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Mecklenburg Electric

Wylliesburg Siblings Are Youth Art Contest Winners

(Chase City) Eleven-year-old Kaitlynn Love and her eight-year-old brother, Dylan, are winners in Cooperative Living magazine’s 2014 Youth Art Contest. Dylan won First Place in the Second Grade category, and Kaitlynn won Third Place in the Fifth Grade category. Kaitlynn and Dylan are the children of Sheri and Robert Love of Wylliesburg, who are members of Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative (MEC).

For the 12th-annual version of this contest, Cooperative Living magazine invited students from across Virginia in kindergarten through fifth grades to submit artwork illustrating the theme, “Here’s How I Help Other People.” The contest was announced in the February and March/April issues of the magazine and entries were due May 1. The first-, second- and third-place entries for each grade are published in full color in the July issue of the magazine, which is available online at www.co-opliving.com.

Dylan, who is a rising third grader at Scottsburg Elementary School, writes to soldiers who are a long distance from home, so his picture has a patriotic theme showing a letter expressing thanks to the soldiers. Kaitlynn, who will be entering 6th grade at Halifax County Middle School, drew a picture with the caption, “Every small action has a big effect on the world.” Because she enjoys raising vegetables and giving them to people, Kaitlynn’s picture shows herself and her grandmother, “Nana,” working in the garden.

“Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative congratulates Dylan and Kaitlynn Love for their accomplishments in the Youth Art Contest,” says Deborah Blue Winn, MEC member and public relations specialist.  “This contest is one of many opportunities that cooperatives offer young people of all ages. Mecklenburg Electric has games and activities on its website for youngsters; and for adolescents, we provide informative programs and events at their schools, educational tours, and college scholarships. As the old adage says, It takes a village to raise a child; and Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative strives to take an active role in the lives of young people in the area.” For more information, visit www.meckelec.org.

More than 250 student artists entered the annual art competition, which was judged by staff at the Virginia, Maryland and Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives, publisher of Cooperative Living. “We started the Youth Art Contest more than a decade ago to encourage youthful creativity and give kids in Virginia a chance to show their art to the magazine’s 1.2 million readers,” says Bill Sherrod, Cooperative Living’s editor. “Everyone who judged the entries was impressed with both the quality and creativity of the students’ work.

Cooperative Living magazine is published for Virginia’s consumer-owned electric cooperatives and is mailed to more than 496,000 addresses across the state. It is published 10 times a year for Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative and 10 other electric cooperatives that are members of the Virginia, Maryland and Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives. For more information or to view issues online, visit www.co-opliving.com.

MEC is the not-for-profit consumer-owned energy provider to over 31,000 meters located in portions of Brunswick, Charlotte, Greensville, Halifax, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Pittsylvania, Southampton and Sussex counties. It is a Touchstone Energy Cooperative, headquartered in Chase City with district offices in Emporia, Chase City, and Gretna. This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative Holds 2014 Annual Membership Meeting

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Over 600 Brave Intense Heat to Participate in Business Meeting, Elect Directors

CHASE CITY – In spite of a heat index of 106 degrees in Chase City on Wednesday afternoon, over 370 committed members of Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative (MEC) and their families attended the Annual Membership Meeting held at the Cooperative’s pavilion.  Following food and fellowship among the members, the Cooperative’s business meeting opened with Chairman of the Board David Jones calling the meeting to order and offering his opening comments saying, “I’m pleased to report that 2013 was yet another successful year for your cooperative. As you know, safety is, and always will be, our number one priority. Our safety record continues to improve as Mecklenburg was recently recognized as having worked over 500,000 man-hours without a lost time accident. Our safety program continues to get stronger and more effective.”

He added, “Additionally, your cooperative remains financially sound and fiscally healthy. Even with little growth in kwh sales and revenue and unexpected expenses due to storm restoration, your cooperative returned over $700,000 in capital credits to you, the member-owners last November. Your cooperative’s aggressive capital credit policy has resulted in the return of over $33 million to its membership to date.”

