Messages from the CEO

Here are the latest messages from our CEO:

November 2018 Back Page – Winter Is Upon us - It hardly seems possible but Thanksgiving will be here in just a few weeks and we will be gathering with family and friends to celebrate the bounty of the land and the blessings we all enjoy in this great state. If there is an Elder in your community who is alone this winter, please reach... [read more]
October 2018 Back Page – Lending A Helping Hand: - A few weeks ago an AVEC lineman (John) in Gambell got a call about a member, an Elder named Beulah, who had lost power to her home. He went to check on the problem and discovered that Beulah lived in a small house that was surrounded by a dozen or more 24” deep open pits.... [read more]
September 2018 Back Page – It Is The Growing Season! - During the long days of summer, it’s not just us humans who enjoy the warmth of the sun. Flower and vegetable gardens flourish, and trees and brush grow at a phenomenal rate. While the abundant green is always a welcome sight, there are dangers lurking around the electric wires that serve you and your neighbors.... [read more]
August 2018 Back Page – Our Biggest Wind Projects Are Underway! - AVEC has a fleet of 34 wind turbines in 11 communities. Because we have several communities connected to each other by tieline, we provide wind-generated electricity to 15 communities. The total installed wind capacity is about 3,300 kilowatts. The two projects under construction will increase our installed wind capacity by more than 50 percent to... [read more]
July 2018 Back Page – Celebrating Emil Henry: - Emil Henry Sr.—better known as Alu —retired June 3. He worked for AVEC in Kiana, then in Ambler and then back in Kiana for 38 years. Emil had an incredible record of keeping the lights on! Emil started with AVEC in Kiana in September 1980. He and his family moved to Ambler in 1997 because... [read more]
June 2018 Back Page – A Message From Meera: - Now that we are in June, we are in the busiest time of the year. Most of our communities will receive their first diesel fuel delivery this month. I wish I had good news about the price of fuel, but unfortunately, the world oil market has been significantly higher than a year ago and we... [read more]
May 2018 Back Page – AVEC Annual Meeting - The AVEC annual meeting was Wednesday, April 4, 2018, in Anchorage. It was attended by all authorized delegates with the exception of one individual who missed a flight to Anchorage. Delegates engaged in several hours of work sessions as they established priorities for AVEC for the coming year. They also spent considerable time working with... [read more]
April 2018 Back Page – Tribute to Loyd Hodson - Less than two years after AVEC energized its first three communities, the board of directors conducted a nationwide search to find the right leader to guide the fledgling utility in its mission to bring electricity to Alaska’s small, rural communities. The board selected Loyd Hodson—the right person at the right time. Born in Wichita, Kansas,... [read more]
March 2018 Back Page – Are Your Electronics Protected? - Late last year, several major storms swept across the state. Electric systems were impacted in many communities, including several served by AVEC. AVEC’s linemen and generation technicians traveled from community to community, responding to outages ranging from entire communities to individual members whose services were damaged by flying debris. In the weeks following the storms,... [read more]
February 2018 Back Page – Candidates for the Board - Here are your candidates for the three board seats you will be voting for. Look for a more detailed brochure arriving with your ballot later this month. Please cast your vote! Phyllis Clough (Old Harbor), board member since 2003: We have made some important decisions as a team, making sure impacts on the cooperative are... [read more]
December 2017 Back Page – Robert Nick, Alaska Federation of Natives Award Winner - Each year, the Citizen of the Year award recognizes the contributions of a Native who has demonstrated strong commitment, dedication and service to the Alaska Native community and to rural Alaska. The award is bestowed upon an individual selected by the Alaska Federation of Natives Board of Directors for exemplary work that has improved the... [read more]
November 2017 Back Page – Fuel Costs are Rising - For the past three years, we have enjoyed the benefits of a depressed fuel market that has, unfortunately, also resulted in a severe budget shortfall for the state of Alaska. We have all felt the impacts of that budget shortfall, with critical services cut and programs sharply reduced. As the state’s coffers have depleted, the... [read more]
October 2017 Back Page – Window for Board Nominations Closing Soon - For the third time since the bylaws were amended, every AVEC member has a chance to vote on their choices to fill vacant seats on the AVEC board of directors. To start selecting candidates for those seats, the AVEC Board has recently appointed a nominating committee of seven individuals who served as delegates at the... [read more]
