NGEMC continues legacy at 80th annual meeting
At its 80th annual members meeting on August 4, North Georgia Electric Membership Corporation (NGEMC) celebrated a long heritage of serving families and businesses of Northwest Georgia. More than 1,300 members and guests attended Thursday’s event, held at the Dalton Convention Center.
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) President and CEO, Bill Johnson, gave the keynote address, highlighting TVA’s history and 80 years of partnership with NGEMC. Johnson reflected on the Rural Electrification Act (REA) and the New Deal, while commenting on the value the cooperative model continues to bring to our communities today.
Members re-elected John Howard to the Walker County board position and Kathy Welch to serve as director from Murray County.
"Much has changed since our co-op’s founding in 1936," said Board Chairman, Gerald Lowery. "Membership has grown; new infrastructure has transformed the delivery process; new technology has improved service and reliability; but the heart of the cooperative is the same. In 1936, people who needed electricity on their farms and in their homes came together to make things happen. They formed a cooperative."
At the Co-op's first annual meeting, which was held in 1937, the board reported that NGEMC had 1,766 meters, 437 miles of line, and the plant value was $452,210. Today, with more than 98,000 meters, 6,400 miles of line, 34 substations and four area offices, the current plant value of NGEMC's facilities is more than $394 million.
“We are very proud of the legacy of North Georgia,” said Kathryn West, NGEMC president and CEO. “If you can build something up over 80 years – and when I say you, I mean all of you [the members of NGEMC] – that is quite an accomplishment, and we are working really hard to continue the tradition of service that has been established.” West concluded by expressing appreciation to the employees of NGEMC for their commitment to each member.
As a cooperative, NGEMC is required by Georgia state law to hold an annual meeting of the consumer members. The bylaws designate the first Thursday in August as the date of the event.
Members enjoyed a variety of booths and exhibits as well as entertainment by The Ball Brothers, a Christian music group from Chickamauga. NGEMC was proud to welcome Gary Black, Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture, and the Georgia Grown display to this year’s annual meeting. Local law enforcement officers led the pledge of allegiance and were recognized for their dedicated service.