their local scholarship fund.
As members and employees mingled amongst one another, we all got to listen to Mr. Clayton Gardner perform cover songs of several Country Music legends as well as several of his original songs.
Board President Steve Robinson began the business meeting at 8 o’clock, introducing Miss Mary Clare, a 15-year-oldpowerhouse singer who is active in Grayson County 4-H and Sherman high school volleyball and powerlifting teams. She has sung all over Texas as well as various cities across the Nation. Following the National Anthem, Board President, Steve Robinson led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. He then invited to the podium Mr. David Naylor, the President, and CEO of Rayburn Electric Cooperative to give the invocation.
Robinson joined back at the podium to welcome members to the 85th Annual Meeting.
Robinson reminded members that we as Grayson –Collin EC “We make every effort to control costs, without limiting the quality of service. Our policies and practices are continually being analyzed and studied to ensure that our mission is not being forgotten.” Our mission is to provide our members with the very best service possible at the least cost possible.
Robinson stated that as Directors he is pleased to hear during monthly reports that the Grayson-Collin EC Staff is making decisions based on what is best, for the majority of the members – as the employees know we are owned by those we serve. As the years have progressed, we have implemented new technologies to improve our operations, to ensure utilitarianism operation.
“We know that sometimes old-fashioned member services are the answer. That’s why you will almost always talk with one of our friendly member services representatives when you call the office for assistance. We know this is the service you prefer as these employees answer about 500 calls per day,” Robinson said.
He also went on to explain to members that your co-op is financially strong and continues todo very well.
“One reflection of this financial stability is the ability to hold electricity rates steady for the past few years and to be able to continue to retire Capital Credits. We have returned almost $40,000,000to the members in recent years, and we are pleased to report that another $4,000,000 will be returned in 2023,” Robinson said.
Robinson officially called the 2023Annual Meeting of the Members to order and called on Secretary’/Treasurer Mr. Jim Copeland to the podium.
Copeland welcomed the members and disclosed that he had several business items to present. These items include the Official Notice of this Annual Meeting, Proof of Mailing, Certification of a Quorum in Attendance, and the Minutes from the2022 Annual Meeting of the Members.
Due to the high heat index, Copeland entertained a Motion to Dispense with the reading of the Official Notice of the Annual Meeting, the motion carried .Copeland then went on to discuss the certification of mailing.
Copeland went on to discuss section 2.4 of the Bylaws of Grayson-Collin EC which defines a quorum as two percent (2%) of the total Members of the Cooperative. Which makes 1,289 Members two percent of the 64,423 total members of the Cooperative.
“The Board and I now confirm and certify that a Quorum of the Members of Grayson-Collin Electric Cooperative returned ballots in the Election of Directors; thereby constituting a quorum of members for this Annual Meeting,” Copeland said.
Once again, due to such a high heat index, Copeland entertained a Motion to Dispense the Reading of the Minutes and Names of Members at the 2021 Annual Meeting. The motion carried and the reading was dispensed.
Robinson returned to the podium to introduce the Committee on Nominations.
“In accordance with the Bylaws of the Cooperative, director qualifications, nomination and election information were distributed to the Membership in the April and May issues of the Texas Co-op Power Magazine,” Robinson said. “And in further accordance with said Bylaws, a Committee on Nominations met on May 13, 2023,to nominate Members as candidates for the Director of District 2 and District 5.”
The nominating committee was composed of Colby Pennell, Leann Powlison, David Ferguson, Mark Martin, and Greg Huff. Robinson thanked them for their service and called on Mr. David McGinnis, General Manager/CEO to present the Committees’ Report and announce the results of the election.
Mr. Jim Copeland of Pottsboro and Mr. Paul Kirkland of Lucas both ran unopposed and will continue to serve District 2 and District 5 as a Board of Director for Grayson-Collin EC.
Robinson returned to the podium to introduce and call upon David McGinnis to present the 2022 Annual Reports on Operations.
McGinnis began with recognizing our board composed of President Steve Robinson of Celina, Vice President Paul Kirkland of Lucas, Secretary/Treasurer Jim Copeland of Pottsboro, David Ellis of Tom Bean and Dennis Ferguson of Van Alstyne and thanked them each for the service to our Cooperative, then continued by thanking both his personal family and Coop family for all of the time, dedication and work each “family” member puts in.
He then went on to thank a few vendors, contractors and a few others that assisted us in assuring all business and construction runs smoothly. Clayton Love with Apex Tree Trimming, The order of The Eastern Star, Frank Walker with Kona Ice, Stephen Johnson and Nathan Chan with Techline Inc., Jeff Denham with Vaquero Utilities, Chief Tim Barnes with Van Alstyne Police, Annie McGinnis from Tri-County Electric Co-op, Coach Mikeal Miller who is the Athletic Director for the Van Alstyne athletic program, Clayton Gardner, David Naylor the President and CEO of Rayburn Electric Cooperative, who also brought along Chase Snuffer, Gentry Ewing, Chris Anderson, Christian Nagel and Basil Boras all with Rayburn Electric Cooperative. Our banker, Mr. Jeff Butler from CFC, former Board President Charlie Rice, former Manager Bob Cavender, Beau Williams represented Fannin County Electric Co-op as well as Jody Barr with Hickman Advertising who provides all our shirts, hats, and giveaway items.
McGinnis went on to discuss the most devastating storm to ever hit our system in his time of Manger at Grayson-Collin EC, the storm that brought mass destruction and mutilated vegetation Father’s Day weekend in June 2023.
