With 280 members and guests viewing the online event, Umatilla Electric Cooperative (UEC) released its financial and election results during its 84th Annual Meeting on Saturday, April 17, 2021.
With restrictions on large gatherings continuing into 2021, the Annual Meeting was held as a virtual event for the second year in a row. “We are pleased so many of our members were able to join us online, and we appreciate their strong interest and support in our Cooperative,” General Manager and CEO Robert Echenrode said.
Here are the results of vote-by-mail balloting by the Cooperative’s 10,700 members that took place between March 27 and April 16:
- Bylaw Revisions Approved: A ballot measure to update UEC’s company bylaws be consistent with the Cooperative’s current business practices and conform to applicable legal requirements was approved by the membership vote. The newly approved bylaws, last updated in 2008, allow electronic member applications, electronic voting and virtual meetings, and give the Cooperative the flexibility to hold an annual membership meeting any time of the year rather than in the spring.
Board Elections: The Board of Directors consists of seven members, each representing one of UEC’s seven board districts. Each director serves a three-year term that begins immediately upon election.
- Elected to District 3: Bryan Wolfe, incumbent. Also on the ballot in District 3 (areas east of Irrigon, the Umatilla area and north of Hermiston) were candidates Lee Carlson, Patricia Maier and Danice McBee.
- Elected to District 4: Phil Hamm, incumbent. Hamm was unopposed in District 4 (areas near Stanfield and east of Hermiston.)
Annual Report of Finances and Accomplishments. UEC’s Annual Report reflects the highlights of 2020, a year in which extreme weather and a pandemic tested our resilience as a cooperative and a community.
During the year, we delivered on our commitments to support the expansion of industrial and irrigation loads in the Boardman-Hermiston area and continued to upgrade our existing system throughout our service territory.
We delivered 3.8 billion kilowatt hours in our core mission of providing safe, reliable and affordable energy to our members. Our kilowatt-hour power sales increased 24 percent and we surpassed $260 million in the value of our system, up $30 million from last year.
In a time of economic need, we were grateful to be able to increase our UCARE energy bill assistance, pause service disconnects and return a combined $7.6 million in Capital Credits refunds to members in April and December. We also provided $800,000 in rebates and low-interest loans to help members save energy with heat pumps and other measures.
Another proud moment for our Cooperative was the creation of the UEC Business Resource Center in April, as the full impact of the pandemic began to unfold.
During the year, our crews and operations staff faced historic weather events, making for long hours and dangerous working conditions. Through all, our employees have worked safely and efficiently and gone above and beyond to help our communities.
The full Annual Report has been published online.
Auditor’s Opinion of 2020 Financial Results. Included within the Annual Report is a letter from accounting firm Moss Adams acknowledging the positive results of UEC’s 2020 audit. “We are pleased to report that the Cooperative has received an unmodified opinion on the consolidated financial statements,” the letter concludes.
Annual Meeting Video Updates. Presentations by by UEC Board President Bryan Wolfe and General Manager and CEO Robert Echenrode are posted online.
For more information about the Annual Meeting or Annual Report, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.