Rural Missouri - July 2020 - 4

R M | C O O P E R AT I O N

photo courtesy Co-Mo Connect

Co-Mo Connect CEO Aaron Bradshaw reports to the membership during the cooperative's virtual annual meeting held in May.

New norm for annual meetings
Co-ops grapple with taking care of business post-pandemic

W

hen Co-Mo Connect held its 2020
annual meeting on May 21 things
looked a lot different than the previous
year's gathering. Just a handful of people attended, with the meeting limited to directors
and key staff. Instead members watched live on
Facebook, the cooperative's website or on Co-Mo
Connect Channel 93.
Like a lot of events, annual meetings for Missouri's electric cooperatives have had to change
in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Bans on
large gatherings forced electric cooperatives to be
creative in order to take care of the important business of the cooperative.
"The annual meeting is a special time for co-op
members to gather, hear from co-op leadership
and, perhaps most importantly, vote to elect board
members," Co-Mo CEO Aaron Bradshaw told members. "The annual meeting was different this year,
but that does not change the fact that Co-Mo is
run by a democratically elected board of directors
that is given the privilege of serving because of
your vote."
Co-Mo members voted using mail-in ballots.
With no opportunity for the usual speeches from
board candidates, members could log on to the
cooperative's website to watch candidate videos or
dial a phone number to listen to their speeches.
At SEMO Electric Cooperative, the meeting

4

RURAL MISSOURI | JULY 2020

normally held in May was moved to July 2. It too
will be a lot different than the well-attended affair
usually held in the Miner Convention Center.
"We are trying to squeeze the COVID-19 lemon
for lemonade and plant the seeds for the future,"
says SEMO CEO Sean Vanslyke. "We are working
with a local radio station to simulcast the event
and we will be live on Facebook. Members will be
able to stay in their vehicle for the entire event,
which will include entertainment and a $25 bill
credit, and vote with their horn."
Lewis County Rural Electric Co-op is taking a
similar approach when its annual meeting is held.
It will be a drive-thru meeting, which will allow
members to register, receive a $20 bill credit, printed copies of the financials and reports of the officers and manager, in addition to voting for directors and a bylaw amendment all from the comfort
and safety of their cars.
Some co-ops will use iPads or online voting set
up by the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives. Electronic voting was used last year at
Ralls County Electric's annual meeting with good
results. The votes can be instantly tallied, saving
time and eliminating any possible human error.
Whatever the format for your co-op's annual
meeting, members are encouraged to take part.
Taking care of business and voting for directors is
a vital part of every cooperative.



Rural Missouri - July 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - July 2020

Contents
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - Contents
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - 4
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - 5
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - 6
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - 7
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - 8
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - 9
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - 10
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - 11
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Rural Missouri - July 2020 - 30
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Rural Missouri - July 2020 - 33
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Rural Missouri - July 2020 - 35
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Rural Missouri - July 2020 - 38
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Rural Missouri - July 2020 - 40
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - 41
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - 42
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - 43
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - 44
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Rural Missouri - July 2020 - 47
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - 48
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - 49
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - 50
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - Cover4
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