September 2017 Back Page – Would You Like to Serve on the AVEC Board? - For the third time since the bylaws were amended, every AVEC member has a chance to vote on their choices to fill vacant seats on the AVEC board of directors. To start selecting candidates for those seats, the AVEC Board recently appointed a nominating committee of seven individuals who served as delegates at the 2017... [read more]
August 2017 Back Page – Considering Wind or Solar for Your Home? - We regularly get inquiries from members interested in wind or solar power for themselves. One of their top questions is: Do we “net-meter” consumer-owned generation? The short answer is no. Operating and maintaining an electric utility in our villages is expensive, which is why our rates are as high as they are. We will certainly... [read more]
July 2017 Back Page – Summer Is Here! - It hardly seems possible that half of 2017 has already slipped by into history. Everything at AVEC has shifted into high gear. You will see a lot of new AVEC faces in your communities as we welcome seasonal employees to help us with all of your service needs.    You also will hear new voices... [read more]
June 2017 – Bon Voyage, Nina! - May 12 was a bittersweet day for us at AVEC. We celebrated Nina Sterbenz’ last day before retirement. Nina came to work for AVEC almost 23 years ago. She knows almost every one of AVEC’s members, and they often asked for her—that sweet lady from Shishmaref! She worked in several departments during her time at... [read more]
May 2017 – A Message From Meera: - It is with great sorrow that we learned on April 16, Easter Sunday, of the passing of Moses Paukan Sr. of St. Mary’s. Moses served as an AVEC board member from 1976 to 1979, and also served for several decades as St. Mary’s power plant operator. He was an AVEC mainstay and could be relied... [read more]
April 2017 – High Bills - Every year, we get several complaints about high bills, but the worst of the complaints generally come during the winter. It is not uncommon to hear from someone who has a $900 bill and is outraged at AVEC’s high cost of electricity. Why does anyone receive a $900 bill? In an average AVEC community where... [read more]
March 2017 – PCE Through the Years – - One of the first back pages I wrote in 2001 talked about power cost equalization. I thought it would be a useful discussion to see how things have changed through the years. Sixteen years ago, we celebrated the establishment of the PCE endowment fund the previous year with the first deposit of $100 million and... [read more]
February 2017 – Nominating Committee Selects Board Candidates – - Per AVEC’s bylaws, nomination of candidates for board seats is the responsibility of a seven member nominating committee appointed by the AVEC Board of Directors. The committee was appointed in November 2016, and has met numerous times via teleconference to complete its assignment. Two board seats currently held by Robert Beans from Mt. Village and... [read more]
January 2017 – Goodbye to 2016 and Hello to 2917! – - Patronage Capital Checks Mailed If you were an AVEC member in 1992 or 1993, you should have received a check or notice of credit in late December. Earlier this year, the Alaska Village Electric Cooperative Board of Directors made a decision to refund $1.75 million of our accumulated patronage capital. This payment reflects credits that... [read more]
December 2016 – Last Call for Board Nominations – - The AVEC nominating committee, which consists of seven serving delegates, is seeking nominations for candidates to run for two board seats. According to the bylaws, “no member shall be eligible to become or remain a director … who is not a bona fide member of the cooperative or in good standing or who is in... [read more]
November 2016 – Excitement Is In The Air - Community Annual Meetings begin November 1 and continue until March 1. Door prizes have been shipped to every community in the boxes shown here. Be sure to attend and claim your $25 attendance incentive, elect your delegate and vie for one of the great door prizes! A nominating committee of delegates has been appointed by... [read more]
October 2016 – In Memory of Mark Bryan - Mark Bryan dedicated his career to AVEC. It was more than just a job. The AVEC members and employees are a big extended family. As with any family, it takes a lot of work to keep it together and functioning. Mark started as a young buck in 1980, traveling throughout Alaska installing engines, building power... [read more]
September 2016 – Nominations Open for AVEC Board: - The bylaw amendments adopted by the membership last year have changed the way board members are elected. Instead of being elected by delegates at the annual meeting in Anchorage, they are now elected by you, the members, via a mail-in ballot. To implement that process, the AVEC Board will soon appoint a nominating committee of... [read more]
August 2016 – Construction Season is Upon Us. - I was at a conference in the Lower 48 last month, and someone asked me how many seasons we have up in Alaska. Without missing a beat, I responded, “Two: winter and construction season!” While it did get a chuckle, it is nonetheless the truth. We have small teams of employees and contractors scattered throughout... [read more]
July 2016 – Summer Means Fire Season. - It is summer in Alaska! That also means it is fire season. Last winter was a mild one with less snowfall than normal. Spring came earlier than usual as well, with the accompanying good news that break-up was largely uneventful, with no significant flooding. A mild spring with less than normal rainfall has brought many... [read more]
