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2022 Annual Meeting Event
By: Chris Reese, President & CEO
Throughout our 85-year history, Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative’s Annual Meeting has been an essential part of our operation. This meeting lets SREC staff meet face-to-face with members to take questions and share information about the Co-op. And of course, there’s always food and prizes! Traditionally, this gathering takes place in early June and is something that we plan for and look forward to all year. This meeting is also the usual avenue where we announce the results of our board elections, scholarship awards, and the students selected for the year’s Youth Tour trip.
As many of you know, the Annual Meeting has not been held in its usual form since 2019. The onset of the coronavirus pandemic forced us to cancel our Annual Meeting in 2020. For 2021, we were able to pivot to an Online Meeting that still provided the usual information, announcements, and prize drawings, though not with the same in-person energy that a typical Annual Meeting provides.
For this year, as COVID cases decline and restrictions gradually vanish, we have put together a plan for a new type of Annual Meeting Event that can capture the spirit of the in-person event while still prioritizing the health and safety of all involved. In addition, we aim for this Annual Meeting Event to be more convenient than ever for our members, meeting you where you are and rewarding you for your participation!
We are using “2022 Annual Meeting Event” as the umbrella term to describe two distinct parts of the greater whole – a business-oriented Online Meeting held on Monday, June 6th plus an in-person member appreciation event on Monday, August 8th, held at the New Jersey State Fair at the Sussex County Fairgrounds. These both take place after our annual board of directors election, which members will participate in by mail during the month of May.
Board of Directors Election
As a member-owner of Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative, you get to vote on the direction of the Co-op through participation in our board elections. As we have the last several years, we will conduct these elections by mail to make voting as convenient as possible for our members. Your ballots for this election will be arriving in your mailboxes in early May. Once received, please cast your vote and send your completed ballot back to us using the included prepaid envelope.
In this election, for the first time in recent years, we have a contested seat for our board of directors. In addition to the two directors up for re-election, we have two new candidates contending for our District 3 seat. Both of these new candidates are very involved members who are part of our Member Advisory Committee. Information about this year’s candidates from each of our three districts can be found here. All members get to cast a vote for each district’s seat on the board, regardless of the district you reside in. Be sure to make your voice heard when your ballot arrives!
2022 Online Meeting
This year, we will be once again holding a pre-recorded Online Meeting that will serve as the “business” portion of the event. It will include the results of the election, a speech from our board’s chairman, a financial report, and a question-and-answer segment where I answer your questions. We will be releasing more information on how to submit questions soon, so please stay tuned to our social media channels!
A popular part of last year’s Online Meeting was our prize drawing. This year, a prize drawing will be incorporated into our in-person event at the NJ State Fair, which you can learn more about in the next section of this article. We encourage all members to tune in to the Online Meeting when it goes live on June 6th because that is when registration begins for the in-person member appreciation event. Registering on the Online Meeting’s webpage will earn you up to two free tickets to the NJ State Fair for the day of our member appreciation event, Monday, August 8th!
2022’s Online Meeting and the registration form will go live at www.sussexrec.com/online-meeting on Monday, June 6th. We hope that you join us to learn more about the Co-op and receive more information about the next half of the 2022 Annual Meeting Event!
SREC at the Fair
The New Jersey State Fair is one of the biggest events in Sussex County. The shows, rides, vendors, and exhibits that fill the Fairgrounds are an iconic summer sight for our area. Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative has been a part of the NJ State Fair in the past by having a booth or through participating in Fair events like Green Day.
With the opportunity to hold an in-person event for 2022’s Annual Meeting, we felt it would be best to incorporate it into a major local event that many members and their families would plan on attending anyway. Here, we can also keep everyone’s medical needs in mind by having our gathering take place outdoors. You can get up to two free tickets to the NJ State Fair for the day of this member appreciation event by registering on our website once the Online Meeting goes live on June 6th.
With your free tickets, you can experience everything the Fair has to offer. While at the Fair, we encourage you to visit our tent to get the most of our member appreciation experience. Each member who’s registered can stop by to receive their gifts from SREC. When we held our Online Meeting, we know that members missed the $10 bill credit that they would receive for attendance at a normal Annual Meeting. You may be happy to learn that we will be bringing that back, and more!
In addition to the $10 bill credit, members will also receive a membership appreciation gift and a ticket for our prize drawing that will happen later that day. We will not be giving away as many prizes as we did during last year’s Online Meeting, but on average each prize will be more valuable. This year’s prizes include a free year of electricity (a big hit from last year’s Online Meeting), various bill credits, and some other special items! We will be giving out more information on prizes as we approach the date of the event. We hope you all are as excited to learn about them as we are to share this information.
Our tent at the Fair will be staffed throughout the day by myself, by other Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative employees, and by members of our board of directors. We will be available to meet with you, speak about our service and programs, and answer any questions you may have. We hope to see you there!