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Three board trustees re-elected at 79th Cullman EC Annual Meeting

A crowd of several thousand people came out on a beautiful morning to participate in activities at Cullman Electric Cooperative’s 79th Annual Meeting on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015, at Northbrook Church.

Three seats on the Cullman EC board of trustees were voted on, and the incumbent won all three. In District 1, Neil Rainwater was re-elected, while District 3 trustee Robert Tidwell and District 5 trustee Dr. Lisa Weeks won their seats in unopposed races. Members could vote by mail, starting in mid-August, or at the meeting. Co-op members cast a total of more than 6,000 ballots for this year’s election.

It was a perfect morning to be outside, and thousands of co-op members along with their family and friends came out to enjoy bucket truck rides, children’s inflatable games, arts and crafts and free food and drinks. Students, teachers and parents from Meek High School cooked hot dogs for this year’s meeting. Guests who wanted to stay inside were treated to a concert by Southern gospel group The Dixie Melody Boys and visited the free health fair hosted by Cullman Regional Medical Center.

Members also received the 2016 Cullman EC Calendar and Member Handbook. The 16-month calendar includes the last four months of 2015, and features images from the co-op’s photo archives from the 1950s and ‘60s. The calendars are free, and are now available at the co-op offices in Cullman and Addison.

During the co-op’s business meeting, president & CEO Grady Smith announced that beginning on Oct. 1, 2015, residential members would see a $1 increase in the monthly customer charge. Other rate classes will see a proportional increase. At the same time, TVA will raise the rate the co-op pays for wholesale power by 1.5 percent. That increase will be passed along to members beginning in October as well. The TVA rate increase will amount to an additional $1.45 per month for the average residential account.

Members saw a video on projects Cullman EC is working on or has completed in the past year, including the North Cullman Substation expansion, relocating power lines on County Road 222 to accommodate the new interchange on Interstate 65, and relocating distribution power lines as part of the Duck River Dam reservoir project.

At the conclusion of the meeting, drawings were held to award the grand prize — a 2007 Chevy Colorado truck — and 20 $100 power bill credits. The winners were:

Grand prize — Bethlehem East Baptist Church

$100 power bill credit
1. Johnny Luker
2. Mary Murphree
3. Betty B. Smith
4. Tim Aldridge
5. John Kilgo
6. Doris Clark
7. Joyce A Collyar
8. Billy H. Durham
9. Betty K. Phillips
10. Brenda R. Drake
11. John D. Edwards
12. Dawn H. Klinger
13. Albie Wren
14. Michael D. Lowe
15. Dean McMinn
16. Robert L. Baker
17. Ashley L. Vaughn
18. Johnny L. Nail
19. David J. Tanner
20. Frankie Wood

Cullman EC Annual Meeting set for Sept. 12

Registration cards and ballots for the board of trustees election have been mailed to all Cullman Electric Cooperative members in advance of the 79th Annual Meeting, set for Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015. The event is at Northbrook Church from 8 a.m. until noon, with registration closing at 11 a.m.

Included with the Annual Meeting packet are a registration card, ballot, postage-paid return envelope and voting instructions with profiles on each of the board candidates as well as information on all of the events and activities at this year’s annual meeting.

Members can register and vote by mail or on the day of the annual meeting. Members who register and vote by mail must return their card and ballot by Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015.

Members who register and vote are entered into a drawing for one of 20 $100 bill credits. Members who register and attend the annual meeting receive a $15 bill credit and can enter to win the grand prize drawing for a 2007 Chevy Colorado truck.

Activities at this year’s annual meeting include a concert by the Dixie Melody Boys (9-11 a.m.), inflatable games for children, bucket truck rides, a free health clinic by Cullman Regional Medical Center as well as free hot dogs, popcorn and drinks for members and their guests. The business meeting (11 a.m. to noon) will feature comments and a video presented by President & CEO Grady Smith, election results and prize drawings. Members do not have to be present for the drawings in order to win.

Board of trustee positions for District 1, District 3 and District 5 are on this year’s ballot. Robert Tidwell, Jr. (District 3) and Dr. Lisa Weeks (District 5) are running unopposed. Four candidates are running for the District 1 position — Phillip Garrison, Austin R. Godwin, incumbent Neil E. Rainwater and Josh Shaddix.



