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Annual Meeting Rewind

Annual Meeting Rewind

By Timothy J. Power, CEO

On April 4th DS&O held its 79th annual meeting.  Just like in 2016, this year’s annual meeting took place at the Webster Conference Center on the north side of Salina.  We had another strong turnout, with nearly 400 in attendance, despite the rain.

We were honored to have Mike Heldstab, representing Senator Jerry Moran, in attendance.  Also attending were Phil Wages and Jill Taggart from KEPCo and Bob Hall from KEC.  We appreciated them coming out on a rainy night!

David Carter of Kansas State University gave an interesting presentation on energy efficiency.  He then answered a few questions from the members.  Thank you Mr. Carter, you did a great job!

Secretary-Treasurer Brain Lang presented the cooperative’s finances, average energy use per meter, and average outage time per meter in 2016.  All measures showed an improvement from 2015.  President Ron Seyfert then reported on our solar demonstration project, our peak generator in Solomon, and the Red Zone.  I thought they both provided good information to the members.

For my presentation, I spoke about three items.  The first was to just give the membership a heads-up about our upcoming annual survey.  We survey a portion of our membership each year on a variety of topics.  Next, I gave an update on our Ft. Riley project.  I let everyone know that we are in the midst of negotiations with the federal government to purchase and manage Ft. Riley’s distribution system.  We should know if our bid is successful by September of this year.  Finally, I discussed another topic that will need member input.

I explained that DS&O is actually celebrating its 80th birthday this year.  We were formed in April 1937, before any other electric cooperative in Kansas.  We initially served just parts of Dickinson, Saline, and Ottawa counties, and were called Tri-County Electric.  The name was later changed to DS&O Electric.  But we have grown over the years and now serve parts of 11 counties.  Because of this growth and our status as the first electric cooperative in Kansas, the Board of Directors elected to pursue a name change for the organization.  And to help finalize a new name, we will be conducting a short member survey.  This survey will be available to our members via an insert in the June Kansas Country Living magazine.  The survey will ask members to choose from a list of possible new names for our cooperative by selecting their first, second, and third choice of names.  Members can make their choices and mail the insert back to our office or they can go online to the web address listed on the insert and make their choices electronically.  The survey results will help the Board of Directors finalize a new name for the cooperative.  This new name will then be presented to a member vote at a later date.

Communications Manager Derrick Rutherford presented the Youth Tour and Leadership winners.  Both winners hailed from Southeast of Saline High School.  Congratulations to McKayla Berg, who won the Washington DC Youth Tour, and to Hanna Feldman, who will attend the Steamboat Springs Youth Leadership Camp!

Lee Legleiter, attorney from Hampton & Royce, announced the voting results.  Directors Ken Hedberg, Ron Seyfert, Bruce Spare, and Dave Mueller all ran unopposed and were reelected to three year terms.  Congratulations to each of them!  The members also voted in favor of bylaw changes.  One change was to better explain capital credits for DS&O partnerships, such as our partnership with neighboring cooperatives.  The other change was to allow the Board of Directors discretion in authorizing exceptions to the length of a director term.

We want to thank all those companies that supported our meeting with donated gifts for door prizes, which were distributed throughout the meeting.  Just like last year, the member selected to win the grand prize of $1,000 was not present, so three other names were drawn from those in attendance and each of those members won $100.  Congratulations to all the winners!

We also want to thank Ricky’s Café for catering a wonderful meal.  I heard many complimentary comments throughout the evening.

And thanks to the employees of the Webster Conference Center for doing a great job with logistics, including parking and shuttling people from the parking lot to the conference center. 

Also, thanks to various DS&O employees for their help in coordinating the event, especially Derrick Rutherford for doing another great job as Master of Ceremony.  Unfortunately, due to the rain, we were not able to have our high voltage demonstration presentation this year.

Finally, thanks to all of you for making it a fun and eventful evening.  We hope to see another good crowd next year!  And keep an eye open for the June Kansas Country Living survey.


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