June 2016 – Looking Back to the Year 2000. - It seems like only yesterday, but it has been 16 eventful years since I came to AVEC as your president and CEO. So much has happened since then. I thought it would be interesting to look back on all we have accomplished. At the end of 1999, we served 21,000 Alaskans in 51 communities and... [read more]
May 2016 – In Memoriam, Steve Gilbert. - Steven Gilbert was a respected member of our leadership team at AVEC the past few years. He passed away unexpectedly on April 3, 2016, leaving an enormous gap in our cooperative family. Steven was born November 21, 1957, in Marion, Indiana. He was an electrical engineer who moved to Alaska in 1984. Steven worked for... [read more]
April 2016 Back Page – Board of Directors Election and Annual Meeting. - This edition of Ruralite magazine will arrive in your mailbox just about exactly the same time as our 2016 Annual Meeting is underway in Anchorage. We will soon have results of AVEC’s first director election where the members themselves have selected their representatives to serve on the board. Approximately 6,800 ballots were mailed in late... [read more]
March 2016 Back Page — Bethel Community Annual Meeting. - I had the pleasure of attending Bethel’s second community annual meeting last month and am pleased to report it was well attended, with a lot of good discussion and questions asked and answered. The meeting was chaired by one of last year’s Bethel delegates, Beverly Hoffman. It is the privilege of the chairwoman to determine... [read more]
February 2016 Back Page — Nominating Committee Selects Board Candidates. - With the bylaw changes passed by the membership last year, nomination of candidates for board seats is now the responsibility of a seven-member nominating committee appointed by the AVEC Board of Directors. The committee was appointed in October 2015, and met numerous times via teleconference to complete its assignment. Members of the nominating committee must... [read more]
January 2016 Back Page — A Message From Meera about Patronage Capital. - If you were a member of AVEC in 1991, you should have received a check from us right around Christmastime. Why did you receive that check? As you know, you are a member of a cooperative. Your electric bill pays for our costs to serve you—and a little bit more. We are required by our... [read more]
December 2015 Back Page — Electronic AMR Meters are Working Well! - A major system upgrade to install electronic automated meters throughout each AVEC community ended in August when the last of the meters were installed in Bethel. AMR meters feature automated meter reading capabilities that modernize our in-house operations and reduce overhead costs. They operate at 900 mhz, similar to cell phones. Benefits of this new... [read more]
November 2015 Back Page — 2015 Scholarship Winners Announced. - The Alaska Village Electric Cooperative Board of Directors awarded scholarships totaling $9,500 to eight students from its member communities for the 2015 fall semester. The following students were awarded $1,000 scholarships: • Cory LePore of Bethel • Ashley Johnson of Bethel The following students were awarded $500 scholarships: • Rhiannon Kokrine of Mt. Village •... [read more]
October 2015 Back Page — There is a Cooperative Difference. - While all electric utilities offer the same product, where it comes from makes a difference. By Adam Schwartz.  In the U.S., most people receive their electricity from one of three types of utilities: investor-owned, municipal-owned or through their electric cooperative, which is owned and controlled by the people who use it. In the investor-owned model,... [read more]
September 2015 Back Page – – Nominations Open for AVEC Board. - The bylaw amendments adopted by the membership this year have changed the way board members are elected. Instead of being elected by delegates at the annual meeting in Anchorage, they will instead be elected by you, the members, via a mail-in ballot. To implement that process, the AVEC Board has appointed a nominating committee of... [read more]
August 2015 Back Page - — Visit to Our Nation’s Capital: I was honored to be invited to present to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in July about micro-grids in Alaska. I was one of five presenters along with the U.S. Department of the Interior, Hawaii, Guam and the Virgin Islands. It was a wonderful opportunity to educate... [read more]
July 2015 Back Page - – – Fire in Emmonak Plant: Shortly after 10 a.m. on Tuesday, April 28, we received the dreaded call from our power plant operator in Emmonak, reporting that a fire had started in the power plant. Soon, dense smoke emanated from the building as the fire suppression system activated. The local fire department rushed to... [read more]
June 2015 Back Page - – – Moses Paukan Sr. Hangs up His Headphones!: Moses Paukan Sr. started working for AVEC as a power plant operator in 1974, just five years after St. Mary’s became the eighth village in AVEC’s young family. Moses grew along with AVEC, becoming St. Mary’s mayor, serving on the local school board, serving a stint... [read more]

