Celebrating 75 years - Wright-Hennepin's Annual Meeting to be held March 29

Posted on March 12, 2012

Rockford, Minn. (March 12, 2012) — Wright-Hennepin Cooperative Electric Association (WH) will be observing a very special milestone at its 2012 Annual Meeting on March 29. The cooperative was started that very same day 75 years ago in 1937. To commemorate this historic event, the Annual Meeting will be used to highlight and celebrate that achievement. The event will be at WH’s headquarters in Rockford, Minn. – located at 6800 Electric Drive.

WH will be displaying historical information and artifacts, showing an exhibit of what life was like before electricity, giving dinner theater presentations about rural electrification, and distributing a commemorative video documentary on the history of the cooperative to every member in attendance.

Member registration begins at 4 p.m., Wright County 4-H will serve a pork chop dinner from 4:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. and a short business meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Free parking is available at WH, Our Father’s Lutheran Church and the Rockford Mall with a free shuttle that runs continuously.

The 2011 Annual Report was mailed to members in early March and includes detailed information about each director candidate. Ballots will be sent to members in Districts 1, 3, 7 and 9 before the meeting with instructions for voting by mail. Ballots received on or before March 22 will be entered in the “early bird” prize drawing for an iPad. Members in those districts can also cast votes at the meeting up until the time the ballots are called for during the business meeting.

At the end of the business meeting, WH will announce the results of the director elections in Districts 1, 3, 7 and 9.

During the business meeting, WH Board Chair Chris Lantto will update you on how your cooperative has succeeded in keeping your electric rates competitive at a critical time in the energy industry, highlighting operating and service achievements in 2011, and will discuss changes coming as a result of new regulatory and government mandates.

WH President and CEO Mark Vogt will break from his tradition of commenting on business, legislative and strategic matters, and will instead discuss the cooperatives history and introduce a commemorative video about WH.

“This year’s Annual Meeting will give members a unique opportunity to not only learn about current matters at the cooperative, but also learn about its history,” said Lantto.

A grand prize drawing of a retired automobile from WH’s fleet will immediately follow the meeting. Attending members will be entered in the grand prize drawing as they check in. At the end of the business meeting, all participating members will be given a free compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) and a copy of the commemorative video shown during the meeting.

Free events and activities

  • A local Girl Scout troop will have numerous fun activities and crafts for children ages 2-10 from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Attending members will have the opportunity to win prizes by playing
  • Bingo from 4:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.
  • Enjoy learning about the Rural Electrification Association (REA) and how power came to the rural U.S. through a dinner theater presentation. Shows will be at 4:30, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m.

Informational booths

Stop by these booths to learn about new technology, products, services and ways to save money and energy at home.

  • Hallways of history: See how electricity has changed lives by viewing models of homes from the 1930s and today. Members will also be able to see how the cooperative has grown over the past 75 years and see historical photos that were taken during the cooperative’s early years.
  • Pay as you go: Learn about this new service offered through WH. WH is creating a system that allows you to pre-pay for your electricity, giving you the ability to only put as much money in your account as you want to spend.
  • MyMeter and money-saving ideas: View a demonstration of an online tool that can help you understand and reduce your home’s energy use, helping you to save money.
  • Customer service: Meet and have a milk shake with the same customer service representatives you speak to over the phone and via email. They can offer suggestions on how to make paying your electric bill easier, as well as answer any questions you may have regarding your account.
  • Co-op Connections: Learn about the many great savings you can get from local and national businesses with your exclusive Co-op Connections card.
  • Community involvement: Programs are available for you and your family. Learn about how your high school student can qualify for a scholarship or trip to Washington, D.C. Additionally, learn how your donations help fund organizations in the community.
  • Director booth: Meet your board of directors and learn how they help your cooperative be financially sound and provide reliable electricity and competitive electric rates.
  • Power supply: Great River Energy and Basin Electric Power Cooperative – WH’s wholesale power suppliers – will provide information about work taking place at the generation and transmission sector of the industry in order to ensure a dependable future power supply.
  • Power quality and reliability: See how WH’s cutting edge technology initiatives help track, shorten and prevent outages.
  • Off-Peak programs: Receive information on electric home heating, cooling and money-saving Off-Peak solutions.
  • Electric safety: Learn about important home-safety precautions and the “story behind the switch.”
  • WH Security: Security systems can do more than protect you from burglaries. They can also detect temperature changes, smoke, water damage and much more. See the latest in home security products at this booth.
  • HeatMyFloors.com: Feel the comfort of under-floor radiant electric heating systems, and learn how they can be used in your home.
  • Tree trimming services: Receive information on tree-trimming services that can beautify your landscape year round!
  • Silent Power: Learn about the latest in renewable energy technology. Silent Power is a Minnesota company that manufactures electric energy storage devices that work with renewable energy systems and utilities.
  • tenKsolar: Are you interested in solar power? tenKsolar has developed an innovative “grid design” that increases energy production, while also lowering costs. Stop in to learn how you can participate in WH’s solar community project. Members can own a “slice of this project” and obtain solar energy without the hassle of installing equipment on their property.

WH is a member-owned non-profit electric utility that provides electric power to Wright County and the western part of Hennepin County. The cooperative has been a corporate citizen in this area since 1937 and currently serves more than 46,000 electric accounts. The utility started its security division in 1989 that provides local home security solutions as well as monitors alarm systems for more than 50,000 customers in 32 states and three Canadian provinces.