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FEC holds annual meeting April 18

| April 10, 2024 12:00 AM

Flathead Electric Cooperative is changing its annual members meeting this year.

The Annual Meeting & Energy Expo open house will be Thursday, April 18 at Flathead Valley Community College’s Wachholz College Center.

Doors are open to members from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Members are encouraged to attend at any point in that time frame and to review the agenda to determine which events are most alluring to them. 

“Flathead Electric Co-op turns 87 this year, and for almost every year we’ve distributed electricity in the greater Flathead Valley, we’ve held a traditional breakfast business meeting for our members,” said Katie Pfennigs, community relations manager. “It’s time to change the meeting up. We want to meaningfully connect members to the not-for-profit electric Co-op that they own and help to govern.” 

The new Annual Meeting & Energy Expo is designed to offer something for residential members of all ages and nonresidential members, too. The expo will feature interactive booths, activities, and subject matter experts suited to address a variety of energy interests. Linemen will conduct electric safety demonstrations outside the Wachholz Center. Staff members will man booths explaining the co-op's business model to members. Information about the co-op's many community giving programs will be available. A hydroelectric generation model is also included in the expo. 

“There’s something for everyone,” notes Will Tutvedt, Community Outreach Specialist. “Including Dan the Magic Man’s Electric Magic Show for kids of all ages, and a booth explaining what it means to be a cooperative member, with information about how excess revenue is returned to members as capital credits.” 

There will also be a booth exploring the co-op's responses to increased demand for electricity as the area’s population grows and changes the way it uses electricity. 

“This growth means it’s essential for members to begin to work with their Co-op as active grid partners who help to manage electric demand,” said Pfennigs. “The re-imagined Annual Meeting and Energy Expo gives us an opportunity to revisit that relationship.” 

A brief business meeting featuring expert energy industry speakers will begin at 5:30 p.m. Mark Johnson, general manager of Flathead Electric Cooperative, and Patrick Barkey, director of the University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research, will discuss the state of the electric industry and specific issues impacting the greater Flathead Valley.  

In addition to learning opportunities, eligible high school seniors and current FVCC students may enter to win one of six $500 scholarship drawings. All members may enter to win prizes, including a Community Solar panel, Nest thermostat, Roomba, electric leaf blower, electric weed eater, outage prep kit with battery bank, and iPad. The grand prize is a $500 electric bill credit. Dinner will be served after the business meeting concludes.  

To enter the April 18 meeting, members should bring their Annual Meeting Notice, sent the week of March 25 via email or postcard. Learn more and RSVP at flatheadelectric.com/annualmeeting.