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NGEMC continues legacy at 81st Annual Meeting

Power with Purpose

August 4, 2017

Gary Black, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Agriculture and 2017 Georgia Trend Georgian of the Year, delivers the Keynote Address at NGEMC’s 81st Annual Meeting. Photo by Eddie Headrick.

At the 81st Annual Meeting on August 3, North Georgia Electric Membership Corporation (NGEMC) celebrated a long heritage of serving families and businesses of Northwest Georgia.  More than 1,200 members and guests attended Thursday’s event, held at the Dalton Convention Center.  

The tone of the meeting was set as veterans, local law enforcement, and first responders, including line workers, were recognized for their commitment to service and all they do to keep our communities strong. 

During the business portion of the meeting, members re-elected Gerald Lowery as the Catoosa County Director, Ted Clark as the Chattooga County Director, and Mark Thomas as the Whitfield County Director.  

“My fellow Directors and I are honored and privileged to serve you,” said Gerald Lowery, Chairman of the Board. “In fiscal year 2016-17, your Cooperative purchased 2.4 billion kilowatt-hours from TVA and invested over 14 million dollars in equipment and facilities.” 

“We pledge to keep the best interests of the membership at the forefront of every matter we consider, every decision we make, and every action we take,” he concluded.

In her address, Kathryn West, NGEMC president and CEO, mentioned the Coop’s tag line, Power with Purpose.  “Power with Purpose defines the electric cooperative model, created by and for the members,” said West. “I want to do something a little different today and showcase some of the challenges of our line crews, and I also want this presentation to be a tribute to one of our crew leaders, David Tinker, who died recently and unexpectedly, leaving a big void in our organization.”  

West explained the difficulty of power restoration and the Cooperative’s focus on safety, while sharing photos of scenarios the line crews encounter during restoration work.  She referenced the impact that the previous year’s drought, combined with this year’s rainfall, has had on the power system and the quantity of large trees falling from outside of the right of way corridor, often breaking power poles and bringing down lines.  “Since January, we have had 2.5 times the number of outages, compared to the same time period in the previous year,” said West.  “I am amazed daily at the work of our crews and all the employees who provide support.” 

“NGEMC employees are committed to giving you, our members, the very best service we possibly can,” she said in closing.

Gary Black, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Agriculture and Georgia Trend’s 2017 Georgian of the Year, delivered a keynote address.  Black gave compliment to the power crews across the state, acknowledging the difficulty and danger associated with their work and their constant commitment to service, day and night.    

Black went on to discuss the importance of agriculture in Georgia today.  “Agriculture and farming and ag business provide 74 billion dollars of economic activity in Georgia every year and continues to grow,” said Black.  “Agriculture is what we must do, what we should do,” he added.

As a cooperative, NGEMC is required by Georgia state law to hold an annual meeting of the members.  The bylaws designate the meeting date as the first Thursday of August.

Members of the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard present the colors at North Georgia EMC’s 81st Annual Meeting. Photo by Eddie Headrick.

Members enjoyed a variety of booths and exhibits as well as entertainment by The Jordan Family Band from Calhoun.  The Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office presented the colors before the meeting, and local law enforcement officers led the Pledge of Allegiance.

NGEMC is a consumer-owned, not-for-profit cooperative providing electricity to members in Catoosa, Chattooga, Floyd, Gordon, Murray, Walker and Whitfield counties. 

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