Gibson Electric Membership Corporation hosted a crowd of members April 1 at its 84th Annual Members’ Meeting on the grounds of Obion County Central High School in Troy. For the safety of members and employees, the meeting was held in a drive-through format.
Members drove through registration where they were presented a gift, pre-packaged snacks and bottled water. They were told where to tune their radios to participate in the meeting and directed to parking spaces facing the stage.
During the business meeting, Board Chairman Steve Sanders welcomed the members and introduced the board members, including the newly elected Jim Turner of Yorkville, Tennessee and Bruce Kimbell of Clinton, Kentucky. Turner represents members in District 4, the position formerly held by the late Larry Hicks; and Kimbell represents members in District 12, the position formerly held by Lilly Kimbell who graciously and capably served out the term of her late husband, David Kimbell. Sanders also recognized the valuable contributions of three dedicated board members who passed away during the past year – Don Leathers, Larry Hicks and David Kimbell.
Dan Rodamaker, President and CEO of Gibson EMC and Gibson Connect encouraged attendees to read through the 2020 Annual Report to learn about the co-op’s accomplishments during the past year.
“We have connected more than 8,000 homes and businesses to high-speed internet, and we’re on track to provide access to all of our members by mid-2023,” he said.
Rodamaker told the crowd that the co-op has been applying for and has been awarded about $7.5 million in grants in Tennessee. “We hope that we also will be successful in Kentucky with grant applications in 2021,” he said.
Rodamaker announced that very recently Gibson EMC had been awarded a 50% matching grant of $1.38 million for the Rives and Hop-In areas of Southwest Obion County. “We applaud and very much appreciate the support our federal, state and local leadership have provided,” he said. “Gig speed broadband service is truly a game changer for our members and communities.”
Gibson EMC officials said the cooperative hopes to return to its normal in-person meeting format next year.