Jones closed his remarks by saying, “The theme of this year’s meeting is, “A Relationship Built on Trust;” and your Board of Directors, Management Team and Employees here at MEC understand that it can take a lifetime to build trust, but that trust can be lost in a brief moment. After 76 years of service to its members, your cooperative’s primary goal remains the same as it was the first year in 1938, to provide reliable and affordable electricity to our members and to continue to build and maintain your trust in MEC.”

The meeting invocation was provided by MEC Director Donnie Moore, and the Presentation of Colors was executed by the Marine Corps League Lake Country Detachment #1085, who were impressively led into the pavilion by the Fifes and Drums of York Town, Va. The Fifes and Drums Corps, comprised entirely of youth between the ages of 10 and 18, played the National Anthem, performing in Regimental uniforms reminiscent of the 18th century musicians who served in the Continental Army in Yorktown, Va. Peyton Moore, a rising senior at Bluestone High School, led the audience in the singing of “God Bless America.”

MEC Director Peggy Lee introduced the Cooperative’s Board of Directors, and Director Frank Myers introduced special guests in attendance, including Virginia Senator Frank Ruff, Tommy Wright of the Virginia House of Delegates, representatives from the offices of Delegate Roslyn Tyler and Congressman Robert Hurt, officials from Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC) and the Virginia, Maryland and Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives (VMDAEC), retired MEC employees and directors, Chase City and Charlotte County Rescue Squads, and the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Department.

Jack Reasor, president and CEO of Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC), the wholesale power supplier for Mecklenburg and ten other electric cooperatives in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, made a presentation to those gathered.  In his remarks, he pointed out that ODEC derives power from four sources: renewable energy (wind turbines, hydro and landfill gas), natural gas, nuclear, and clean coal. He emphasized that “taking a balanced approach in meeting cooperative members’ energy needs, along with being environmentally responsible, are fundamental objectives of both Old Dominion and MEC.”   

In his comments, Reasor also explained ODEC’s relationship with Mecklenburg Electric, saying, “Where Mecklenburg is a distribution cooperative—they are responsible for the wires and poles and the meters and bringing the wires and electricity to your homes, and your businesses, and your churches and your schools—Old Dominion is a generation and transmission cooperative that generates electricity through its owned facilities, or purchases it through power supply contracts, from different sources, and delivers that power to MEC for distribution to all of you. So our most critical responsibility is to make certain the power is there to be delivered through the substations, wires and transformers, so capably built and maintained by your MEC team here, and flow into your homes and businesses when you need it. We, like MEC, also try to accomplish our responsibilities by striking an appropriate balance between the very lowest possible cost and being as environmentally sensitive as possible.”

He continued, “We are proud to be owned by Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative and our other ten electric cooperative members.  Representatives from each cooperative make up our board of directors, so Mr. Jones and Mr. Lee are both on our board of directors and give us good insight, assistance and strategic direction on how we can best be reliable, be as low cost as possible, and also be environmentally balanced. And this, to us, is a very important process.”

He concluded by explaining that ODEC is well underway in the process of building a combined cycle, natural gas facility in Cecil County, Md. He stated that most of the environmental and regulatory approvals had been secured, construction should begin this fall, and the facility is scheduled to be operational in the spring of 2017 providing 1,000 megawatts of power.

Following Reasor’s comments, the business session of the meeting began with Stan Duffer, secretary-treasurer of MEC, reporting on the financial status of the organization. He noted that the Cooperative has net electric plant of over $118 million, a figure that includes buildings, land, substations, equipment, vehicles, and over 4,400 miles of energized power lines, with the Cooperative’s total assets valued at $166.9 million at year end. He also called attention to an itemization of expenses for the year 2013 that indicated the largest expenditure (64 percent) was for “Purchased Power,” the cost of the electricity the Cooperative buys and distributes to its Members.

President and CEO John Lee moved to the podium next and gave the annual President’s Report based on the theme of the meeting, "You and Your Cooperative, a Relationship Built on Trust.” Lee emphasized the importance of the Members being able to place trust in their not-for-profit organization. His seven key points were:

(1)   You trust us to keep you and your family safe around our electric distribution system, and ensure our employees are working safely.

(2)    You trust us to anticipate, and successfully meet, your current and future electric needs.

