Over 500 Hill Country energy consumers gathered in the Fredericksburg High School Auditorium on August 17, as Central Texas Electric Co-op hosted its 63rd Annual Members’ Meeting. CEO Robert A. Loth III welcomed them and introduced Board President Michael Randolph nine other CTEC directors in attendance. Dr. Don Higginbotham, pastor of First Baptist Church in Fredericksburg, provided an invocation.
The business of the meeting included the election of four directors. Co-op members had previously nominated the following members to represent their respective districts at District Meetings held in June: Rex Brand, District 2 (Kerr/Real/Southern Kimble County area); Jack Asbill, District 3 (Mason/McCulloch/Menard/Northern Kimble County area); Stanley Keese, District 4 (Llano County area); and William F. Weldon, District 5 (Gillespie/Blanco County area), were all elected by acclamation. As the cooperative’s bylaws stipulate, a CTEC director’s time on the board is limited to four three-year terms.
As in previous meetings, a video presentation was shown in lieu of formal reports from Loth or Randolph. The theme was "Here for You." Randolph introduced the video, saying: "During my eleven years of service on the Central Texas Electric Co-op Board of Directors, I’ve grown to appreciate the value that our co-op members receive from their utility. The electrons that power our homes and businesses aren’t any different from those supplied to other consumers, and the cost is pretty much the same here as it is across much of the state. But for me, the real value comes from having local employees that take pride in providing good service to their friends and neighbors. When someone’s always there for us, we have a tendency to take them for granted. " He added by saying that the Board of Directors sometimes gets tied up and focused on the big picture during their meetings. He said, "The men and women at work for the members, day in and day out, making sure the lights stay on don’t always get the credit they deserve, and we want to acknowledge them and shine the light on them tonight. They are a truly deserving group of people who are here for you."
Loth added, "There’s something rewarding about working here. I’ve heard people say it gets in your blood. I believe it has something to do with the mission that the employees share, that for many years was almost unspoken. This mission, of course, is to provide great service for the member-owners of the cooperative. It drives all our activities. It gives us a goal that is tangible and rewarding. In my experience, this brings out the best in all of us who work here."
The video featured comments from 15 CTEC employees, explaining why they get satisfaction from their many and varied jobs, and how they felt being active in the Fire departments, 4-H and FFA, youth baseball and soccer programs, and the local churches of a small community was very important.
Also in the video, Bob Loth praised all CTEC employees for achieving an important safety milestone. In July, the CTEC employees completed two consecutive years without a lost-time accident – with 140 employees, he explained, that amounts to more than 517,000 man-hours. Considering the fact that many of the employees work every day with high voltage lines, operate all kinds of large equipment, power tools, and drive about a million miles each year, this is a remarkable achievement.
Randolph concluded the video by saying, "We have millions of dollars of assets in equipment and it’s all important in its own way. But the most valuable asset we have is our employees, and we want to thank them for their dedication. In so many ways, we are truly blessed to have them here for us."
Following the video report, Loth gave special thanks to several employees with extended tenure at the cooperative, including veterans like Archie Klein, 40 years of service; Brian Ransleben 30 years; and 25-year employees Randall (Bo) Brown, Kirby Davis, Jan Nebgen, Linda Pape, Roberta Priess, and Roger Wunderlich.
Afterward, Loth and Randolph held a brief question-and-answer session for members, giving them an opportunity to voice their concerns and comments. Loth explained that he was unable to report on the CTEC-LCRA power contract developments. He encouraged members to keep checking their Texas Co-op Power magazine for updates later in the year.
After a few questions, the meeting was adjourned and Member Services Manager Carlos Staudt awarded 43 prizes that were all donated by the co-op’s generous suppliers, to lucky members, and the meeting was concluded.
The newly-constituted board convened an organizational meeting following adjournment of the member meeting. Michael Randolph of Cherokee was re-elected to serve as board president, along with Kingsland’s Gerald Kaspar, who will serve another year as vice-president, Prairie Mountain’s Stanley Keese, who was named treasurer, and Mason’s Riley Kothmann tabbed as secretary of the Board.