An Annual Meeting like no other


Angela Coy, manager of accounts receivable at Bluebonnet, assists in registering member Linda Makowsky of Burton during the cooperative’s drive-through Annual Meeting at the Silos on 77 near Giddings on May 11, 2021. (Sarah Beal photo)

Bluebonnet's Annual Meetings are big events steeped in tradition. Every year for decades, hundreds of cooperative members have gathered on the second Tuesday in May to chat with other members, shake the hands of co-op leaders, get information, ask questions, get a snack and perhaps win a door prize.

The 2020 meeting was held without public attendance due to COVID-19. This year, Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative brought back a bit of the in-person feel to the event with its first drive-through Annual Meeting on May 11.

In the parking lot of the Silos on 77, an event facility in Giddings, members were guided through two white tents, each wide enough for several lanes of vehicles. The threat of thunderstorms didn’t deter nearly 200 members, many accompanied by spouses, kids or pets, from driving through. They were able to register, greet employee volunteers, get answers to questions, chat from their front seat with cooperative leaders, and get a bag full of useful news and information. Attendees even received the traditional kolaches, safely tucked in individual bags.

“We were all happy to return to having our Annual Meeting with members this year,” said Ben Flencher, Bluebonnet’s Board chairman. “It sure was nice to see and visit with our friends and neighbors.”

During the Annual Meeting, two incumbent members of the Bluebonnet Board of Directors were re-elected: Shana Whiteley, District 2, Travis County, and Bryan Bracewell, District 3, Bastrop County.

Whiteley has served on the Board since 2017 and owns the Good Luck Grill in Manor and the Lucky Duck Cafe in Taylor.

“Bluebonnet is an organization of exceptional quality and integrity,” she said. “It is my privilege and honor to be re-elected to the Board during this exciting time of growth and prosperity.”

Bracewell joined the Board in 2018 and owns Southside Market & Barbeque, with locations in Elgin, Bastrop, Austin and Hutto.

“The commitment and care everyone at Bluebonnet has for the members and communities we serve are rooted in the co-op’s 82-year history,” he said. “I am thankful for the opportunity to contribute to Bluebonnet’s success.”

Before the event, 6,682 Bluebonnet members participated in the Annual Meeting by submitting proxy forms. Those, along with the 193 members who registered at the event, constituted
a quorum for the meeting. 

“We weren’t sure what to expect from a drive-through meeting,” said Matt Bentke, Bluebonnet’s general manager. “Judging from my conversations with members, it was a great success.”

Every member who submitted a proxy or registered at the drive-through was also entered into drawings for numerous door prizes. Doyle Janner of Brenham won the big prize — a 2008 Chevrolet 1500 extended cab being retired from Bluebonnet’s fleet. “It’ll make a great farm truck,” he said. Daniel Muff of Bastrop and Kenneth Sprinkles of Manor each won a Cub Cadet zero-turn riding lawn mower.

Download this story as it appeared in the Texas Co-op Power magazine »

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