Phillip Garrison — Phillip Garrison has worked at J & R Feed Service for 29 years. He started as a warehouse manager and has worked up to assistant plant manager where he oversees daily production and customer service. He has also helped manage a poultry farm for 36 years, operates a bee and honey business (Goldvine Farms) and has worked with beef cattle for more than 40 years. Phillip is a graduate of Wallace State Community College and the Mississippi State University Tristate Management Course. He is a member of Faith Baptist, Lions Club and Farm-City Committee. He is past president of the Alabama Beekeeper Association, president of the Cullman County Beekeeper Association and past president of the Cullman County Farmers Federation. “I have worked in business for 40 years,” he said. “I’ve done everything from serving the customer, helping manage a business, owning and operating a business, helping plan budgets and serving on several boards. I feel this gives me the experience to serve well on the Cullman EC board of trustees.”

Austin R. Godwin — Austin Godwin is the chief financial officer for Deep South Freight and Commercial Hauling Company in Birmingham. He originally moved to Cullman to work as the controller at Alabama Farm Credit. Prior to that he worked four years in public accounting for Jackson Thornton, specializing in financial institution audits and tax. Godwin graduated from Auburn University with a degree in business administration (accounting) and is a Certified Professional Accountant in the State of Alabama. He has been an active member of the Kiwanis Club in Cullman, and is a member of Cullman First Baptist Church along with his wife, Natalie, and their two children, Andrew (5) and William (20 months). Godwin believes his professional experience as a business executive, working for a cooperative and his CPA skills make him an excellent candidate. “I grew up in a co-op family,” Godwin said. “My dad worked 35 years at Pioneer Electric Cooperative in Selma. Growing up, the co-op supplied us with financial stability and the means for an education. The co-op has given so much to me and my family, and I would love this opportunity to give a little back.”

Neil E. Rainwater — Neil Rainwater is a life long resident of Cullman County. He graduated from St. Bernard College with a degree in accounting. His father, W.E. Rainwater, was one of the original trustees that organized Cullman Electric Cooperative. Neil is a member of the Cullman Masonic Lodge. He is also a Scottish Rite 32nd degree Mason. He is a member of the Shriners, Cullman Lions Club, Cullman County Fair Association, Cullman Cattlemen’s Association and attends Hamby’s Chapel United Methodist Church. He retired with more than 32 years in financial management from Monsanto Company. Presently he assists his two sons in operating a cattle farm at Gold Ridge. Neil has completed the curriculum of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) to become a Certified Cooperative Director as well as being certified in the Board Leadership Program. During his time as your trustee at Cullman EC, the board has implemented voting by mail for annual meetings, expanded billing service for garbage, water and fire dues for one monthly billing for utilities, continues to enhance the technology to locate and repair power outages faster and greatly improved the fleet of service vehicles. “My goal is to continue to help direct your co-op to maintain quality electric power at the lowest possible cost, and keep the co-op as one of the best in Alabama.”

Josh Shaddix — Josh Shaddix has worked for the Boeing Company in Huntsville for six years, first in the missile defense program and currently as a structural engineer. He primarily works on commercial aircraft fuselage and engine components, and each of the past two years has received Boeing’s Stars in Alabama Award given the employees for extraordinary achievement. His first business experience came growing up in Cullman at Earl’s Body Shop, which was started by his grandfather and is owned today by his father. Josh graduated in 2009 from the University of Alabama with a B.S. in mechanical engineering, and completed his master’s degree in aerospace engineering from Mississippi State University in 2013. He earned his Professional Engineering license from the Alabama Board of Engineers and Land Surveyors in 2014. Josh and his wife, Elizabeth, along with their son, Andrew (1) raise cattle on their farm and attend Cullman First Baptist Church. “It is essential that we make smart decisions now that look ahead the next 10 to 20 years,” he said. “It’s important that we continue to help members understand how to lower their energy costs by keeping them informed of the latest technology in energy efficiency.”


Robert Tidwell, Jr. — Robert Tidwell is a graduate of Cullman High School and Auburn University. He holds a B.S. degree in business administration & accounting. He serves as finance manager for General Dynamics Global Imaging Technologies with responsibilities for the Cullman, Rochester Hills, Mich., Nashua, N.H., San Diego and Grass Valley, Calif., facilities.  In his career, he has worked with national, state and local governments to bring jobs and enhancements to the Cullman Electric Cooperative service area. Tidwell is a member of Northbrook Baptist Church where he serves as a member of the choir and music praise team. He is married to the former Glenda Smith and they have three children Trey (Erin), Will and Emmalee, and one granddaughter, Emma Grace Tidwell. “It is an honor to serve the members of Cullman Electric Cooperative,” he said. “During my time on the board of trustees, we’ve been able to utilize the co-op’s resources responsibly to enhance service and reliability, making Cullman Electric one of the best co-op’s in the country.” Tidwell has successfully completed the curriculum for both the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Credentialed Cooperative Director and Leadership Certification.


