18 Aug Tucker retains seat on DREMC Board
Wayne Tucker retained his Zone 4 seat on the Duck River Electric Membership Corporation (DREMC) Board of Directors by defeating challenger Chris Bell in the election held Aug. 10-14 at the co-op’s Shelbyville District office.
In addition to Tucker’s victory, three other incumbent directors were re-elected. Returning to their seats by acclamation are Brent Willis, Zone 1 (Coffee and Warren counties); Nelson Crouch, Zone 2 (Franklin, Grundy and Marion counties); and Kenneth Stacey, Zone 5 (Maury, Hickman, Lawrence, Lewis and Williamson counties).
Announcement of the election results was made during the 79th Annual Membership Meeting on Saturday morning, Aug. 15, at Harris Middle School in Shelbyville.
More than 300 co-op members and guests attended the event, where they heard business reports and recaps about co-op programs and projects. They also registered for prizes, including a new energy efficient freezer, electronics, small appliances, sporting goods and gift baskets.
President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Watson addressed the crowd, explaining how DREMC is fulfilling its mission statement, which says, “The cooperative exists to deliver reliable electricity at the lowest possible cost, to promote economic development and to enhance the quality of life for its members.”
“Two years ago we began the planning process with the development of a Strategy Map. This blueprint was developed with input from employees, managers, senior staff and members of the Board of Directors. It sets short and long term goals for our organization,” said Watson.
Watson said DREMC is well on the way to achieving these goals. He stated that every department and district will be part of a system of performance measurement. Safety, reliability, outage response, affordability, member care, commitment to community, cost per consumer, rate competitiveness and financial strength are just a few areas where monthly scorecards are being developed.
“Getting feedback from our membership is crucial to our success,” he said, noting this will be done in a series of surveys, including Touchstone Energy’s American Customer Satisfaction Index and transaction surveys.
Watson explained that DREMC supports local communities by being involved with economic development, volunteerism, youth programs, public safety, tourism, schools and libraries. Commitment to community also involves the DREMC employees, who serve in civic leadership roles. Watson also was pleased to announce the formation of the Duck River Electric Retiree Association.
His praise of DREMC employee performance during the February ice storm outages drew audience applause.
Watson closed his remarks by stating that the cooperative continues to work for its members and is proud to be part of their lives.
Board Chairman Brent Willis listed ways in which DREMC is changing to meet the needs of its members.
“The second decade of the 21st Century presented a new set of challenges for your Board of Directors,” stated Willis, referencing the environmental regulation of power plants to drive electricity generation toward low- or no-carbon alternatives. “Of all the changes I have seen while serving on the Duck River’s Board of Directors, this energy industry transition has the most far-reaching impact on the end-use consumer of electricity.”
Willis closed his remarks by stating, “Wherever these changes lead, we must ensure that electricity remains reliable and affordable. Your directors pledge to hold fast to these two principles and we will speak on your behalf, encouraging regulators and elected leaders at all levels to do no consumer harm as they grapple with this major transition.
John Moses, treasurer for the Board of Directors, reported that DREMC finished fiscal year 2015 in good financial shape. Audited statements show the co-op’s total assets to be more than $240 million, with total income of just under $189 million and with total expenses of $185 million.
Duck River EMC is a not-for-profit, member owned organization providing electric and other services to more than 71,000 homes and businesses in southern Middle Tennessee. Duck River EMC serves an area of approximately 2,500 square miles in Bedford, Coffee, Franklin, Giles, Grundy, Hickman, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Marion, Marshall, Maury, Moore, Rutherford, and Williamson counties in southern Middle Tennessee.