The purpose of this announcement is to alert RERC supporters of a major change in the weeks ahead for the organization. A series of factors over the past few years has challenged RERC’s Board of Directors to make difficult decisions regarding the future of the program.
First, it has been increasingly difficult for RERC to generate enough income to cover rising expenses. Since 2012, significant cost-cutting measures have been in-place. As well, the Council has expanded its training and value-added services in an attempt to attract more memberships, as well as non-dues revenue.
At the same time, electric companies and cooperatives have been dealing with their own tightening funds. This affected RERC since fewer dollars were available to support allied organizations. To cope with financial short-falls and find a path for RERC’s future, the Board has held multiple strategic planning sessions.
An additional factor occurred in February of this year, when Executive Manager Richard Hiatt shared with directors his interest in retiring before the end of 2016. According to Hiatt, “I’m calling it semi-retirement, because I hope to continue helping rural power suppliers, but at a slower pace.”
With insufficient funds to attract a replacement manager for the organization, the Board explored several alternatives. Ultimately the dissolution of the Council was the remaining option. The timing for this close-down had to occur near the beginning of RERC’s fiscal year (October 1st). “We didn’t want to ask for membership renewals and be unable to give members their full year of services” said Rick Gerdeman, Chairman of the RERC Board.
Closing-Down RERC the Right Way
The termination process is being done according to the original Articles of Incorporation (1957) and Bylaws of the Council. A representative was selected from each member organization, and was sent an email announcement on October 18, 2016 outlining the Board’s intentions. Each member organization is entitled to one vote. Those wishing to cast a vote can print-out and complete the Proxy Card contained within the email. We prefer that signed cards be faxed rather than mailed to RERC at FAX # 937-383-0001, but either way it must arrive no later than October 31, 2016. Votes will be counted during the Conference Call Meeting of RERC on November 1, 2016. (Those wanting details on the Conf. Call can email the RERC office at firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Council will use its remaining financial reserves to keep the program active until December 1, 2016. Soon after, any remaining assets will be donated to other nonprofit organizations as dictated by RERC Bylaws. The Council’s Board is expected to continue its function on a month-by-month basis to monitor funds, set needed policy, and complete final dissolution paperwork. At that point it will disband.
For additional information, feel free to contact Richard Hiatt at the RERC office, or any of the Council’s Board members.
|Where to Get Assistance After RERC Closes Down
For those interested in purchasing publications like the Agricultural Wiring Handbook, Sizing and Selecting Your Standby Generator, Practical Irrigation Wiring and others, there is still an option.
RERC’s semi-retired manager Richard Hiatt has launched his own consulting group to continue assisting rural power suppliers. He will be offering the most popular materials previously sold by RERC. Other assistance will be available on projects and training that promotes “Electric Learning” through the website www.ElecLearning.org.
Offerings will ramp-up after the official closing of RERC. So stay tuned as the site begins to build, or you can contact Richard directly at RHiatt888@gmail.com to explore possibilities.