Links to older messages are posted below for downloading:

2015-05 Back Page – Annual Meeting Overview
2015-04 Back Page – Top 10 PPOs and Annual Report
2015-03 Back Page – Bylaw Changes
2015-02 Back Page – Wanda Rasmussen Retires

2015-01 Back Page – Capital Credits – Cash kiosk in Bethel

2014-12 Back Page – On the First Day of Christmas poem
2014-11 Back Page – 2014 Scholarship Winners and Energy Audits
2014-10 Back page – Commercial Energy Audits and Upcoming Tariff Changes
2014-09 Back page – Upcoming Tariff Changes
2014-08 Back Page – AVECs MV Naniq assists stranded boaters
2014-07 Back Page – Partnering for Success
2014-06 Back Page – Legislative Session Wrapup
2014-05 Back Page – AVEC Welcomes Bethel to the Family
2014-04 Back Page – Annual Report
2014-03 Back Page – Welcome Spring
2014-02 Back Page – Bon Voyage Bob Dreeszen
2014-01 Back Page – Goodbye to 2013 Hello to 2014

2013-12 Back Page – Welcoming Bethel to the AVEC Family
2013-11 Back Page – Where Did 2013 Go
2013-10 Back Page – Bethel to Become Part of AVEC Family
2013-09 Back Page – Scholarship Winners
2013-08 Back Page – Apaay Campbell Competes at WEIO
2013-07 Back Page – Village Annual Meeting Attendance
2013-06 Back Page – Chairman’s Annual Meeting Report
2013-05 Back Page – Highlights from AVEC’s Annual Meeting
2013-04 Back Page – 2012 Top 10 Plant Operators
2013-03 Back Page – Spring is in the air
2013-02 Back Page – The Outlook for Energy Costs in Rural Alaska
2013-01 Back page – Wishing you a warm and bright 2013

2012-12 Back Page – The Highs and Lows of a Busy Year
2012-11 Back Page – AFN Convention – Resolution Passed
2012-10 Back Page – Major Energy Projects Under Consideration
2012-09 Back Page – When Kids Run Wild
2012-08 Back Page – An Alaska Energy Solution May Be Imminent
2012-07 Back Page – Kobuk joins the AVEC family
2012-06 Back Page – Spring is a busy time
2012-05 Back Page – Demoski elected to board and vessels christened
2012-04 Back Page – 2011 Top Ten PPOs of the Year
2012-03 Back Page – Energy for a Sustainable Alaska A Rural Conundrum
2012-02 Back Page – Remembering Franklin Simon
2012-01 Back Page – Wishing You a Warm and Bright 2012

2011-12 Back Page – It’s Annual Meeting Season
2011-10 Back Page – Electric Bills 2011-11 Back Page – LED Streetlights Available Soon
2011-09 Back Page – AVEC Mourns Beloved Director
2011-08 Back Page – Energy for Rural Alaskans
2011-07 Back Page – Ely Stone
2011-06 Back Page – AK Legislature Adjourns
2011-05 Back Page – Annual Meeting Recap
2011-04 Back Page – Ted to the Rescue
2011-03 Back Page Annual Meeting and PCE
2011-02 Back Page – Outage in Savoonga
2011-01 Back Page – Renewable Energy – Efficiency – PCE

2010-12 Back Page – Rural AK Makes the Difference
2010-11 Back Page – Charles Green and Annual Meeting
2010-10 Back Page – Wind Generation Benefits – Vote
2010-09 Back Page – AVEC Loses our Greatest Friend
2010-08 Back Page – Vote No on 1 Part 2
2010-07 Back Page – Vote No on Prop 1
2010-06 Back Page – Who Owns AVEC
2010-05 Back Page – Fuel Cost Charge
2010-03 Back Page – AVEC Launches New Venture
2010-02 Back Page – Scholarships – Denali Commission – Changes – Rate Reduction
2010-01 Back Page – AVEC Lowers Rates

2009-12 Back Page – Year End Good News
2009-11 Back Page – Fuel Rate Changes Depend on RCA
2009-10 Back Page – Stand up and be Counted
2009-09 Back Page Cabinet Members Tour Alaska
2009-08 Back Page – Treasures from the Past
2009-07 Back Page – Board Officer Elections and Old Allies Reunite
2009-05 Back Page – Board Elections & Other News
2009-04 Back Page – Legislative Activity
2009-03 Back Page – Funding Rcvd for Future Projects
2009-02 Back Page – Alaskans Helping Alaskans
2009-01 Back Page – Wind Energy & Private Developers

2008-12 Back Page-Good News Bad News re_ Fuel
2008-11 Back Page – Wind Projects & Board Goals
2008-10 Back Page – Contact Congressional Delegation
2008-09 Back Page – Scholarship Winners & Billing Errors & Fuel Rates
2008-08 Back Page – Delinquent Accounts
2008-07 Back Page – Fuel Relief Suggestion
2008-06 Back Page – PPO Kudos & Kasigluk Tour
2008-05 Back Page – Who is Subsidizing Whom
2008-04 Back Page – Annual Meeting Time
2008-03 Back Page – National Honor – Streetlight Vandalism
2008-02 Back Page – Net Metering
2008-01 Back Page – Consumer Self-generating & Fraud

2007-01 Back Page – PCE Outlook & Kivalina Erosion Update