Pioneer focuses on safety, new community solar project

Pioneer Electric holds Member Appreciation Safety Day

Provided photo Trevor Lavy, lineman, demonstrates electrical safety.

Provided photo Trevor Lavy, lineman, demonstrates electrical safety.

PIQUA — Pioneer’s Cooperative Spirit Day and 81st Annual Meeting focused on safety, a new solar project and thanking a 21-year board member for his service to the community.

The annual event was held Saturday, March 25 at Edison Community College. The events began with a pancake breakfast and a management update from Pioneer President and CEO Ron Salyer and Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Susan Knore.

The management presentation included a summary of safety statistics, the 2016 Rural Electric Safety Achievement Program evaluation, and the performance of Pioneer employees throughout 2016. Members previewed a new video created to raise awareness of vehicle and power line safety.

“The safety of our members and employees is our number one priority,” Salyer told members.

The presentation also included an overview of the auditing process, Pioneer’s 2016 financials, and the cooperative’s recent community solar project installation at its Urbana district facility.

The formal annual meeting business session followed the management update. Board Chair Ron Clark discussed Pioneer’s preventive maintenance programs and system improvements including updates to multiple substations and future plans to build a new substation in the next two to three years. He also noted that Pioneer attained a company high 88 ACSI member satisfaction score for the third time in 2016.

“‘Everything we do revolves around you’ isn’t just a tag line to us; we truly believe it,” Clark told the members in attendance. “We act on input from the membership and measure your responsiveness to what we do.”

Clark also spoke on the importance of being heard on key issues by representatives in local, state, and federal government. He encouraged participation in Pioneer’s political action committee, ACRE Co-op Owners for Political Action, and thanked those who are already members.

Clark then honored retiring Pioneer Board Trustee Edward Sanders, of Fort Loramie. Sanders was first elected to the board of trustees in 1996. He held the position of first vice chair at the time of his retirement. Prior to his 21 years on the board of trustees, Sanders served 13 years on Pioneer’s Shelby County board. In addition to his time on Pioneer’s Board, he was also an active member of Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives’ Board for 17 years.

“Ed has been an excellent board member, always having the best interests of the entire membership in mind when considering issues and making decisions in the board room. He also represented us well on the state and nation level; today we recognize him for his loyal service and wish him the very best upon his retirement,” Clark said. S

anders was then presented a plaque recognizing his many years of loyal service and spoke briefly thanking all those in attendance as well as the staff, trustees, and board members.

“Good things don’t just happen, good people make them happen” Sanders said also noting “I want to thank you all for having faith in me to get the job done, It has been a pleasure to serve and a great 21-year trip, I certainly enjoyed the ride!”

The election results for the Pioneer Board of Trustees and each of the county boards were announced during the business meeting, as well. As a democratically controlled organization, those running for their respective boards are Pioneer members and are elected by their fellow members. Voting was conducted by mail and online.

Elected to three-year terms on the Pioneer Board of Trustees were: Ronald Clark of Champaign County, Ronald Bair of Miami County, and Roger Bertke of Shelby County. Positions were also filled on the county boards of the Champaign, Miami and Shelby districts. Those elected to the Champaign County board are Wayne Cook, St. Paris; Matthew Bugg, Urbana; Michael Rucker, Cable; and Jon Berry, Cable. Elected to the Miami County board are William Watercutter, Piqua; Dean McClurg, Tipp City; Robert Quinton, Troy; and James Sommer, Tipp City. Those to serve on the Shelby County board are Vernon Ahrns, Fort Loramie; Roger Lentz, Anna; Robert Wyen, Anna; and Jon Everett, Conover.

During their re-organizational meeting, the Pioneer Board elected the following officers for the year: Ron Clark, chair; Colleen Eidemiller, first vice chair; Ted Black, second vice chair; Terry Householder, secretary and Ron Bair, treasurer.

The event concluded with safety themed Cooperative Spirit Day events including displays on safety, information on Our Solar, Pioneer’s new community solar project, and rebate and incentive information for 2017. Six local organizations offered information and displays relating to safety. There were bike helmets given away, as well as lineman activities, face painting and balloon animals for children in attendance. “Solar Sam” a live animated character representing a solar panel passed our sun chips and posed with children and adults for photographs.

Pioneeer Electric Cooperative is a not-for-profit distribution utility focused on service to its member-owners in its primary territory of Champaign, Miami, and Shelby counties, as well as portions of the eight surrounding counties.

Provided photo Trevor Lavy, lineman, demonstrates electrical safety. photo Trevor Lavy, lineman, demonstrates electrical safety.
Pioneer Electric holds Member Appreciation Safety Day