2018 Annual Meeting
Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative welcomed an estimated crowd of 5,000 to its annual meeting of members on Thursday. A total of 2,715 members braved some rainy weather and registered for the event, which was conducted at the cooperative’s equipment facility in Pickens.
Following some preliminary entertainment provided by the Sweet Potato Pie Kids and the Zion Quartet, the business meeting was called to order. During that session, South Carolina Lieutenant Governor Kevin Bryant led in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag and shared some remarks with the audience.
Blue Ridge President and CEO Jim Lovinggood updated attendees on the cooperative’s 2017 financial performance, which produced more than $3 million in net margins. He also reported on ongoing maintenance programs that were contributing to greater service reliability on the cooperative’s system. Additionally, Lovinggood provided a review of the utility’s response to the damage inflicted on its facilities by the winds of Hurricane Irma the previous September.
As part of the meeting’s registration process, members cast ballots for a contested director’s seat. In that election, incumbent Pickens County board member Frank Looper, Jr. gained another three-year term by defeating challenger Jason Dennis with a vote of 775 to 598. Jimmy Lee Dodgens of Pickens County and Oconee County’s Mendel Stone were unopposed and were reelected by acclamation to new three-year terms.
Immediately after the adjournment of the business meeting, those present were treated to a Gospel music concert by the Gold City Quartet. In addition to receiving a door prize upon registering, members and their families participated in drawings for dozens of additional prizes. The grand prize, a 2012 Chevy 1500 Silverado pickup, was won by ticket holder Vickie Marler of Liberty.