The 2022 Mille Lacs Energy Cooperative (MLEC) annual meeting was held Thursday, May 5, at the Minnesota National Golf Course, McGregor. There were 172 registered members with a total of 276 in attendance.
The theme for the meeting was “Going from Good to Great.” At the business meeting, members heard comments from Board President Harold Harms, who talked about the variety of projects MLEC has completed in 2021 and how the cooperative navigated the COVID-19 pandemic. CEO Sarah Cron emphasized how MLEC is improving and evolving to go from being a good cooperative to a great cooperative. She touched on topics such as right-of-way clearing, MLEC’s newly installed metering system, broadband and the new headquarters project. Accounting and Finance Manager Lincoln Messner presented the financial report to the members.
Special guest speakers included Kristi Robinson from STAR Energy Services along with Karl Larson and Katie Hildenbrand from Architectural Resources Inc. (ARI).
Kim Waffensmith, MLEC Community Trust Board member, thanked members for their generosity of contributions to Operation Round Up, a program in which members’ bills are rounded up to the nearest dollar and the money raised is given back to the community through grants to local organizations.
The election results had a total of 1,937 ballots cast with 89 ballots cast at the meeting. Derik Midthun received 1,219 votes via mail and online and 35 at the meeting for a total of 1,254. Carol Pundt received 629 votes via mail and online with 54 votes cast at the meeting for a total of 683 votes. Mark Anderson ran unopposed and was elected by acclamation.
Derik Midthun (District 2) and Mark Anderson (District 1) are now on the MLEC Board of Directors. Harold Harms recognized Barb Welty on her retirement from the board of directors. She represented the Onamia area and served as the District 1 director for 21 years. She was presented with a gift alongside her friends and family.
Various questions were answered in the Ask the Co-op section of the meeting. Everyone who attended had the opportunity to submit questions and have them answered by MLEC staff and board members.
Over 35 door prizes were given away during a drawing for those in attendance. Before the presentations and the official annual meeting, a dinner was served by the Minnesota National Golf Club staff.