LATEST MEDIA COVERAGE
The Valley Electric Board of Directors approved the creation of four new member committees at its April 2019 Board meeting. All four committees are expected to improve communication, transparency and accountability among the VEA membership, Board and the Cooperative’s staff.
The four committees will consist of two Board members and Co-op members (or spouses of members) from each district and each will meet quarterly beginning probably in July. A VEA Board member will chair each committee. Following are the committees approved by the Board:
• Finance. The committee will be made up of at least six members that will review reports and make recommendations pertaining the Cooperative’s fiscal operation. Duties will include reviewing the annual work plan and budget, recommending external audit firms and advising the Board on rate issues. Besides the two Board members, it is hoped that up to six committee members would have some financial expertise, and each of Cooperative’s six districts need to be represented.
• Policy. The goal of the Policy Committee will be to review and make recommendations for revisions to VEA policies on a three-year cycle. The panel will be made up of at least 12 members with policy and procedure experience, plus two Board members.
• Member Liaison. This committee, comprised of two Board members and up to 24 members, will advise the Board on matters involving communications by sharing news and information and assisting research pertaining to VEA services, strategies, bylaws and finances. Members should be active in community affairs in their communities.
• Charitable Foundation. The committee will assist with fundraising opportunities and will help ensure that the needs of communities served by VEA are represented in the foundation’s mission. The committee will be made up at least 13 members, including Board members, employees and members from each of VEA’s six districts.
VEA Board President Dave Hall said the purpose of new the committee structure is to “help re-engage our Board with our members. We want to refocus our efforts inward, on our members and our communities that we serve, and being open and transparent in our communication.”
In effect, the committees will replace the VEA Ambassador Program, which has been in existence for a decade. “We sincerely appreciate the time, energy and commitment of our Ambassador volunteers over the years,” said VEA Interim Chief Executive Dick Peck in a letter to Ambassadors. “Together, we’ve made a positive impact in the lives of members in all of the communities that we serve. A strong committee structure is essential to the effectiveness of any member-owned organization. The new committee program will bring members back into direct interaction with our Board and our staff.”
Though supportive of much of the work conducted by Ambassadors, Peck said the structure of the program was flawed. “The committee process must link the membership, the Board and the staff, and the Ambassador program was independent of the Board. I believe that some of the issues at VEA can be attributed to that.
“With a combination of VEA Board members and member liaisons, combined with staff support and involvement, it gives us an opportunity to build the future of our Co-op together,” Peck wrote in the letter to Ambassadors. “We are all members and neighbors, so we will work together to have a Co-op that will be around for future generations. Together we can empower our communities to achieve their full potential.”
Expenses for committee members who must travel to Pahrump to attend meetings will be covered by the Co-op, said Peck. For those who are unable to travel but still wish to serve, remote video access will be set up in each of the outlying communities.
The complete text of the new policy can be found on VEA’s website – www.vea.coop. To be considered for a position on one of the committees, members are encouraged to contact the Board member in their district. Applicants must be VEA members (or spouse) and can submit an online application at www.vea.coop. Decisions on committee membership will be made by the Board of Directors by the end of June. Terms of membership on committees are expected to be decided by the board by the end of 2019.
Peck said VEA will take applications for the four Committees of the VEA Board of Directors during May and June, with a potential launch in this summer.