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Pioneer Electric Holds 88th Annual Meeting of Members

Pioneer’s 88th Annual Meeting of Members was held on March 23, 2024, at Graham Elementary School in St. Paris. The meeting was led by Pioneer’s Board Chair Terry Householder, who presented an overview of the cooperative’s accomplishments in 2023.

Householder spoke about Pioneer’s commitment to reliability by regularly inspecting and maintaining equipment. He went on to share that the co-op changed out 2,359 electric meters across Pioneer’s system — to nearly complete a five-year meter upgrade project — upgraded more than nine miles of electric line and replaced 754 distribution poles throughout the service territory. More than 300 of those pole replacements were initiated by Rural Digital Opportunity Fund projects in conjunction with area telecommunications companies, to support local broadband efforts.

Householder also commended the cooperative’s safety focus, both in the community and in day-to-day operations.

“We believe it is important to engage with the community and foster a culture of safety awareness. I’m proud to report we had zero lost time accidents last year,” said Householder.

Householder commended the work of Pioneer’s employees and their effort to continue to provide safe, reliable service. He acknowledged the co-op’s commitment to community through the employee-driven fundraising initiative, Powering Possibilities, which donated a total of $3,000 to six local volunteer fire departments that serve the Pioneer Electric territory.

In the president’s report and management update, Pioneer President & CEO Ron Salyer spoke about one of the seven cooperative principles, democratic member control. Salyer noted that the cooperative collectively has 45 members elected to represent the membership on the Board of Trustees and county boards.

Additional highlights provided during the president’s report and management update included the economic growth in the City of Union, effects of inflation, rates, work completed in 2023, plans for 2024, and the dedication of Pioneer employees to the membership. Pioneer received a clean audit report again in 2023.

Board of Trustees and County Board Election Results

A total of 1,870 Pioneer members voted in this year’s board election. The election results for the Pioneer Board of Trustees and each of the county boards were announced during the meeting. As a democratically controlled organization, those running for their respective boards are Pioneer members and are elected by their fellow members. Voting was conducted by mail, online, and through the SmartHub app.

Elected to three-year terms on the Pioneer Board of Trustees were: Ted Black of Champaign County, Robert Billings of Miami County, and Bill Clark of Shelby County. Twelve individuals were elected to three-year positions on the county boards of the Champaign, Miami and Shelby districts. Those elected to the Champaign County board were: Mark Atterholt, Scott Wright, Steve Yocom, and Chad Wallace. Elected to the Miami County board were: Wayne Mullenix, William Platfoot, Ryan Moore, and Jenny Hodge. Those to serve on the Shelby County board were: Roger Wehrman, Douglas Ike, Josh Buehler, and Joe Everett.

The election was tabulated and certified by a third-party company, OSG.

During their re-organizational meeting, the Pioneer Board of Trustees elected the following officers for the year:  Mark Bailey, chair; Colleen Eidemiller, first vice chair; Roger Bertke, second vice chair; John Goettemoeller, secretary; and John Vulgamore, treasurer. Ted Black was elected to represent Pioneer on the Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives Board of Trustees.

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