Charting our journey

EnergyLines May 2018

A LOOK BACK: CEO Steve Smith shares a smile with the audience during his annual meeting message.

The 2018 Hoosier Energy Annual Meeting, while welcoming new members, was also set for good-byes. The meeting was more than just a summary of the previous year. Several officers and members had announced their retirements, making this their last annual meeting.


CEO’s message

A look back from 1930’s and into 2030’s. While it was rumored that CEO Steve Smith would work well into his 70’s since the corporation is on a great path, with great people, Smith decided that he would rather work with a different group of great people: his grandkids.


Smith referred to his plans in his opening remarks. He also mentioned that he wanted to cover where Hoosier Energy had come from and give a glimpse of what is still to come, covering almost 100 years.


From the 1930s to 2030s, change has been and will be eminent. Cutting edge technology was used to get Hoosier Energy where it is today and will continue to take us into the future. Big and bold initiatives helped carry the company through a troubled economy.


The buzz in the 90’s was deregulation. It occurred in the airline and telephone industries and electric utilities were next, both wholesale and retail deregulation were in play. Electric prices were expected to drop dramatically but became extremely volatile and increased for several years.


In 2005, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (MISO) was formed as the nation’s first regional transmission organization. MISO provides an open and transparent market that puts smaller utilities like Hoosier Energy on a level playing field with large entities and continues to progress today.


Renewable resources continue to grow as the portfolio now includes wind, hydro, landfill gas and solar power production.


“I am pleased to report that recently I signed an agreement to buy energy from the new 200MW Riverstart solar project in Whitewater Valley’s territory,” announced Smith from the podium. “It will be the largest solar array east of the Mississippi river. This project will get us to our 10 percent renewables target ahead of schedule.”


Smith concluded with a look to the future, not just of the company, but the consumer’s world. More electric cars on the road, greater utilization of renewable resources and opportunities to grow in the electric generation field.


Chairman of the Board’s message

Situation is right for growth

Retiring Chairman Herb Haggard took the podium for his last time at the 2018 Annual Meeting. Haggard had several points of discussion for his speech. He started off by mentioning the upcoming retirements of several employees and board members. Haggard went on to mention that Hoosier Energy is a very well managed company, financially sound and positioned to move forward.


“They have an excellent staff with an excellent group of young people coming forth,” said Haggard. “You will see many changes coming up for Hoosier Energy – primarily in the people. Retirements will bring a lot of changes. The leadership program with Indiana University is a tremendous program, developed to bring on new talent and cultivate existing talent.”


Challenges in the foreseeable future, according to Haggard, are unavoidable. Challenges will include Environmental Protection Agency challenges, government regulations and retaining employees. Haggard feels the latter will be a challenge because Hoosier Energy is creating such an excellent group of workers that it may become a feeder program for competitors.


Haggard concluded with a heart-felt thanks to his family, who were in attendance.


In addition to remarks by Smith and Haggard, the business session included a 2017 year-in-review video and the presentation of service awards.


Exhibit booths inform attendees

Ten booths filled the hallway just outside of the meeting room. Hoosier Energy employees were there to engage attendees, answer questions and create an atmosphere of helpfulness.


The booths were presented by the following areas:

  • Environmental Services – educational outreach programs
  • Economic Development – Industrial site and building location information
  • Human Resources – Leadership development programs
  • Wellness – Walking for fitness
  • Billing and Forecasting – Member survey results
  • Renewable Energy – My Solar program
  • Communications – Communication Toolbox
  • Power Delivery – Tools of the trade
  • Marketing – Online lighting store
  • Safety and Training – Training equipment

Annual service awards

  • 2 years – John Edwards; Director on Daviess Martin County REMC
  • 10 years – Larry Hosselton; Director, Wayne-White Counties Electric Cooperative
  • 20 years – Herb Haggard; Director, Johnson County REMC
  • 25 years – Bob Stroup; RushShelby Energy Director


TOP: Kyle Parker, Forecasting Analyst for Business Development, answers questions for attendees visiting the Billing and Forecasting booth. Their presentation included member survey results. MIDDLE: Josh Cisney, Project Developer, Renewable Energy, speaks to attendees during the annual meeting as the renewable department had a Chevrolet Bolt allelectric car to help educate attendees about electric vehicles. BOTTOM: Chairman Herb Haggard recognizes Bob Stroup, RushShelby Energy, for his 25 years of service on the Hoosier Energy board of directors.


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