Brown County REA holds 78th annual meeting

SLEEPY EYE – Brown County Rural Electrical Association (BCREA) hosted about 400 members, employees and guests at the Orchid Inn on March 28 for the cooperative’s 78th Annual Meeting. Nearly 200 members registered for the meeting.

Board President Jim Mickelson briefed those in attendance on the cooperative’s infrastructure, miles of line, poles and employees who work to keep members electricity flowing and the cooperative running smoothly.

He talked about the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system with two-way communication meters. Work on the project should be completed by the summer of 2015.

General Manager Wade Hensel highlighted the cooperative’s strategic initiatives and updated members on the acquisition of Alliant Energy’s Minnesota electric territory by Brown County REA and other co-ops that make up the Southern Minnesota Electric Cooperative (SMEC).

Office Manager Darla Ruschen reviewed results of the 2014 audited financial report. She also explained the workings of the cooperative’s capital credits program.

Directors were elected in Districts 6, 7, and 9. Incumbents Joel Christensen, Greg Mages and Tom Hayes all ran unopposed and were re-elected.

BCREA’s 2014 Youth Tour representative, Jennica Hacker shared her experience and photographs from her trip Washington, D.C. trip last June. Member Services Manager Marcia Solie presented information about the Member Advisory Council, topics addressed at the meetings and encouraged members to get involved.

At the organizational meeting which followed, Jim Mickelson was elected President of the Board, Tom Hayes chosen as Vice President, Jim Hanson elected Secretary/Treasurer and Reuben Kokesch was again selected as Brown County REA’s Great River Energy representative.