The CEC annual meeting of 2023. Photo by Wendy Ranney

By Leif Staving

The 45th annual meeting of the Cordova Electric Cooperative (CEC) was held at the Cordova Center on Monday.

CEC had low attendance at our 2022 annual meeting and we wanted to host a more attractive event that featured food and project information and slide shows from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and the business meeting from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

We featured large electric related prizes including a $1,000 CEC bill credit — which was won by Luke Borer — a matching GE clothes washer and dryer set which was won by John and Kate Williams, and a locally sourced e-bike from Cordova Gear that was won by Sun Young An.

The CEC annual meeting had a record number of attendees this week. Photos by Wendy Ranney

The meeting was attended by special guests including Andy Leman, the Cooperative’s attorney, Crystal Enkvist, the executive director of the Alaska Power Association (APA) – the electric utility trade association for Alaska, and Graham Kaiser, CEC’s CoBank relationship manager for our primary lender.

Leman presided as parliamentarian and legal counsel. Enkvist highlighted CEC’s accomplishments, including CEO Clay Koplin’s receipt of the Mason Lazelle award, the highest honor conferred by the APA in 2022, and to CEC Board Chairman Joe Cook in 2015. She also highlighted CEC’s pioneering in underground power lines and our national reach in influencing state and national energy policy.


Kaiser highlighted some of CoBank’s programs including the Sharing Success program that has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Cordova not-for-profit organizations over the past decade, and a $318,000 patronage check to CEC this year as a member of their Cooperative bank in 2022. Kaiser also presented a $2,000 donation to the Teaching Through Technology (T3) local program director Krysta Williams, who graciously accepted and discussed Orca Adventure Lodge’s hosting statewide T3 students at their lodge to perform energy audits and assessments. Williams and Cordova T3 students presented a slide show in the Atrium during the pre-meeting.

The CEC also awarded two $5,000 scholarships: one to Braden Beckett and one to Kiley Burton.

The meeting was very successful, setting a new 45-year attendance record of 149 members, breaking the former record of 125.

Voting turnout was also very high at almost 250, or 25% of the total membership. Incumbents Joe Cook, Chairman, and Rob Campbell were both re-elected to 3-year terms.

In her treasurer’s report, Emma Merrit, CEC Manager of Administration and Finance, explained how the high electric bills this winter are the result of the high fuel surcharge.

Koplin highlighted some of the projects, programs, and grant-related work in progress, and reminded everyone that electrical use for heating is very intensive and expensive during winter months, where a single 1500 watt heater can consume more than an entire home during cold months. He also highlighted the results of the customer survey, which also had exceptional participation of over 200, or nearly 20%, of the membership.

Lessons learned for next year, due to record attendance, include making sure there is more food available and how to check members into the meeting more quickly.

Leif Stavig is the executive assistant at the Cordova Electric Cooperative.