Thank you for attending our 81st Annual Meeting on Saturday, March 23. The perfect spring weather and the potential to win really great prizes attracted a crowd of almost 5,000 members, guests, VIPs and employees.
Attendees were well-fed. We served breakfast biscuits, cookies, doughnuts, coffee and soft drinks. Registered members received a special SECO gift (a combination LED nightlight USB charger), an LED from our wholesale power provider Seminole Electric, a copy of the 2018 Annual Report and additional giveaways.
To prepare for this year’s crowd, we added seating areas, large screens and speakers – providing seating for about 6,000 people. We left enough room under the pavilion for members to dance to the music performed by crowd-favorite Margo Rochelle & Rodeo Drive Band.
Members who toured the Energy Showcase browsed energy-efficiency displays, visited with our vendors, asked questions of employees and picked up more giveaways.
Board President and District 9 Trustee Jerry Hatfield delivered the President’s Report. He encouraged members to enroll in SECO’s community outreach program called Pennies from Heaven. The program rounds up your monthly bill to the nearest dollar and uses those pennies to fund local, worthwhile causes or aid members in need. If all members enrolled, the donated pennies will total over a million dollars a year to help people in the communities we serve. Enroll online, visit Pennies from Heaven.
Speaking of community, we tried something new this year. SECO partnered with local United Way agencies to hold a food drive at the Annual Meeting. You and our employees responded generously by donating 5,000 pounds of food. Read more on page 4 and visit our YouTube channel to watch the “Feeding the Cooperative Spirit” video.
Members voted affirmatively on a Board-recommended Articles of Incorporation amendment and a related Bylaws revision. These changes authorize SECO’s Board of Trustees to permit electronic or by mail voting for the purpose of conducting Annual Meeting business and meeting the quorum requirement.
Once official business was wrapped up, the prize drawings began. U.S. Congressman Daniel Webster who serves Florida’s 11th District dropped by to draw the grand-prize-winning tickets:
Robert Morrill of The Villages won the golf cart; Arnold A. Gomke of Tavares took home the 2009 Ford SuperCab 4×4; and $1,500 went to Robert James of Ocklawaha.
If you were unable to attend, visit SECO’s YouTube channel to view the Annual Meeting video recap.
Thank you for your membership. It is our privilege to serve as your energy provider.
CAR VERSUS POLE – IT’S GONNA HURT
According to the National Safety Council, an estimated 40,000 people lost their lives to car crashes in 2018. About 4.5 million people were seriously injured in crashes last year. Florida along with several other states saw a 5.8% spike in fatalities, according to Council estimates.
The Council concludes that driver behavior is contributing to the numbers staying stubbornly high. From a SECO perspective, car versus pole accidents happen about twice a week on average. Drivers misjudge curves, swerve to avoid animals and other cars, are distracted by passengers/texting, or may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Any of these circumstances can lead to a face-to-face contact with a firmly planted utility pole – and it’s gonna hurt.
SECO posts photos like these on our social media channels for a variety of reasons. If the accident causes an outage, we want to explain the reason for the service interruption. As the saying goes: A picture is worth a thousand words. We also feel the photos send a cautionary message about distracted driving (though we don’t publish accident photos involving death or serious injury).
In our service area, car versus pole accidents caused 81 outages in 2018 affecting 37,550 members’ service. In terms of volume of members interrupted, in 2018, car versus pole events were the second largest cause of outages.
Property damage reimbursement is pursued through our insurance carrier but these incidents still cost the company. Member satisfaction suffers as a result of extended outage duration when damage is extensive. Cooperation with law enforcement and emergency services is the highest priority at these crash scenes.
Members sometimes ask why all electric infrastructure can’t be underground. That decision is usually made by a developer during the design phase of new construction. The cost for underground services is substantially higher than overhead – up to six times more. It’s also important to remember that outages affecting underground services can be longer in duration because the repairs are more difficult to access.
DON’T BECOME A STATISTIC. Watch out for those big, bad utility poles. For more examples of car versus pole carnage featured in our latest video, visit our home page and click on the Car versus Pole banner.
ANNUAL REPORT TRIVIA
If you missed this year’s Annual Meeting or didn’t win a door prize, you have another chance to win. Visit our Facebook page to play 2018 Annual Report trivia by answering questions on our status update. Three prizes are up for grabs:
Apple 32 GB iPad
Wi-Fi programmable thermostat
$200 SECO electric bill credit
How do you play? Answer these five questions on Facebook:
1. What is SECO Energy’s 2018 ACSI score?
2. How many members were served by SECO Energy at year-end 2018?
3. How many Trustee Districts make up the SECO Energy Board?
4. Per the Balance Sheet, what is the 2018 value of SECO’s Total Electric Plant?
5. What is the name of SECO Energy’s online outage map and reporting platform?
To find the answers, browse our 2018 Annual Report. Members without internet access can request a copy of the Annual Report and trivia questions mailed. Return your answers by mail or play online before June 15th. Winners notified by June 21st. Good luck!
FOOD DRIVE RESULTS
This year’s Annual Meeting theme – “Feeding the Cooperative Spirit” – was also a mission. Adhering to the seventh cooperative principle of Concern for Community, SECO partnered with United Way to organize a food drive to restock local food pantries.
Hundreds of members and SECO employees donated 5,000 pounds of non-perishable food items. The foods were sorted and delivered to 14 food pantries serving nearby communities.
• Brother’s Keeper
• Salvation Army of Marion County
• Interfaith Emergency Services
• St. Theresa’s Social Services
• Community of Gratitude
• Salvation Army of Lake County
• Leesburg Food Bank
• Faith Neighborhood Center, Inc.
• Lake Cares
• Salvation Army of Sumter County
• Wildwood Food Pantry
• Hope Ministries Center, Inc.
• Daystar Life Center, Inc.
• Community Food Bank Citrus County
Thank you all for your gracious donations!
Read the full May 2019 SECO News online.