Dr. Lisa Weeks — Dr. Lisa Weeks is the owner of Weeks Chiropractic Clinic in Cullman and has been a chiropractic physician for 28 years. She earned her Doctorate of Chiropractic from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa. She is a graduate of Athens State University, Wallace State Community College and Holly Pond High School. Weeks currently serves on the Park and Recreation Foundation Board, and is a member of the Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce and the Wallace State Alumni Association. She served on the Cullman City Parks and Recreation Board for 10 years. “Being a life-long resident of the Cullman area, I have a personal interest in working for the betterment of the community in which I live and work. I will continue to take my fiduciary responsibility very seriously and will continue a relationship of trust and confidence between Cullman Electric Cooperative and its’ members.” Weeks has successfully completed the curriculum for both the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Credentialed Cooperative Director and Leadership Certification.

Earth Day events at Cullman EC set for April 21-24

Cullman Electric Cooperative is helping members celebrate Earth Day the week of April 21-24, 2015, with several activities focused on recycling, conservation and energy efficiency.

Document Shredding
Tuesday and Wednesday, April 21-22, 2015
Cullman EC offices in Cullman (Eva Road) and Addison (Hwy 278)
Document shredding is a safe and smart way to recycle old paper. Identity theft is a real threat, and can take years to fix credit fraud and recover from financial losses. Cullman EC is working with Alabama Archives to provide secure document shredding barrels so personal documents can be properly and safely disposed.
Bring the materials you need shredded to Cullman EC’s offices in Cullman or Addison on Tuesday, April 21, and Wednesday, April 22. The service is free to our members. Any paper items that include information about credit cards, social security numbers, bank accounts, old bills or other private information should be considered for secure document disposal. There is a limit of three (3) bags or boxes per member household.

Energy Efficiency Expo
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
10 a.m. -1 p.m.
Cullman EC Training Room
Using less electricity in your home or business is a great way to help the environment while saving money at the same time. Stop by the Cullman EC office on Eva Road from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22, 2015, to visit with energy efficiency experts and see examples of easy energy savings techniques. TVA will give a 30-minute presentation on home energy savings at 10:30 a.m. and  again at12:30 p.m. Co-op members can also pick up brochures and videos that teach hundreds of simple steps you can take to save on your monthly power bill. Anyone who visits the expo will take home a free gift from Cullman EC.

Electronics recycling
Thursday and Friday, April 23-24, 2015
Cullman EC office on Eva Road
Cullman EC is working with JCR Recycling to offer two days of electronics recycling. In today’s world of constantly evolving technology, it’s easy to find small electronics that stop working or simply don’t get used sitting around the house. Don’t throw those items away. Recycle them! Bring your small electronics to the Cullman EC office on Eva Road, and drop them off at our temporary recycling center.
Small electronics include items such as cell phones, digital cameras, desktop and laptop computers, TVs and computer monitors, video game systems and more. (As a general rule, “small electronics” are items that one person can carry. If it takes multiple people to load, unload or move an item, it will not be accepted).

Cullman Electric Cooperative is a member-owned cooperative serving more than 42,200 member accounts in Cullman, Morgan, Lawrence and Winston counties.

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Cullman Electric Co-op prepared for winter weather

With a snow storm expected to enter the Cullman Electric Cooperative service area during the day on Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015, Cullman EC employees have been making plans for several days in the event severe weather should cause any power outages.

“Snow by itself doesn’t generally cause outage issues,” said Kyle Baggett, Cullman EC vice president of engineering and operations. “Tree limbs breaking under weight of snow and vehicles hitting our poles typically cause the most problems in these conditions.”

Operations superintendent Jim Glasscock said linemen crews have made sure all service vehicles and bucket trucks are fueled and fully stocked with supplies. Plans are also in place should road conditions cause travel problems.

“We’ve had several meetings this week to prepare for this winter storm,”Glasscock said. “We have six service trucks, and those will be driven home tonight be employees who live in different areas of Cullman and Winston counties,”Glasscock explained. “That will help us respond quicker if we have any power outages. The closest person will respond to the trouble call. We have one crew foreman who will be staying at the office tonight, and will assist any standby crews if they need poles delivered. We have chains ready to put on our trucks if necessary, and everyone with a four-wheel drive company vehicle will take it home tonight so they can pick up other employees in the morning and bring them safely to the office if necessary.”

To keep up with the latest updates from Cullman Electric Cooperative, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

To report a power outage, please call 256-737-3201.

