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Touchstone Energy Cooperatives

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March 2017 Board Highlights

Published On: March 08, 2017

The Touchstone Energy board of directors met March 1 and 2 in San Diego. NRECA CEO Jim Matheson was a guest, and a valuable discussion was held regarding the current positive impact of collaboration between the two groups. Other highlights included:

  • Approving new membership for Wild Rice and McLeod Cooperative Power in Minnesota; Talquin Electric Cooperative, FL; Park Electric Cooperative, MT; Chugach Electric Cooperative, AK; Central Georgia EMC, GA, and Dixie Electric Cooperative, MS. Membership is stable at 741 as of March 1.
  • A report by the Ad Hoc Investment Fees committee and the approval of an onboarding fee for new members and members who leave and return to Touchstone Energy membership. The fee, which replaces the one-time initiation fee, is on a sliding scale from $500 to $5,000 and is designed to cover the cost of in-person co-op staff orientation and brand launch consultation. The committee reviewed current distribution cooperative tier levels and recommended no revisions at this time. The committee strongly recommended further research and review of G&T investment fees. Committee members included Tresa Hussong of Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative, IA; Steve Tomac of Basin Electric Power Cooperative, ND; Lee Boughey of Tri-State G&T, CO, and Chris Studer of East River Power Cooperative, SD.
  • An unaudited financial report showing that Touchstone Energy is in strong financial condition with net income in 2016 of $132,000 and ending member equity of close to $4 million. No dues increase is planned for 2018.
  • An update on the executive director search process. The first round of in-person interviews is scheduled for March 14 and 15. The board’s goal is to have a new executive director on board in May.
  • COO Mary McLaury provided a progress report on strategic priorities and member meetings. Regional Member Chair Lou Green talked about the leadership role the regional members are taking to build the brand locally. Advisory committee chairs and liaisons reported on new programs and priorities for 2017.
  • The board honored departing board president Geoff Oldfather of Arizona G&T Cooperatives and departing board members Rick Ryan of Nolin RECC, KY, and Steve Tomac of Basin Electric Power Cooperative, ND.
  • The board welcomed new directors Kevin Bernson of Shelby Electric Cooperative, IL; Jennifer Goss of Tri-State G&T, CO and Sean Vanslyke of SEMO Electric Cooperative, MO.

The next board meeting will be July 11 and 12 in Nashville, TN.

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