Palmetto Electric Cooperative registered 4752 members at this year’s Annual Meeting held Saturday, May 7 at Palmetto’s Ridgeland office on Highway 278, three miles west of Ridgeland. “We would like to thank all those who attended for helping make this event such a great success,” said Berl Davis, president and CEO of the utility.
The business meeting focused on the accomplishments of Palmetto Electric in 2015 which included the following initiatives:
- Palmetto Electric celebrated its 75th Anniversary in 2015. It was a very special year-long celebration recognizing the Cooperative’s history and the positive impact electricity has had on the community and the Lowcountry of South Carolina.
- It was reported that Palmetto Electric is in very good financial condition, which resulted in record payback of capital credits in both 2015 and again for 2016. Also, due to lower wholesale power costs, the Co-op was able to lower its members kwh charge for electricity.
- Palmetto Electric Trust, through Operation Round Up, gave more than $375,000 in donations to individuals and organizations in need throughout the community.
- As the 75th Anniversary came to a close, Palmetto Electric will remain focused on future new projects like community solar farms, and new technology with their mobile app and social media campaigns.
It was reported that Palmetto Electric will be returning $4.5 million in Capital Credits to members who received electric service in 1990, 1991, 1992 and/or 2015.
Four Directors were elected to serve on Palmetto Electric’s Board. Incumbents Henry Driessen, Jr. (Beaufort County Position 2), James L. Rowe (Beaufort County Position 5), Terrell Smith (Hampton County Position 2), and Jeremiah E Vaigneur (Jasper County Position 2) were re-elected without opposition.
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, two scholarships were presented from Palmetto Electric’s Women Involved in Rural Electrification (WIRE) organization. Treasure Days from Hilton Head Island High School and Kayla Hasty from Ridgeland-Hardeeville High School each received $1000 scholarships for their college education.
Five students received scholarship awards from the Palmetto Electric Trust (PET): Carmen Hamilton and Latrice Jackson from Ridgeland-Hardeeville High School; Jessica Satterwhite from Wade Hampton High School; Joshua Simonsen from Bluffton High School; and Quin’nett Williams from Estill High School. Each PET scholarship winner is eligible to receive up to $5,000 per year for four consecutive years or up to $3,000 for two consecutive years. Scholarships are based upon need, available funds, and whether certain criteria is met.
Also, 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 Arianna Serpe and Jackson Tomaszewski from Hilton Head Island High School and Adrianna Mikell from Ridgeland Hardeeville High School.
This year’s grand prize winner was Roosevelt Ham of Varnville, SC. He won the 2007 Ford Escape.