Palmetto Electric Cooperative’s 2021 Annual Meeting made history with 5,067 members registered. This surpassed the Cooperative’s previous record attendance in 2007 where 4,927 members registered.
Due to the continued uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, Palmetto Electric’s 2021 Annual Meeting was once again drive-thru registration and voting. Drive-thru registration and voting was held April 29, 30 and May 1, at the co-op’s Ridgeland office. Members were able to drive-thru, register and cast a vote for the Board of Directors election. Palmetto Electric employees were on hand to distribute registration gifts and assist members with any questions.
“I want to sincerely thank the 5,067 members who made the drive-thru registration and voting a tremendous, record-breaking success,” said Berl Davis, Palmetto Electric president and CEO.
“Dedication to our members and community during a year of adversity” was the resounding theme of this year’s meeting and focused on ways the Cooperative committed itself to helping the community and their membership during an incredibly trying year. The business meeting, livestreamed online only, highlighted some of the ways Palmetto Electric put this dedication into action.
- In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cooperative was flexible in its established programs and policies. The non-payment disconnect policy was suspended for almost three months, $3.5 million in Capital Credits was returned early, and the 2020 Annual Meeting was restructured to a drive-thru and virtual format to accommodate members safely.
- In April of 2020, a powerful EF4 tornado brought devastation to Hampton County. Palmetto Electric not only worked around the clock to restore power, but also donated coolers filled with ice and $10,000 to aid in relief efforts. Cooperative crews also provided assistance in Louisiana, following Hurricane Laura and Hurricane Delta.
- The Cooperative continued to help the community by giving generously to those in need. The Give 5 initiative raised more than $116,838 to help those faced with hardship caused by the pandemic, and Shop with the Co-op provided Christmas gifts for seven local children. During the holidays, Palmetto Electric’s community outreach group WIRE (Women Involved in Rural Electrification) contributed toys, canned goods and monetary donations to Bluffton Self Help, while cooperative employees collected and delivered blankets to local nursing centers.
- The Cooperative received a score of 90 on the American Customer Satisfaction Index Survey (ACSI). This is four out of the past five years that Palmetto has scored a 90 or higher, in comparison to the average Touchstone Energy cooperative score of 75.
Board of Directors incumbents William J. Nimmer (Beaufort County, Position 1), Nicholas T. Gohagan (Hampton County, Position 1) and Eunice F. Spilliards (Jasper County, Position 1) all ran unopposed and were re-elected. David L. White (Beaufort County, Position 2), who also ran unopposed, was elected to fill the seat vacated by Mr. Henry Driessen, who resigned earlier this year. Board officers re-elected included Jeremiah E. Vaigneur, chairman; C. Alex Ulmer, vice chairman; and Eunice F. Spilliards, secretary-treasurer.
This year’s grand prize winner was Harry Sharp of Bluffton, S.C. He won the 2015 Ford Escape.