February 2022 Back Page – So You Want to Be an AVEC Delegate?

Posted: February 1, 2022

Every year about this time the people that make up AVEC gather together in their communities and elect a representative to meet with other AVEC delegates from around the state at the AVEC Annual
Meeting. At the community meeting the membership, (you) discuss the matters of AVEC and submit resolutions to be presented by the delegate on behalf of your community. After the AVEC Annual meeting the delegate returns and holds a second community meeting to report what transpired at the meeting, the result of elections and the concerns of all the communities in the cooperative.

For 50 years AVEC has used this method of representation to be sure all the members of AVEC have a voice and stay connected to the goals and progress of AVEC. Of course, members can call 1-800-478-1818 any time to discuss the good and the not so good aspects of AVEC but submitting resolutions from your community to the Annual Cooperative meeting helps highlight and guide the larger goals of AVEC.

This year COVID-19 continues to make gatherings difficult and travel problematic. Last year many communities were able to get quorum by meeting telephonically, it is not the same as meeting in person but they were able to get their business done. Just under ½ of AVEC’s communities were represented by delegates at the 2021 Annual Cooperative meeting, which was also held telephonically. The questions and concerns that were raised by each community were addressed in advance by having separate conference calls between staff and each delegate before the big meeting. The board was then presented with all that information for review.

Community delegates play a vital role in keeping communities connected, informing the board on the priorities for the members and informing community members on the actions of the board. Starting with just 4 communities in 1968 AVEC has grown to a collection of 58 communities and has become a model of efficiency and innovation for small power systems across Alaska. This success is due to the commitment of the members, delegates, board, and staff to keep the cooperative learning and growing.

Keep your eyes and ears open and plan to attend your annual community meeting to put in your “two cents”. Or even better, step up and volunteer to be a meeting Chair, Secretary or Community Delegate. We are the Cooperative and with your help and participation we can continue to make it better.

Until next time,

Bill Stamm