More than 50 members, employees and others gathered in a garage bay at the Craig-Botetourt Electric Cooperative headquarters in New Castle, Va., for the co-op’s annual meeting. Guests were treated to dinner courtesy of Mike’s Dog House food truck and live music by Tim Rowlett.

CEO Jeff Ahearn addressed the membership and provided updates regarding the success of thae automated-metering infrastructure project, which will move forward with full deployment thanks to board approval. Ahearn explained the projected cost savings associated with this move and the opportunity for CBEC to offer enhanced time-of-use rates, electric-vehicle rates and the ability for members to prepay for electric service.

With support from a partnership with Roanoke County and the Commonwealth of Virginia, CBEC announced the construction of an expansion fiber-broadband project in Roanoke County expected to pass more than 500 addresses. Following a 75% grant for funding the project, CBEC will only be responsible for the remaining 25%.

Other business conducted included recognition of CBEC Board Vice President James Huffman for his recent completion of the NRECA Director Gold Credential. Huffman and J.C. Winstead were also both reinstated to serve three-year terms on the CBEC Board.

Marketing, Communications and Member Engagement Manager Maiya Ashby introduced and congratulated the 2023 VMDAEC Scholarship Foundation scholarship recipients. In attendance were Jodie Snider and Grayson Hatter.

Also in attendance were VMDAEC Board Chair Wade House with President and CEO Brian Mosier. Cooperative Living also set up as an exhibitor and engaged with members.

Ahearn closed by describing 2022 as a productive year and encouraged members to feel proud of the efforts of the board of directors and staff for taking full advantage of opportunities to reduce expenses. “With the lessons learned from the last few years, your cooperative is stronger, and well positioned to take on the challenges that await us,” said Ahearn. “Rest assured that the board of directors, the cooperative staff and I recognize that you, the member and owner, is our main priority.”

The meeting concluded with $550 in bill credits awarded to CBEC members, including one proxy prize winner.

–Report by Jim Robertson, Director of Marketing, VMDAEC.