REA Energy Cooperative Inc. (REA) held its 76th annual meeting on Thursday at Indiana Area Junior High School.
More than 270 members and their families and guests attended the meeting.
This year board districts 5 and 6 were up for election. Incumbents Robert Neese (District 5) and John Learn (District 6) ran unopposed and were declared re-elected for their respective districts.
Board President Herman Blakley and co-managers Thomas F. Borusiewicz and Gary R. Grindle gave presentations.
Blakley said one of the keys to advancing the cooperative is being a proactive board of directors.
He also said REA Energy directors invest a lot of their own personal time in responding to member issues and preparing themselves for making the best decisions possible.
Borusiewicz said the cooperative is very proactive in setting goals and then creating the methods needed to achieve those goals.
He also touched on increasing costs, energy-saving ideas, insurance recommendations and the ACH payment option for members’ electric bills.
Grindle updated the members on the major improvements made in 2013 to improve reliability, including the new Outage Management System (OMS), advances for the demand response system, digital mapping and additional communication options.
He also reviewed the Co-op Connections Card program, which provides discounts to members at both local and national businesses.
Alexis Elgin, a student from Indiana High School, recapped her experience on the NRECA 2013 Youth Tour.
She was one of nine students from the REA service territory that spent a week in Washington, D.C., with more than 1,600 students from across the country.
At the reorganization meeting held immediately after the business meeting, officers were elected for the upcoming year as follows: Blakley, president; Michael Bertolino, vice president; Robert Neese, secretary/ treasurer; Jim Harteis, Allegheny director; and Rick Shope, PREA director.
REA is a nonprofit electric distribution cooperative founded in 1937 and owned by the 18,860 members served in Indiana, Cambria, Westmoreland, Armstrong, Jefferson, Blair and Clear-field counties.
Pictured, front row, from left, are John Learn, re-elected to District 6; Herman Blakley, board president; Wayne Stiles; Jim Harteis; and Sam Eckenrod.
Middle row: Tom Borusiewicz, co-general manager; Jack Rising; and Gary Grindle, co-general manager.
Back row: Michael Bertolino, board vice president; Rick Shope; and Robert Neese, re-elected to District 5, board secretary/treasurer. (Submitted photo)