(3)   You trust us to find, secure and deliver reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible electricity for your use.

(4)   You trust us to make a difference in, and support, your communities.

(5)   You trust us to operate your cooperative prudently and return Capital Credits.

(6)   You trust us to keep you well informed.

(7)   You trust us to deliver all the above with the very best in customer service.

Lee stated, “We hold ourselves accountable to design, build, and maintain for you an electrical system that reliably provides power to your homes and businesses around the clock, year after year.  However, when subjected to Mother Nature’s fury, there is none better than your MEC team at repairing the system on which you rely to stay warm or cool, to prepare your family’s meals, and to power the tools and equipment needed to operate your businesses.”

Lee also recognized Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative’s employees, stating, “They are where your trust begins and ends, and it is built upon their credibility and commitment to you. I am honored, and I truly mean honored, to be a part of their team. Because of their talent and dedication, your organization is widely recognized in cooperative circles as a leader, and our employees are renowned as being among the best.

“And your team is a very competitive group that will settle for nothing less than first,” Lee added, stating, “For example,earlier this year, at the Gaff-n-Go Rodeo, line crews from nine states and utilities all over the east, gathered to compete in events showcasing their skills. Your cooperative’s three teams competed strongly, brought home a lot of trophy hardware, and represented MEC very capably and with great pride.In fact, the Chase City District team of Jason McKinney, Paul Underwood and Brad Clark won the acclaimed Jimmy Gardner Award recognizing the top scoring, and very best cooperative line crew, in the competition. Your employees are a proud and capable lot, but it is their character and integrity that fuels their sense of duty, and drives our desire to be the best.”

Lee continued by thanking the Board of Directors for their support and guidance. “They share our pride in this organization, and support our ambition to always do what is right by you,” he says. “Trust me when I tell you that they very capably represent you in conducting the business of your cooperative.”

In closing, the MEC President and CEO commented “Old Mr. Webster defines trust as “to firmly believe in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something”……we sincerely hope that also defines how you feel about this cooperative. Thanks to all of you for your support, for your confidence in us, and for the opportunity to earn and maintain your trust. Safe travels home, thanks again for your attendance here today and as always please let me know if ever we are not meeting your expectations.”

Following his remarks, four directors of the Cooperative were re-elected for three-year terms: Peggy Lee of Freeman, Donnie Moore of Chatham, Mike McDowell of Vernon Hill, and Frank Myers of Gasburg.

The Cooperative would like to thank the following for their assistance at this year’s meeting: Chatham High School’s Robotics team, Boy Scout Troop 7400 from South Hill, Macy Mills, and Lauren Jones.

Chatham High School’s Robotics Team enjoys a meal at Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative’s Annual Meeting of the Members before demonstrating the robot that they designed and built.

The Fifes and Drums Corps of York Town provide an impressive performance as part of the opening ceremony of the Annual Meeting of the Members of Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative.

Four directors of Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative are re-elected at the Annual Meeting of the Members on June 18 for three-year terms. Pictured from left are Frank Myers of Gasburg, Donnie Moore of Chatham, Peggy Lee of Freeman and Mike McDowell of Vernon Hill.

Power Provider for Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative Receives CPCN Approval to Construct 1,000 Megawatt Natural Gas Generation Facility

CHASE CITY – Wildcat Point Generation Facility (Wildcat Point), a state-of-the-art, combined-cycle natural gas generation facility proposed by Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative’s (MEC) power provider, Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC), has been approved by the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC). The facility will be located adjacent to ODEC’s existing generating facility in Conowingo, Md.

The $675 million Wildcat Point facility will improve reliability on the region’s electric grid, and help ODEC deliver cleaner, cost-effective power to its 1.2 million members in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, including those served by MEC. Wildcat Point is expected to generate 1,000 megawatts of electricity, enough to power approximately 390,000 homes annually. By issuing a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity, or CPCN, the PSC has provided ODEC the final permitting required to begin construction.