“By far, the most devastating storm I have ever worked on started the Thursday night before Father’s Day weekend. At the height of the storm, I did something I have never done in my 37 years working at co-op.” He said, “We did not call any of our crews out. It was reported by both KXII and KTEN that we had 100 mph wind between Dorchester and Howe. These are the guys and ladies as they come into the office to answerphones that head out in the storm to begin restoration and take phone calls from members.”
Grayson-Collin EC Employees spent two hours sheltering in place and hunkering down at the Co-op before we could safely get to the office an dispatch crews. By the time we got the crews dispatched we had more than 38,000 accounts affected. With more than 80 poles broken and destroyed, we worked on average 60 hours out of the available 80hours that we were working, McGinnis said.
During that stormwe had all able bodies from Grayson-Collin EC working. We received mutual aidfrom two electric cooperatives in the area, seven linemen from United ElectricCooperative as well as four linemen from CoServ. We called in 5 contractlinemen crews composed of five to six linemen each from both Techline andLinetec. We also had crews from Vaquero Underground Services who assist usdaily. Apex Tree trimming service sent 15 tree trimming crews to help clearroads and lines of vegetations so the linemen could work behind them to restorepower. The tree trimming crews were composed of three-to-six-man crews.
“The next week we had another windstorm. This storm produced80 mph wind, causing eight more poles to fall in Whitesboro, a truck that had been blown right up next to a set of poles near the old Whitesboro truck stop as well as another 15 poles scattered and broken poles around the system, ”McGinnis said.
Both of those storms started in Gainesville and gained speed as they moved. The first storm hit nearly across our entire service area, the second storm cut our service area nearly diagonally between the Red River and Parker Road, McGinnis told the members.
McGinnis then went on to explain how crew dispersal across our service works during power restorations.
“In a small storm normal Texas thunderstorm, for lack of a better term, it is first called first served,” he said. “So, whoever goes out first that is where we send our first crew, the second crew goes to the second area and then so on and so forth until we are out of crews or until we have everybody’s lights back on.”
When you have a storm like Father’s Day weekend and the weeks following and you know more than half of your system is either on the ground or without power we start at the most dangerous situation first, McGinnis told members.
“So, if there are poles down for whatever reason, could be wind or a car wreck in the poles. We go to those areas first, we then go to reports of lines down,” he said.
Once those are addressed, he told members crews will be assigned to a substation. Crews will be assigned a specific substation and feeder and our dispatch will assign everything onto our linemen’s iPads and we can watch how the crews move out systematically getting that line on section sat a time.
“We do not differentiate between urban and rural areas, ”McGinnis said. “We have to get the main line on first, then we will start working the lateral or the taps down the line. It is hard to give an ETA when it is that devastating.”
We don’t want to lie to you, he told members, we could tell you it could be three hours but if they drive up and it’s a mature tree on the line, we can not cut that off the line in three hours. Crews could also come up to three to four poles on down and that is a two-to-three-hour fix just per pole, McGinnis informed the members, we also legally have to wait on locates as it is illegal to put an auger in the ground without a locate. DigTESS was having to tell Co-ops and other utilities that the wait time would be more than their two-hour window they have during an emergency due to the high influx of damage.
Next McGinnis transitioned into speaking on 2022.
“On Friday, I looked at “Power to Choose,” versus the Co-op McGinnis said. “There were 124 competing offers in Van Alstyne, the lowest price offer being 11.2cents for a 3-month period, with the average of all 124 offers were 13.06 cents per kilowatt hour and as of May 31 your all-in cost at Grayson-Collin EC was12.4 cents per kilowatt hour.”
Grayson-Collin EC has been able to manage most of our price increase through our PCRF (Power Cost Recovery Fund.)McGinnis did inform members in attendance that we are performing a cost-of-service study to ensure our rates are carrying the Cooperative financially.
“Last year’s revenue was a little over two-hundred million the expenses were right at two-hundred million, we had$2.5 million in operating margins, $8 million margins overall and we are returning about 2.5 of that in December,” he said.
McGinnis went on to share that the Co-op spends about $20 million a year on maintenance and system improvements.
“There are 811 co-ops that used the same bank as we do,” McGinnis said. “46 of the 811have a lower cost of operation and maintenance per member, meaning we are in the five percent of most efficient Co-ops in the nation.’
Going a bit deeper, there are only 111 Co-ops out of those 811 that spend less on Administrative General and though it may be higher than others it is because we choose to answer and field all our calls so that you, our members will always get a live and local person, McGinnis said.
He also shared that 97% of other Co-ops in the nation have a higher controllable cost than Grayson-Collin EC, so what we can control we do, and that of those 97% of co-ops, they have a lower meter to employee ratio, Grayson-Collin EC employees are each responsible for 600accounts each.
“With all of that being said, only 7% of our payroll is overtime, with that in mind, only 4 co-ops in the nation and no other co-ops in Texas are growing at the rate we are growing, and at the end of the year was a 13.92% growth rate” McGinnis said.
McGinnis finished his report, which was approved by a motion and vote of the members, and the night continued with door prizes for both members and kids in attendance. We want to congratulate Ms. Beverley Bloodgood on winning the $500 credit towards her bill. The grand prize winner of the $1,000 bill credit was Mr. and Mrs. Jason and Janet Snider.
We want to thank you, our members, for joining us at the 85th Annual Meeting of the Members and look forward to seeing you again next year.
To view the 2023 Annual Meeting, please visit Grayson-Collin Electric Cooperative on Facebook.