WIEC Annual Meeting held June 28

Common goals and shared purposes was the theme of Western Illinois Electrical Coop.’s (WIEC) 79th annual meeting held Thursday, June 28 at the Hancock County Extension Center.

            Manager Tommie Long, who retired on June 29 after more than 40 years of service to the cooperative, said as a nation, we seem divided, but that is not the cooperative way. “For the past 80 years, employees, directors and you, the members, have had the common goal of providing safe, reliable, cost-effective electricity to a membership that has had a mission to bring power to the rural areas now served by WIEC,” he said. “WIEC was created for you, the member-owner, and to this day is successful due to the employees, the board of directors and the members working together.”

Long announced that Manager of Operations Todd Grotts will be taking over as the cooperative’s manager, saying, “Todd will be dedicated to continuing WIEC’s goals and mission. He is fair, congenial, family-oriented and a man of faith.”

President Rob Gronewold highlighted the employees’ commitment to member service, saying, “If you would add up all 16 WIEC employees’ work experience, you would have almost 250 years of total employment. It is hard in today’s world to find dedication like that.”

Gronewold honored Billing Coordinator Karmen Metternich for 20 years’ service to the co-op, Area Serviceman Cody Grainger was recognized for 15 years of service, and Journeyman Lineman Andy Lafeber, who was unable to be at the meeting due to an outage, was also recognized for 15 years of service.

A wooden plaque honoring former Billing Coordinator Clarabelle Marshall and all other retirees was presented to the cooperative by her son, Curtis Marshall. Gronewold said, “Clarabelle loved her job and loved serving the WIEC members. She took great pride in doing her job with great accuracy and attention to detail because that is what the members deserved.”

Grand prize winners were:   Johnnie M. Tobias, Lewis I Mohr, David B. Wetzel, Laura Iutzi Mosena,  and LEW LLC c/o Edward Wilson.