“The PSC’s decision is an important win for our members and for the region’s energy future,” says Jackson Reasor, president and CEO of ODEC. “As demand for electricity has grown in ODEC-served areas, constructing a state-of-the-art, environmentally-friendly power generation facility became a critical priority. Wildcat Point will enable us to provide our members cost-effective power while reducing reliance on costlier electricity bought on the market.”

John Lee, CEO of Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative and member of Old Dominion Electric Cooperative’s Board of Directors states, “For some time, ODEC has been able to meet significant portions of its members’ power needs through cost effective power contracts; however, forecasts began to show that natural gas pricing made the construction of a power plant the best long-term option. These facilities are strategically located to meet the needs of ODEC’s system demand and appropriately take advantage of existing infrastructure by building this new plant adjacent to our Rock Springs site. We are excited to receive the go-ahead to begin construction and begin putting steel in the ground to meet the growing needs of our members.”

The Maryland PSC’s decision follows a rigorous, 11-month review of ODEC’s proposal by local, state, regional, and federal agencies. To receive the CPCN, Wildcat Point was required to meet stringent environmental, traffic, and historic preservation regulations. During the review process, both ODEC and the PSC hosted public hearings with no one formally opposing the project.

Construction is expected to begin in late 2014, and upon startup in 2017 the facility will increase the capacity owned by Old Dominion by more than 30 percent. Wildcat Point will be built in Conowingo, Cecil County, on existing property at the ODEC-constructed Rock Springs Generation Facility, which became operational in 2003.

Editor's Note: While this article concerns a power plant to be built in Maryland, it is a plant that will supply electricity to members of Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative and other electric cooperatives in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware that are members of ODEC (Old Dominion Electric Cooperative).

Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative Celebrates National Lineman Appreciation Day

Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative (MEC) is recognizing Friday, April 18, 2014, as National Lineman Appreciation Day to honor the hardworking line personnel who strive in challenging conditions to keep the power on to the homes and businesses of the members.

“We recognize electric line workers for the services they perform around the clock in dangerous conditions to restore service and protect the public’s safety,” says Vice President of Member and Energy Services David Lipscomb. “This diligent group seldom receives the recognition they deserve. They work all hours of the day and night, often in hazardous conditions, going above and beyond to restore power to our communities. MEC’s line workers, as well as line workers from across the nation, have truly earned this special day of recognition.”

MEC staff members invite members of the Cooperative to take a moment and thank their line personnel for selflessly meeting the needs of others. Post a comment on Facebook, or write a note of appreciation to show support for the men and women who light our lives.

Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative is the not-for-profit member-owned energy provider to over 31,000 homes, farms and businesses located in portions of the counties of Brunswick, Charlotte, Greensville, Halifax, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Pittsylvania, Southampton, and Sussex.  It is headquartered in Chase City with district offices in Chase City, Emporia and Gretna.  For more information, visit www.meckelec.org or follow Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative on Facebook and Twitter.

Mecklenburg Electric’s Power Supplier Named 2013 Wind Cooperative of the Year

CHASE CITY—Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative’s power provider, Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC), has been recognized nationally as the “2013 Wind Cooperative of the Year” by the U. S. Department of Energy and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). This award honored only two electric cooperatives from across the United States that demonstrated outstanding leadership in advancing wind power. ODEC is wholly owned and governed by Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative, and 10 other cooperatives in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware.

According to Jose Zayas, director of the Department of Energy’s Wind and Water Power Technologies Office, “…these cooperatives are taking the steps to ensure that their communities will have renewable sources of energy for generations to come. Through their leadership, they are helping to create a more sustainable planet and support the development of clean energy alternatives.”

ODEC was selected by a panel of judges from the wind industry, utilities, government, national laboratories and cooperatives based on its corporate leadership, project innovation, and the benefits to its members.  Beginning in 2008, ODEC entered into four contracts to purchase capacity, energy and renewable energy credits generated from wind turbine projects, leading to the addition of more than 260 megawatts of capacity or enough electricity to power 100,000 homes.  As a wholesale power supply cooperative, ODEC generates and procures power to serve the requirements of its 11 member owners, each of which are retail cooperatives.

“This award reflects our forward-thinking board of directors’ approach to diversifying our cooperative’s mix of resources with our wind projects, especially since we are not subject to a renewable portfolio standard,” says Jackson Reasor, president and CEO of ODEC.

John C. Lee, Jr., president and CEO of Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative, who also serves on the ODEC Board of Directors, comments, “It is our goal to take a justifiable and diversified approach to meeting wholesale power needs of those served by ODEC. Doing so demands a delicate balance between providing alternative renewable energy, and ultimately providing reliable and affordable electricity to our members at the end of the line.  And this recognition is testament that the cooperatives that own ODEC, including Mecklenburg, are dedicated to responsibly serving this region; especially given that similar decisions have been delayed by other utilities until government mandates have forced the provision of such renewable energy.  We are proud to have been recognized nationally by our peers as being progressive in this arena. ”

The announcement was made at the NRECA TechAdvantage Conference in Nashville, TN, and this year marks the 13th anniversary of the Wind Cooperative of the Year Award.

About Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative:

Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative is the not-for-profit member-owned energy provider to over 31,000 homes, farms and businesses located in portions of the counties of Brunswick, Charlotte, Greensville, Halifax, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Pittsylvania, Southampton, and Sussex.  It is headquartered in Chase City with district offices in Chase City, Emporia and Gretna. For more information, visit www.meckelec.org.

About ODEC:

Headquartered in Glen Allen, Va., Old Dominion Electric Cooperative is a not-for-profit, member-owned power supply cooperative. It provides the wholesale power requirements of its 11 member electric distribution cooperatives, which provide reliable, affordable electricity to 1.2 million people in 70 counties in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware. Learn more at www.odec.com.

Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative Linemen Will Showcase Their Skills

12th Annual Rodeo Competitions Set for April 4 and 5 in Caroline County

(RUTHER GLEN, Va.) Nine Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative (MEC) line workers and one apprentice lineman will be competing at the 12th Annual Terex® Equipment Operator’s Rodeo on Friday, April 4, and the Gaff-n-Go Lineman’s Rodeo on Saturday, April 5. Both competitions will be held at the Caroline County Agricultural Fairgrounds near Ruther Glen. MEC will also have six employees at the event serving as judges among volunteers from other electric cooperatives, utilities and business associates.

The only competitions of their kind held in Virginia, these utility equipment operator and climbing rodeos are open to linemen from all types of electric utilities. This year 120 electric linemen from Virginia and seven other states plan to attend, some from as far away as South Carolina and Rhode Island.

Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative’s President and CEO John Lee gives further explanation, “Friday’s rodeo features equipment operators testing their ability to maneuver the bucket trucks and digger derricks used to build and maintain electric distribution systems. Saturday’s Gaff-n-Go competition features three-man journeyman line-crew teams and individual apprentice linemen. Working 40 feet above the ground on a course of utility poles, these professional linemen will demonstrate technical skills performing a variety of work tasks during timed and scored events. Each team or individual apprentice is judged on the time it takes to perform a task and, more importantly, on whether the task is performed according to safe and efficient work practices.”

He continues, “Safety is our top priority at Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative, and we are pleased to take part in this event to sharpen our skills and take efficiency of our service to a new level. This is our tenth year of participation in this unique event. I am proud of all our past participants and am looking forward to being there this year to support our guys and be with their family members.”

The Saturday rodeo gets its name from the “gaff” or metal spike that linemen attach to their boots to assist in climbing wooden utility poles. Participants and attendees can also check out the latest in tools and equipment each day as part of a vendor expo held in a pavilion adjoining the rodeo field.

“This two-day event is a celebration of the skills of line crews who work to keep the lights on in all types of conditions,” says Richard Johnstone, executive vice president of the Virginia, Maryland and Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives (VMDAEC) that hosts the event. VMDAEC provides a variety of services to its 15 member co-ops in the three states, including an array of lineman training programs, both for apprentice linemen and for more seasoned journeyman line crew members.

 “A lineman works around high-voltage power lines every day, often in the toughest weather conditions,” says Johnstone. “Both the Gaff-n-Go Lineman’s Rodeo and the Terex® Equipment Operator’s Rodeo showcase the special qualities those who choose this profession must possess ― discipline, training, teamwork and confidence,” he continued, adding that this annual event provides their families and friends with a unique opportunity to see their sons, husbands and brothers in action.

Major sponsorship is being provided by Terex® Equipment and the Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC), a not-for-profit lending institution. Terex® is a major supplier of heavy equipment used in the utility industry, including digger derricks, aerial devices, cranes and cable placers. Terex® Utilities, Inc. will also provide equipment, judges and awards for the equipment operators’ rodeo.

Designed for the entire family, these rodeo competitions give linemen’s families and others a chance to

celebrate and learn more about the work that linemen do every day. Both days’ events are open to the public beginning at 11:15 a.m. Friday and 7:45 a.m. Saturday. Admission and parking are free and food vendors will be available.

For more information on the rodeo and directions to the Caroline County Agricultural Fairgrounds, visit www.gaff-n-go.com. Facebook fans of this event can check out photos from previous years and find out the latest at www.facebook.com/gaffngo.

Shown in first photograph: Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative (MEC) employee Chad Harding is pictured at last year’s Gaff ‘n Go Lineman’s Rodeo as he prepares to begin his work task in competition with other line workers. Harding will be participating again at this year’s event in April along with nine other MEC employees.

Shown in second photograph: Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative employees will be among the teams of electric utility linemen coming from eight states to compete in the Gaff ‘n Go Lineman’s Rodeo to be held at the Caroline County Agricultural Fairgrounds in April.

Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative Directors Meet with Area Elected Officials in Richmond

Chase City, Va. – Several directors and key staff members of Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative (MEC) traveled to Richmond on January 27, to meet with state legislators at the Virginia General Assembly. They joined more than 200 directors and staff members from 12 other member-owned electric cooperatives across the Commonwealth who converged on the Capital for the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperative’s (VMDAEC) annual Legislative Day.

Attending from MEC were board members Stan Duffer, Bob Jones, Donnie Moore and John Waller as well as President & CEO John Lee, COO Glen Gillispie and Vice President of Member and Energy Services David Lipscomb. The office visits and reception afforded MEC directors and management an opportunity to meet one-on-one with legislators to talk about this year’s session and to discuss any legislation that might affect the Cooperative and its ability to provide its Membership with reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible electric power.

Cooperative representatives were briefed by VMDAEC staff members and political experts on the 2014 General Assembly before the group traveled to Capitol Square to call on Delegates and Senators representing the nine counties served by the cooperative. MEC representatives distributed a fact-filled handout to help educate newly elected legislators and the new administration about the “cooperative difference.” They also discussed issues pertinent to the Cooperative and invited the legislators and their staff members to the VMDAEC’s annual Legislative Reception planned for that evening.

 “This personal interaction is critical as MEC’s representatives work to develop strong working relationships with our local legislators and state officials,” states Lee, adding, “We must make every effort to educate them on the cooperative business model and ensure that these decision makers, who represent those we serve, are aware of the importance of electric cooperatives in providing energy to Virginia’s homeowners, farmers, businesses and industries. Ultimately, we are there to protect the best interests of our members and rural Virginia because there are few champions for those living in Southside Virginia these days and they are facing tremendous odds with regards to influencing legislation that impacts our rural way of life.”

AboutMecklenburg Electric Cooperative: Headquartered in Chase City with district offices in Emporia, Chase City and Gretna, Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative is a not-for-profit member-owned energy provider that serves more than 31,000 homes, farms and businesses throughout nine Central and Southside Virginia counties. For more information, go to www.meckelec.org.

In the photo: Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative (MEC) representatives meet with Delegate Roslyn Tyler in her office to discuss legislative issues that could have an impact on rural electrification.  More than 200 directors and staff members from 13 member-owned electric cooperatives converged on the Capital to call on delegates and senators for the Virginia, Maryland and Delaware Association of Electric Cooperative’s annual Legislative Day. Seated from left to right are MEC President & CEO John Lee, Jr., COO Glen Gillispie, and board member Donnie Moore.

