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Special Meeting of The Board of Trustees June 11, 2020

The special meeting of the Board of Trustees of Clay Electric Co-operative, Inc. (CECI) was held at the Clay Electric Co-operative Headquarters, Flora, Illinois beginning at 8:00 o’clock a.m. on Thursday, June 11, 2020.

Electricity brings everyday value

Many people have a cell phone to stay connected and subscribe to cable channels to enjoy more viewing options. Many of us consider these necessities for modern day life. We can see what we’re getting for our money, and we pay the price for those services. In contrast, when we use electricity, we don’t necessarily “see” all that we’re getting for our money.

From the Manager - 76th Annual Meeting Postponed

August would be the month of our 76th Annual Meeting of the Members for Clay Electric Co-operative. As it stands, we will be postponing our annual meeting. 

Minutes of the Board of Trustees Meeting April 27, 2020

The regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of Clay Electric Cooperative, Inc. (CECI) was held at the Clay Electric Cooperative Headquarters, Flora, Illinois beginning at 7:00 o’clock p.m. on Monday, April 27, 2020.

Trustees present were: Kevin Logan, Bob Pierson, Bill Croy, Danny Schnepper, Greg Smith, Neil Gould and Frank Herman. Also present were: Luke Johnson, CEO. Frank Czyzewski, Richard Rudolphi, and Tyra Cycholl, Attorney for the Board, participated via conference call. The meeting was opened by Bob Pierson, who presided and Greg Smith, acted as secretary thereof

I hit a power pole or other electrical equipment. Now what?

We all think it will never happen to us, but it can in an instant.

Drivers veer off the road and run into power poles. Farmers sometimes contact a power line while driving tractors or other machinery. Dump or feed truck drivers raise or lower their bed and snag a power line.

People can become dangerously close or enter electricity’s path. Knowing what to do in that situation can save your life. Incidents with power lines or other utility equipment break the electrical current’s usual path. This can make the ground, vehicles and other equipment electrified. 

Rewarding effort: Cooperative scholarships making a difference

By Adam McKnight

The Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives (AIEC) and all its member cooperatives around the state hold dear the seven cooperative principles. The AIEC and Clay Electric Co-operative hold “Concern for Community” to be particularly important. The scholarship programs at the local and statewide level are a way that we can directly help the members of our community. 

The AIEC awards 12 $2,000 scholarships each year. Six scholarships are awarded to high school seniors who are children of a member of an Illinois electric cooperative. Four scholarships are reserved for member’s children enrolling full-time at a two-year Illinois community college. One scholarship, the Earl W. Struck Memorial Scholarship, goes to a high school senior who is the son or daughter of an Illinois electric cooperative employee or director. One scholarship, the LaVern and Nola McEntire Lineworker’s Scholarship, is awarded to a student to attend the lineworker’s school conducted by the AIEC in conjunction with Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield.

One of the four community college scholarships was awarded to Brady Clark of Louisville. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Brady (digitally) to talk about his future and the small part that Clay Electric Cooperative and the AIEC get to play in his future successes.

Can you tell me a bit about yourself and your community?

My name is Brady Clark and I have lived in Clay County all my life. I attend North Clay High School and will be graduating in the Class of 2020. My hobbies are hanging out with family and friends, showing cattle and goats, and hunting. Louisville is a great hometown and rural community because of the people within it. The people support each other in times of need and join together in times of joy.

How did you find out about the scholarship?

I found out about this scholarship at the college fair at Flora High School. I remember walking in and seeing the booth for this scholarship. I took the pamphlet and added it to the college scholarships I wanted to pursue. I urge all students to attend college fairs because you never know what opportunities are waiting for you. 

What have you learned about the cooperative business model since applying for the scholarship and youth tour opportunities?

Coming from a family that is a member of three different cooperatives, I have always had curiosity about what cooperatives were growing up. I have learned a lot about the cooperative business model. It made me realize and really appreciate the resources we have like electricity, water, telephone and internet. The cooperative business model allows communities to come together and form a cooperative business for what the community needs. 

What are your collegiate plans?

My educational plans and goals are to become a veterinarian. In my county, veterinary care is limited for large animals. I plan to start that path at Lake Land College studying agriculture. Next, transfer to Southern Illinois University in Carbondale to obtain my bachelor’s degree in animal science. Once I obtain my bachelor’s degree, my goal is to attend the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana and receive my doctorate in veterinary medicine. 

What are your plans after college?

After I get my doctorate, I plan to work at a veterinary clinic near my hometown to gain experience within the field. After a few years and knowledge gained, I would like to come back home to start my own practice in Clay County.

What is your favorite thing about living in rural Illinois?

My favorite thing about living in rural Illinois is being able to be engaged with the great outdoors that most people in cities have never had the pleasure to enjoy. Another aspect I love about rural Illinois is the community because everyone around here has hometown values, which I am grateful to have grown up around. 

What is the hardest thing about living in rural Illinois?

The hardest thing about living in rural Illinois is the fact that the people in communities like mine and many others are overlooked in political situations and for resources for our local communities. 

What advice can you give to students that plan on applying for scholarships and prepare for college next year?

The best advice I can give to students preparing for college and applying for scholarships is to be active and record your invested time in clubs or community service. This advice was given to me by my school counselor as it is the best advice by far. This is great advice because knowing all of what you did and putting it into scholarships and college applications will keep you one step ahead of most people.

Minutes of the Board of Trustees Meeting - February 21, 2020

The regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of Clay Electric Co-operative, Inc. (CECI) was held at the Clay Electric Co-operative Headquarters, Flora, Illinois beginning at 1:00 o’clock p.m. on Friday, Feb. 21, 2020.

Trustees present were: Kevin Logan, Bill Croy, Frank Czyzewski, Bob Pierson, Richard Rudolphi, Neil Gould, Danny Schnepper, Greg Smith, and Frank Herman. Also present were: Luke Johnson, CEO, and Tyra Cycholl, Attorney for the Board. The meeting was opened by Bob Pierson, who presided and Greg Smith, acted as secretary thereof.

The power of oxygen - Being prepared for outages and other emergencies

If you or someone you know uses supplemental oxygen for a health condition, it is important to be prepared in case of an outage or other emergency. It is common to have an oxygen concentrator in the home to eliminate the need for bulky and inconvenient oxygen tanks. A noticeable downside, however, is the need for electrical power. This dependence could turn a routine power issue into a life-threatening situation. It is important to know your condition and be prepared.


Clay Electric Co-operative is proud

From the Manager - April 2020

April 13 is Lineworker Appreciation Day. Clay Electric Co-operative is blessed to have some of the most exceptional men working for us that I've had the privilege of knowing. I worked hand in hand with our crews in my career and know firsthand just how much our linemen believe in the cooperative model.