77th Annual Meeting Brings Business and
THEY CAME FOR THE DOOR PRIZES and to participate in the business of their
co-op by voting on directors and listening to the news of the past year. But the 171 members of
Navarro County Electric Cooperative and scores of guests who came to the co-op’s 2017 annual
membership meeting were there for the fellowship, too.
“Actually we’ve gotten to know some of the members over so many years that there’s a lot of
them we greet with hugs,” said Lindy Shaw, manager of administrative services at Navarro
County EC. “You’ll see people that greet them with hugs, and they’ve known them for a hundred
years, it seems like.” Over a career spanning 38 years at the co-op, Shaw doesn’t recall missing a
single membership meeting. She was there this May 20 to help greet members as they arrived for
the co-op’s 77th annual event, held at Navarro College’s Dawson Auditorium in Corsicana. Nearly
four decades in, Shaw says she still looks forward to the opportunity to meet and greet members in
person. “We get to have one-on-one contact with our members, which we always enjoy,” she said.
Once inside, members gave voice votes re-electing Bill Southard, District IV,
and Alfred Martin, District V, to additional three-year terms on the board of directors. The
democratically elected board represents the voices of the co-op members in guiding the direction
and decision-making of the cooperative. Democratic Member Control is one of the Seven
Cooperative Principles that guides co-ops’ operations.
Billy Jones, Navarro County EC’s CEO and general manager, explained that although electricity
sales and revenues were down for 2016, the co-op is in fine shape financially. “Kilowatt-hour sales
were down substantially in 2016,” Jones said in his yearly report to the membership. “This was
mainly because one of our largest industrial loads didn’t run.” The cooperative sold about 494
million kWh of power in 2015 compared to some 464 million kWh in 2016, yet members paid less
for their power in the past year. The average retail price per kWh sold fell from 8.26 cents in 2015
to 7.40 cents in 2016. At the end of 2016, a margin of nearly $3.4 million was left over, said
George Smith, the board’s secretary-treasurer. “Which is pretty good because that actually means
that the co-op was operated on a little over 28 cents out of every dollar collected from the
members,” Smith said. “The net utility plant was increased by over a million dollars while reducing
longterm debt by approximately half a million. That’s a good feat of management, and thanks go
to Billy Jones and his staff. It really makes my job giving this report a lot easier.” Navarro County
EC has more than $90 million in assets to its name, serving 15,899 meters along 2,969 miles of
line, Jones said.
Another of the Seven Cooperative Principles is Concern for Community, and Jones explained that
Navarro County EC upholds its commitment to that ideal through Operation Round Up and its
scholarship program. Since its inception in 2009, Operation Round Up has distributed $579,655 to
community organizations located within the co-op’s service territory, Jones said. The funds come
from members who volunteer to “round up” their electric bills every month to the next whole dollar
amount. Those pennies per month do a lot of good.
This year, 71 local students applied for scholarships through the cooperative, Jones said, and the
eight who were chosen to receive the $6,000 awards were recognized at the meeting. Selected
were Garrett Berry, Ashleigh Bugg, Brooke Pennington, Megan Sheffield, Riley Simpson, Taner
Tunstall, Rylan Wade and Taylor Williams.
The co-op had something for other members, too, just for showing up. At the door, all attending
members earned a gift assortment that included a windshield sunshade, pen and rain gauge, and
every member present was eligible for one of nearly 65 door prizes, ranging from tools and gift
cards to cash and even a 55-inch TV. It’s a part of the meeting that Shaw doesn’t miss. “I like to
see the members, the gifts—and the members’ reactions to the gifts,” she said.
Before he wrapped up his annual talk, Jones paused to thank his employees, who in 2016
celebrated eight years without a lost-time accident or injury on the job. In addition to keeping
employees and members safe and service reliable, preventing accidents adds up to cost savings
for the co-op and its members.
“I want to say today that I appreciate the efforts of the employees and the support of the board
for the safety program. The employees have demonstrated a real commitment to safety,” Jones
said, asserting the distinction that comes with nearly a decade of safe work. “That’s a really big
deal in this business.”
Billy Jones - CEO / General Manager
|NCEC 2017 Annual Member Meeting
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