Ronald Boone Retires from Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative

CHASE CITY –In honor of his retirement, Ronald Boone, Sr., was recognized recently at a monthly meeting of Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative’s board of directors.  Chairman of the Board David Jones presented a Resolution of Appreciation to Boone for his many years of service to the member-owned organization. The presentation was made at the Headquarters office in Chase City in the presence of the other 10 board members and Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative (MEC) senior staff members.

“We appreciate Ronnie’s dedication to his duties, and his commitment to our members, and we recognize and honor his 34 years of hard work on their behalf,” comments MEC President and CEO John Lee, adding “and while he’ll be missed, we wish him and Isabel the very best in this next chapter of their lives.”

Boone was hired as a meter reader/groundman in 1979 and was initially trained to record meter readings throughout the service territory and check facilities for conditions that would affect reliability and safety.  Throughout his years of service, he assisted with construction and maintenance of the Cooperative’s electrical system and was on call to restore power as outages occurred.  He also assisted with power restoration when the call for help came from sister electric cooperatives following severe winter storms and hurricanes.

During his employment at MEC he attended educational and safety training classes, served as recording secretary at monthly safety meetings, and was a member of the Action Committee for Rural Electrification (ACRE).  He and his wife, Isabel, live in the Emporia area and have two children, Olivia and Ronald, Jr. (RJ).  

Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative is the not-for-profit consumer-owned energy provider to over 31,000 meters located in portions of Brunswick, Charlotte, Greensville, Halifax, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Pittsylvania, Southampton and Sussex Counties.  It is a Touchstone Energy Cooperative, headquartered in Chase City with district offices in Emporia, Chase City, and Gretna. For more information, visit www.meckelec.org.

3WD Radio, Mecklenburg Electric and the Community Partner in “Hearts to Heroes”

3WD radio station in South Hill and Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative (MEC) recently partnered on a project to adopt the troops of Alpha Company 3rd Platoon who are currently deployed in the Middle East and will be there for at least another six months. Greg Thrift, manager of 3WD, explains, “We sent Christmas packages to this same group of soldiers back in 2011. When we heard that they had been deployed again, we decided to send items for Valentine’s Day because they usually get items at Christmas, but not so much at other times of the year.”

Hailed as the “Hearts to Heroes” campaign, daily announcements were made on 3WD radio station encouraging individuals, families, Sunday school classes, and students in elementary, middle and high schools to donate items such as snack foods, playing cards, magazines, personal hygiene items, hand-made Valentine cards and anything that would brighten the soldiers’ Valentine’s Day since they will be away from their loved ones on this heartwarming holiday.

Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative became aware of the cause, and its employees volunteered to help with the project.  MEC President and CEO John Lee comments, “Because the employees of Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative have shown overwhelming and gracious support for so many causes in our community in the past, we offered to assist in this effort for the heroes who protect our freedom. We began by sending an email to our 114 employees in the Chase City, Emporia and Gretna districts asking them to donate items for the “Hearts to Heroes” project.  The response was overwhelming…. I am so proud of the giving spirit that our employees have; anytime a need arises within our Cooperative family or in the communities we serve, they are among the first to unselfishly step up and assist. Every single one of them has the desire to make a difference in the lives of others.”

Lee adds, “In addition to asking our employees to donate items, Mecklenburg Electric’s Chase City office served as a collection station for all of the items donated from throughout Mecklenburg and Brunswick counties. We used our lunch hours to prepare and pack the items for shipping overseas. We also generated large Valentine Posters that were distributed to schools so that students there could send a Valentine message to our heroes in a format that could be proudly displayed in the barracks as a constant reminder of the support from home.”

Donations were made by listeners of 3WD radio, local businesses, Brunswick Academy, Bluestone Middle School, Rivermont School in Chase City and many elementary schools in the area, such as South Hill, Clarksville, Chase City and LaCrosse.  In addition to donations, Park View Middle School’s art classes created American flags in batik design, an ancient form of art, to show their support of the troops.  Greetings from home also included recent local newspapers spanning Southside Virginia and northern North Carolina; there is nothing like keeping up with the local news to feel a little closer to home.

