We’ve come a long way in 75 years. It’s hard for most of us to imagine how life would be without electricity. It truly is a luxury we take for granted. Come along with us as we step back in time and take a look at Palmetto Electric’s 75 years of service and commitment to our members and the communities we serve. 75th Anniversary Video
Palmetto Electric Cooperative registered 4,588 members at this year’s Annual Meeting held Saturday, May 2 at Palmetto’s Ridgeland office on Highway 278, three miles west of Ridgeland. “This year’s Annual Meeting was very special as we celebrated the 75th Anniversary of our Cooperative. I would like to thank all of our members who attended and made the meeting such a great success,” said Berl Davis, president and CEO of the utility.
The business meeting focused on the accomplishments of Palmetto Electric which included the following initiatives:
- In 2014, Operation Round Up, one of the most successful community focused programs, celebrated its 25th Anniversary. Since its inception in 1989, Operation Round Up has raised nearly $7 million for local worthy causes.
- Palmetto Electric’s president and CEO, Tom Upshaw retired June 30, 2014. On July 1, A. Berl Davis Jr., the son of former Palmetto Electric line superintendent, was named the new president and CEO of the Cooperative.
- It was reported that the financial health of the Cooperative is very good and energy sales and revenue experienced an upswing. The Cooperative added more than 800 new customers in 2014.
- State Representative Bill Bowers presented the Cooperative with a House Resolution honoring Palmetto Electric for 75 years of service to the Lowcountry.
It was reported that 2015 looks to be an outstanding year for Capital Credits. Palmetto Electric is anticipating returning nearly 4 million to our members who received electric service in 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988 and/or 2014.
Four Directors were elected to serve on Palmetto Electric’s Board. Incumbents William J. Nimmer (Beaufort County Position 1), David A. Solaro (Beaufort County Position 4), Eunice F. Spilliards (Jasper County Position 1) and James O. Freeman (Hampton County Position 1) all ran unopposed.
In addition, the following Board officers were re-elected: Jeremiah E. Vaigneur chairman; C. Alex Ulmer, vice chairman; and, Eunice T. Spilliards secretary-treasurer.
This year seven scholarships were presented. Two were awarded by Palmetto Electric’s Women Involved in Rural Electrification (WIRE) organization – Emma McGoldrick from Hilton Head Island High School and George Skinner from Wade Hampton High School each received a $1,000 scholarship. Also, five students received scholarship awards from the Palmetto Electric Trust (PET): Nazli Flores and James Wiggins, Jr. from Hilton Head Island High School; Sydni Shaffer from Patrick Henry Academy; Charrae Priester from Ridgeland-Hardeeville High School; and Jamie Padgett from Wade Hampton High School. Each PET scholarship winner is eligible to receive up to $5,000 per year for four consecutive years based upon need, maintaining a 3.0 or above GPA and availability of PET funds.
Three high school juniors from the Lowcountry were recognized for being selected to represent Palmetto Electric in the Washington Youth Tour, a week-long, all expense paid educational trip to Washington, D.C. The representatives chosen this year are Nicole Oliver from Bluffton High School, Kayla Hasty from Ridgeland-Hardeeville High School and Emily Wilson from Wade Hampton High School.
To commemorate Palmetto Electric’s 75th Anniversary, high school and college students in the Cooperative’s service area were asked to participate in an Art Competition. The criteria included submitting a drawing or painting that depicted the impact of electricity in our lives (past, present and/or future). The first place winner of $750 was Allison Hughes and the second place winner of $500 was Dylan Helman. Both students attend Hilton Head Island High School. Third place went to Devante’ McConnell from Ridgeland-Hardeeville High School and he received $250.
This year’s grand prize winner was Donald Snider of Hilton Head Island, SC. He won the 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid.