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Members stand to benefit from sweeping changes this year as Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative (SVEC) offers new choices for how members elect their board of directors.

Change can be a good thing, and that’s what is expected with this transition.

Through the modifications explained below, the cooperative will make it easier and more convenient for members to elect their board of directors, and with meeting and event updates, great community connection opportunities have been created for you!

Board of Director Voting Changes 

Have you been interested in participating in the board of director elections, yet could not attend the meeting where the voting took place? Well, we’ve addressed your concern.

First, a brief background on SVEC. One of the advantages of membership to an electric cooperative is that you vote for those who serve on the board of directors. The co-op is locally governed by the same people who live in your community and receive service from SVEC.

Historically, the only method in which members could vote for the SVEC board was to fill out a ballot in person at the annual meeting, usually held on a Thursday evening in June at James Madison University in Harrisonburg.

Over time, as the cooperative’s footprint has grown to include Winchester and Frederick County to the north, Page County to the east and Highland County toward the southwest, the number of board members grew along with it. Unfortunately, given everyone’s busy schedules, attending SVEC’s annual meeting to vote for directors proved challenging, especially for those living up to, or more than, an hour’s drive away. Attendance has progressively dipped in recent years.

The cooperative wants every member’s voice to be heard in the voting process. That’s why we’re instituting two new ways to vote in this year’s director elections: online and by mail-in ballot. These processes will begin in July, ahead of the annual business meeting on Thursday, Aug. 13, where you can still vote in person as well.

Annual Meeting Changes

Now, about that annual business meeting. As a co-op member, you are always encouraged to attend, just be prepared for a different, smaller setup than years past.

This year’s annual business meeting and those in the foreseeable future will be held at Stonewall Jackson High School outside Mount Jackson on Aug. 13. The agenda will be limited to corporate reports, in-person director voting and then the announcement of the results of director elections. We will not have the traditional entertainment or sit-down meal. It’s strictly business.

As the location change from Harrisonburg to Mount Jackson indicates, this is a more centralized spot for all members within SVEC’s service territory. Since this event also no longer serves as the sole opportunity to vote for directors, it makes sense to scale back the size and focus exclusively on business matters.

Community Event Changes 

Still wishing you had a chance to interact on a more informal level with co-op employees and fellow members of your community? We have you covered.

In place of a big annual meeting comes a new community event hosted by the cooperative. The first one will be Saturday, June 13, at SVEC’s Rockingham Complex.

This event will be a community safety and wellness fair, in partnership with Sentara RMH Medical Center. We’ll have food trucks and public safety vehicles for kids to visit as well.

Each year, the plan is to rotate the location of this community engagement event so we can come to members, instead of members driving an hour to us. We will partner with local medical providers throughout the region we serve.

The end result, you will find, is that you will learn a lot more about SVEC as you gain access to staff and educational displays. Above all else, you will be proud to be part of an electric company that is powering its communities in more ways than one.