Lee continues, “We were delighted with the donations made by the community. The Cooperative’s break room was filled with all sorts of items that will be warmly received by our troops. We packed 21 large boxes with over 1,100 pounds of “THANK YOU” and labeled them to be shipped to our troops in Kuwait. I would also like to express appreciation to the Chase City Food Lion for contributing the paper bags we used to divide the items up into individual soldier packs, to Home Depot for generously contributing the boxes we used to ship the items to the platoon and to MEC’s employees for their devotion to our communities and their willingness to always do the right thing and step up when someone is in need.”

Thrift notes, “Our station was pleased to sponsor this venture. One of the soldiers in this group is my cousin, Brigham Wilson, who grew up here and graduated from Park View.  He serves as our platoon point of contact in Kuwait and ensures that the items are distributed among the soldiers there. At 3WD, we are always looking for ways to make a difference in our community.  We are extremely grateful to everyone who donated items and especially to Mecklenburg Electric for their willingness to partner with us in this venture and take it to the next level.”

Employees of Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative (MEC), some of whom are pictured above, and 3WD radio station partnered in the “Hearts to Heroes” campaign to send Valentine greetings, snack foods and other items to brighten the day for soldiers in Kuwait. The Cooperative packed and shipped 21 boxes of donations that weighed over 1,100 pounds. 3WD and MEC extend thanks to everyone who donated to this project for our heroes.

Bluestone Middle School students participated in the “Hearts to Heroes” campaign, an effort sponsored by 3WD radio station and Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative, to remember troops stationed in Kuwait on Valentine’s Day. The Cooperative created and printed the giant card that was signed by students who sent their best wishes to the soldiers of Alpha Company 3rd Platoon.  The successful effort resulted in 21 boxes of donated items, weighing a collective 1,100 pounds, contributed by the community and sent to the platoon in Kuwait.

Chase City Elementary School students participated in the “Hearts to Heroes” campaign by signing a Valentine poster for soldiers in Alpha Company 3rd Platoon. The giant card was created and printed by Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative, whose employees sponsored the event along with 3WD Radio. The Cooperative served as a collection station for donations from the community, and its employees packed and shipped 21 boxes, weighing a collective 1,100 pounds, of snacks and other items to the platoon stationed in Kuwait.

­Students from Clarksville Elementary School signed this giant poster sending Valentine greetings and support to soldiers in Alpha Company 3rd Platoon who are stationed in Kuwait. The “Hearts to Heroes” campaign was sponsored by 3WD radio station and Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative. The Cooperative designed and printed posters for local schools and volunteered to serve as a collection station for donations from the community. The posters and 21 boxes of snacks, hygiene articles and other items were packed and shipped to reach the troops before Valentine’s Day.

Lucas Crutchfield (left) and Carter Early display a poster that students at South Hill Elementary School signed with handprints for the “Hearts to Heroes” campaign sponsored by 3WD radio station and  Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative. The Cooperative created the poster for the children to sign and volunteered to serve as a collection station for items donated to Alpha Company 3rd Platoon stationed in Kuwait.  Employees of the Cooperative packed and shipped over 1,100 pounds of items to the platoon. 

Claudia Brooks, an art student at Park View High School, displays an American flag created in batik design (an ancient art form) to send to soldiers in Alpha Company  3rd Platoon stationed in Kuwait. Among those in the platoon is Sergeant Brigham Wilson, a native of South Hill and a Park View High School graduate.  3WD radio station and Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative sponsored the “Hearts to Heroes” campaign to provide packages for our overseas armed services personnel for Valentine’s Day.

Care packages containing snacks, hygiene supplies, Valentine posters and cards, and other items were sent to the soldiers in Alpha Company 3rd Platoon, stationed in Kuwait, as part of the “Hearts to Heroes” campaign sponsored by 3WD radio station and Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative.  Sergeant Brigham Wilson, a native of South Hill and a Park View High School graduate is pictured (back row, fourth from left) with other members of the platoon. Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative’s employees joined those contributing and also collected items donated by area students and residents. The Cooperative’s employees sorted and packed the treats and items, which collectively weighed over 1,100 pounds, and shipped them overseas in time for the soldiers to receive their packages for Valentine’s Day.

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