CEO Message – April 2022

You Can’t Eat Prime Rib With a Mask on

scott peters headshotIt’s the moment, and the meal, we’ve been waiting for since March of 2020, when we had to turn our Annual Meeting into a foodless online webcast for the first time. I promised you then that someday we would get back together and feast once more, and I am happy to tell you that feast we will—a little less than three weeks from now.

On Thursday, April 21, the 2022 Columbia Rural Electric Association (REA) Annual Meeting will be held in our Warehouse at the Walla Walla Service Center. If that sounds like a strange location for a prime rib dinner, rest assured. We have proof of concept. Some of you may recall that we had our employee Christmas dinner in the warehouse back in December, and it was so successful that nearly everyone voted in favor of a repeat engagement next year.

We understand that while many are embracing our newly unmasked world with abandon, others are more comfortable proceeding with a bit of caution. Safety is always the number one rule around here, and we will observe basic social distancing guidelines with the goal of providing a comfortable environment for everyone.

This is also a rare opportunity to give you a glimpse inside Columbia REA. Most of you have never had the chance to walk through our warehouse, and we hope you’ll take us up on this invitation to get a closer look. We have some interesting show-and-tell planned with the help of our line crews and our engineers. It should be a fun night.

But this is a meeting after all, and we have business to take care of. On the agenda, as always, will be the sharing of the results of this year’s Board elections. Voting is underway right now, so please vote if you haven’t already and see page 29 of this issue if you still have questions about how to vote.

We will also announce the recipients of our 2022 Clark Brewington academic scholarships. Once again, we had a stack of very strong applications from an impressive group of local high school seniors. Thank you to all who applied, and best of luck to you in your future academic endeavors. You’ll all do great.

We couldn’t complete this important work without help from our members, so again, our sincere appreciation and a big thank-you to the following volunteers who served on our various committees this year:

Nominating Committee: Ed Chvatal, John Cress, Duane Depping, Darren Goble, Todd Kimball, Doug Maxey, Pat McConnell, John Miller, Robert Riley

Elections and Credentials Committee: Tom Dean, Alan Hamada, Alan Mehlenbacher, Charles Reeves, Ruth Rencken, Sue Zimmerman

Scholarship Committee: The members on this committee remain anonymous, but to them, we are deeply grateful for all of their hard work.

We hope to see you on the 21st!

Be safe, stay healthy,
Scott Peters, CEO