Jobs fair coming to Cullman County on Feb. 28

The Cullman Jobs Fair will take place on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Wallace State Community College. The hiring industries include REHAU, LLC, Topre America
Corporation, and Alabama Cullman Yutaka Technologies, LLC. The following positions are available:

REHAU, LLC: Asst. Paint Line, Asst. Injection Molding, Asst. Fabrication, Maintenance Tech

Topre America Corporation: Maintenance Mechanic A, Die Maintenance

Alabama Cullman Yutaka Technologies, LLC: Industrial Maintenance Technician, Production Associate, Industrial Engineer, Die Maintenance

The Cullman Jobs Fair is designed to provide an opportunity for pre-screened applicants who qualify to be interviewed at the Cullman Jobs Fair on February 28th. Participants are strongly encouraged to visit the website, to pre-register and complete the online application to be considered for an interview. Pre-registered applicants who are selected will receive notification for a scheduled time to interview.

Potential applicants should be 1) authorized to work in the U.S., 2) have no felony convictions in the past seven years, 3) possess a high school diploma or GED, 4) are not full-time employees at any of the three hiring companies. Applicants not meeting these pre-screening conditions may still participate
but will be referred to appropriate agencies on site for additional assistance and support.

Pre-registration is not required but strongly encouraged. Walk-ins may complete applications on site but there is no guarantee of an interview that day. Online pre-registration will close on February 24th at midnight, CST.

We encourage you to participate in the Cullman Jobs Fair on February 28th and discover Cullman as an ideal destination to work, live, and play. Visit

For more information, contact the Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce at 256-734-0454

Simple steps to save power during upcoming cold snap

Mother Nature appears ready to remind the Tennessee Valley that it is still winter this weekend as multiple masses of cold air are forecast to blanket the area from Thursday night through Monday.

With the drop in temperatures comes an increase in power use and, ultimately, utility bills, but consumers can limit those increases by taking a few simple steps.

“Small changes can make a big difference, such as lowering your home thermostat from 68 to 67 degrees,” said Jacinda Woodward, senior vice president of Transmission and Power Supply for the Tennessee Valley Authority.

“One degree of temperature really won’t affect the comfort of your home, but that small reduction can mean a savings of 3 percent on your power bill.”

Other quick, common sense tips that consumers can take to lower their electric bill can be found on TVA’s EnergyRight Solutions website and include:

• Keeping curtains open on clear days on the south side of the house, and closed on the north side, to allow the sun to help warm your home,
• Closing fireplace dampers when not in use to prevent warm air from escaping out of your chimney
• Using slippers or area rugs to keep your feet warm if you have hardwood or tile floors rather than turning up your heating system.

Looking ahead to the warmer days to come, visitors to the EnergyRight website can also discover the new eScore program, a partnership between TVA and your local power provider to combine expert advice with rebates on installed improvements and provide an impactful way to reduce utility bills in every season.

All of TVA’s available generating resources will be used to meet the higher demands expected over the weekend and, as a precaution, TVA has curtailed any non-critical maintenance activities on generating equipment and will be lowering the thermostat in its own facilities over the weekend.

The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation.


Cullman Electric Cooperative has restored power to more than 14,000 co-op members since Monday evening. Crews are continuing to work to restore power for approximately 500 members today. Be sure to visit the Cullman EC Facebook page and Cullman EC Twitter account for regular updates.


Cullman Electric Cooperative is continuing work to restore power to more than 2,300 co-op members without power as of 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. All available crews are in the field working, and co-op crews from Sand Mountain EC (Rainsville), Central Alabama EC (Pratville) and Black Warrior EMC (Demoplois) are also assisting.

Be sure to visit the Cullman EC Facebook page, Cullman EC Twitter account and Instagram for live updates throughout the day.

Thank you for your patience as we work to restore power safely and as quickly as possible.


Cullman Electric Cooperative is continuing work to restore power to more than 5,100 co-op members without power as of 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. All available crews are in the field working, and co-op crews from Sand Mountain EC (Rainsville), Central Alabama EC (Pratville) and Black Warrior EMC (Demoplois) are also assisting.

Outage reports will be posted on the Cullman EC home page, but be sure to visit the Cullman EC Facebook page, Cullman EC Twitter account and Instagram for live updates throughout the day.

Thank you for your patience as we work to restore power safely and as quickly as possible.


Cullman Electric Cooperative is continuing work to restore power to more than 7,000 co-op members without power as of 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. All available crews are in the field working, and co-op crews from Sand Mountain EC (Rainsville), Central Alabama EC (Pratville) and Black Warrior EMC (Demoplois) are also assisting.

Outage reports will be posted on the Cullman EC home page, but be sure to visit the Cullman EC Facebook page, Cullman EC Twitter account and Instagram for live updates throughout the day.

Thank you for your patience as we work to restore power safely and as quickly as possible.