AVEC’s 2021 Annual Cooperative Meeting

Posted: November 1, 2021

By Sheena Marrs
AVEC held its 2021 Annual Cooperative Meeting October 13, 2021. Delegates from 26 communities attended, representing more than 25% of AVEC’s 56 delegates and constituting a quorum. Delegates, all seven board directors and AVEC staff conducted cooperative business and shared information during the meeting. Delegates in attendance was as follows:

Isaac Ticknor, Anvik – Stella Alexie, Eek – Fred Hurley Jr., Ekwok – Deborah Apatiki, Gambell – Jack Wholecheese, Huslia – Caleb Wesley, Kivalina – Daniel Olrun Jr., Mekoryuk – Paul Joe, Nightmute – John O. Mark, Quinhagak – Roger Hamilton Sr., Shageluk – Nellie Griest, Shungnak – Elmer Seetot Jr., Brevig Mission – Tony Umugak, Chevak – Darla Jemewouk, Elim – Thomas Neglaska, Kaltag – Sam Tinker Sr., Kasigluk – Marvin Parent, Marshall – Gerry Alexie, Mountain Village – Flora Nickoli, Nulato – Zora Inga, Old Harbor – Bob Kava, Savoonga – Gabriel Wilson, Scammon Bay – George Beans Sr., Saint Mary’s – Frank B Myomick, Saint Michael – Sheila Baker, Teller – Jack Endicott, Yakutat

During the August regular board meeting, directors opted for a teleconference rather than in-person gathering for the annual meeting. The decision was made because of health and safety concerns due to the increase in COVID-19 cases throughout Alaska.

Because of the limited bandwidth in many AVEC communities, a teleconference without video was selected as the best option. In advance of the annual meeting, AVEC staff contacted each of the delegates to review and address the resolutions and concerns voiced at their community annual meetings.

Annual meeting notices were sent by mail to the entire AVEC membership to invite everyone to attend. AVEC’s 2021 Annual Cooperative Meeting Delegates from 26 communities attended the AVEC’s 2021 Annual Cooperative Meeting.

It was great to see so many members willing to serve in different capacities to help make AVEC the best utility. The board of directors, delegates, community chairmen, secretaries and members all play important roles in how AVEC delivers power. Member involvement is critical to good governance and enhancing AVEC’s ability to meet members’ needs.

Vice Chairman Robert Beans chaired the meeting and delivered a brief speech, expressing gratitude for the delegates’ commitment to serving. He recognized the challenges faced by many who live in rural communities. He expressed his hope for an in-person annual meeting in 2022.

President and CEO Bill Stamm presented an overview of the cooperative’s annual performance and highlighted major projects that are underway. He expressed thanks for members who have
taken on roles in their communities to help AVEC be a better cooperative.

Each delegate was allotted a couple of minutes to share comments or concerns. Most delegates used that time to show appreciation for the services AVEC provides. A few new issues were raised.

AVEC Board of Directors and staff take all concerns and suggestions for improvement seriously. To explore possible resolutions, the issues were documented and circulated among management.

Every member who attended their community annual meeting and submitted required documentation was entered to win a $500 credit to their member account. This year, there were 545 names in the drawing. The 2021 grand prize winner was Ken Hughes III of Teller.

Community Meetings
It may feel like just a few months ago you held or attended the annual community meeting. A second community meeting within 30 days following the annual meeting is required so delegates can fully inform the community of actions from the cooperative’s annual meeting.

Because this year’s annual meeting was delayed until October, delegates are encouraged to work with their community chairperson and secretary to hold the 2022 community meeting in conjunction with the delegates’ 2021 follow-up meeting, eliminating the need for two separate meetings.

The window for a community annual meeting started November 1. The 2022 meeting packages have been sent to the community chairpersons by AVEC’s member services team.

To encourage timely meetings and member participation, the board of directors has approved several incentives. All members who attend the community meeting will receive $25 credits on their electric bills and have a chance to win an assortment of door prizes. Members will be eligible to receive $50 to $250 credits for
food and/or fuel at their local store.

To encourage early participation, chairpersons who hold a community meeting will be entered to win a monthly drawing November through January. Each chairperson that holds a meeting and submits the required paperwork will be eligible for the following drawings:
• $150 cash for meetings held in November.
• $100 cash for meetings held in December.
• $50 cash for meetings held in January.

The drawings will be held after the end of each month. Community meetings provide an opportunity for members to share ideas and concerns about the cooperative. The chairperson and secretary work together to record ideas and fulfill the procedural requirements outlined in the bylaws. To establish a quorum, 10% of local members and no fewer than 10 total
members need to attend.

Committing to attending and organizing a community meeting can take time away from one’s already busy schedule, but know that members can and do make a difference in how AVEC delivers power. Directors and AVEC staff dutifully review and discuss the resolutions and issues recorded at community meetings and
explore ways to improve AVEC services.
Your voice matters.

Nominating Committee
AVEC bylaws require that every AVEC member be given an opportunity to vote for candidates to serve on the AVEC Board of Directors. Each year, the Chairman and Vice Chair, with approval of the majority of the board, nominate five to seven delegates to serve on a board nominating committee. The nominating committee was appointed during a special board meeting October 13.
The 2022 nominating committee members are:
• Nellie Griest, Shungnak
• Gerry Alexie, Mountain Village
• John O. Mark, Quinhagak
• Barbara Heckman, Nunapitchuk
• Roger Hamilton Sr., Shageluk
• Paul Joe, Nightmute
• Darla Jemewouk, Elim

The nominating committee will work to identify potential candidates, review nominations and prepare a list of nominees for the 2022 election ballot. This year, two board seats will be decided.They are currently represented by Fred Sagoonick of Shaktoolik and Bryan Rookok Jr. of Savoonga.

Nomination forms from the general membership will be accepted until November 30, 2021. Forms and instructions can be found on the AVEC website (About Us/Board of Directors) or by contacting Sheena Marrs at smarrs@avec.org.