Good Morning Everyone,
As I reflect over the last year, I wonder what else could go wrong. Last October, we were fully involved in the COVID-19 pandemic, with no end in sight. As everyone knows, by early 2021, things were beginning to improve. The Co-Op was managing well, even with all the difficulties that COVID brought about, and keeping the lights on. But then what happens? We are faced with the biggest winter storm anyone could have imaged.
The Co-op always prepares for winter storms and the problems they bring, but no one was fully prepared for Winter Storm Uri. The biggest storm to hit the United States, and especially Texas, was one for the history books. The largest problem for Rio Grande was trying to manage the rolling blackouts ordered by ERCOT. I know some members had problems, but as a whole, Rio Grande members fared better, and most had their power restored before people living elsewhere. I am very proud and want to say “Thank You” to management and all the personnel of your Co-Op--Especially the linemen who had to work in those conditions, and never once hesitated. Also, I would like to acknowledge and say “Thank You” to the members for being patient and understanding under these very difficult conditions. The cost to the Co-op was substantial, and if not for the strong financial position we are in, things for the members could have been a whole lot worse.
As the year progressed, COVID-19 eased and things were returning to something like normal. I was looking forward to having the annual meeting in person, with maybe a virtual side. But, as everyone now knows, the challenges for 2021 were not done. The pandemic found a new foothold, and is now in full swing again. So here we are once more, having our meeting virtually. Building on the success of last year’s meeting, I hope you will enjoy this one.
This last year has been a difficult time for Rio Grande Electric with all the challenges that we have had to deal with. I want you to know that you can be proud of every employee of Rio Grande. They have meet every challenge and worked hard to overcome and persevere.
I also want to thank all of the directors, who have shown their leadership through all of these challenges. They have stepped up and attended the monthly meetings with the thought of their counterparts’ safety in mind. If there was any chance they might have been exposed to COVID, they took measures to keep everyone safe and still take care of business. It has been my honor to work with such a dedicated and conservative group of men and women. Thank you.