Grady EMC annual meeting is this Friday at Family Worship Center
Grady Electric Membership Corporation crews and mutual aid partners are working day and night to restore power in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, but this Friday the 80th annual membership meeting of the co-op will take place.
The meeting, once again, will be held at Family Worship Center, 1760 U.S. 84 West.
Voting for Districts 1, 4 and 7 directors begins at 8 a.m. and balloting concludes at 10 a.m., when the business portion of the meeting is scheduled to get underway.
At recent meetings, the time for voting was extended due to the length of lines of members waiting their turn to cast their ballot.
For a second year, Grady EMC contracted with Survey & Ballot Systems of Eden Prairie, MN to conduct the mail-in absentee voting in the director election.
Ballots had to be returned by Oct. 15 in order to be counted. Ballots could not be dropped off or mailed to the Grady EMC.
Members who did not mail-in a ballot may vote in person at Friday’s meeting. Grady EMC members are also encouraged to attend in order to take part in the business meeting, which begins at 10 a.m.
Officials warn this will be a scaled down annual meeting when compared to previous meetings, since EMC personnel are deeply involved in storm recovery.
The Plath Family Band will be providing entertainment from 8:30 a.m. until 10 a.m.
A total of six candidates is seeking election to three seats on the board. None of the incumbents from Districts 1, 4 or 7 are seeking reelection. The incumbents are Dewey Brock Jr., District 1; Mark Clark, District 4; and James Lewis, District 7.
In District 1, voters will select between Eric Cohen and Edward J. DeMartini Jr.
Cohen is a native of Brinson, graduate of Bainbridge High School, and resident of Grady County. He earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from the University of Georgia in 2000. He is the owner of Cohen Crop Consulting, co-owner of R&E Pecan Growers LLC and Pecan Ridge Plantation. Cohen is also a licensed real estate agent with Southern Land Realty. He currently serves on the boards of the University of Georgia Alumni Association and the Grady County Lake Authority. He has been a member of Grady EMC since 2007.
DeMartini is a retired Commander with the U.S. Navy and former Naval Junior ROTC instructor in both Tampa and at Cairo High School. He served for 21 years as a Surface Warfare Officer before rising to the rank of Commander.
Following retirement, he has gotten involved with the American Legion Post 122 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8433.
The District 4 seat is being sought by Terry Hurst and Mitch W. Stone.
Hurst, is a native of Thomas County and has been involved in the building supply industry for 33 years and worked in management for 27 years. He is currently the general manager of Naval Store Suppliers. His duties include the day-to-day operations of Southern Builders Supply, TLC Millworks, Southern Installed Sales and TLC Liquidations. Hurst is also the pastor of New Shiloh Baptist Church.
Stone is semiretired having worked with Southern Bell, BellSouth and AT&T for 39 years while at the same time farming 500 acres. He is the former owner of Stone Pecan of Barwick. Stone currently serves as president of the Barwick Chamber of Commerce and is a lifetime resident of Thomas County.
Greg Brouillet and Steve Reynolds are seeking the District 7 post.
Brouillet, a Grady EMC member for over 12 years, says his experience as a salesman, project manager, operations manager, director and business owner would provide him a balanced outlook as an EMC director.
He is currently employed with Lake Landscape and previously worked with Pepi Food Services for 18 years.
He is married to Shae Brouillet and they have one daughter who is 13 years old. The couple are co-owners of Reeves Gifts in Bainbridge, which they own with Adam and Amanda Rent.
Reynolds, a Grady County native, served in Vietnam with the U.S. Marine Corps. He retired with 36.5 years of service with BellSouth and then spent 11 years in telecommunications with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Reynolds is a Master Mason and member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He is the owner of SAR Properties and former owner of Bainbridge Engraving and Awards.
DeMartini, Stone and Reynolds are involved in the Take Back Our Grady EMC organization and have been endorsed by the group of members disgruntled with the incumbent board and management of Grady EMC.
Cohen, Hurst and Brouillet have advertised themselves as a slate of directors that is not affiliated with Take Back Our Grady EMC, but is focused on being accountable to the membership and providing sustainable, safe, affordable and reliable electricity to the members of Grady EMC.