Click here to view the full version of our Annual Report, which was mailed to all members at the beginning of May.
As CHEC staff and directors returned home from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s annual meeting in March 2020, COVID-19 was just beginning to change our world. No one would have guessed that it would be the last time we traveled for cooperative business in 2020. Within a week of our return, the Governor declared a State of Emergency. Within another week, schools, restaurants and all of Dare County were shut down and the pandemic became a crisis unlike any that we have ever experienced. All meetings for the foreseeable future were cancelled, including CHEC’s Annual Meeting and 75th Anniversary Celebration. Your cooperative was challenged to operate differently, and CHEC stepped up to help members and strengthen the safety net for our more vulnerable neighbors.
For our members impacted by COVID-19 who needed help with their electric bills, we temporarily suspended disconnects, waived late fees and worked with those hardest hit to make special payment arrangements. We also offered community assistance through our Operation RoundUp program, a fund made possible through your kind donations. And while we certainly missed visiting with you in person, we found new ways to stay connected through social media, our local radio station and our monthly publication, Carolina Country magazine. We partnered with CoBank, a rural cooperative bank, to provide grants for organizations supporting Hatteras Islanders through the pandemic including the Hatteras Island Youth Education Fund, the Cape Hatteras United Methodist Men and to Dare County’s PORT Health program. Our employees and directors participated in virtual 5K runs and CHEC supported teacher’s virtual school efforts through our Bright Ideas Education Grant program. And of course, we were excited to see those of you who were able to come to the drive-thru Member Appreciation Event that we held in October.
I tell you about all of these efforts not to boast about CHEC, but to explain how much we care about this community – because we live here too. As we move forward, we will continue our commitment of providing electricity at the lowest possible cost while also advancing the pursuit of responsible sustainability goals. Our innovation and actions will continue to be guided by our local roots and focus on delivering value to our members as we work to create a brighter future for Hatteras Island.
On behalf of the board of directors and employees of CHEC, I want to thank you for your patronage in 2020 and for the opportunity to serve you. We hope to see you at our Annual Meeting Drive-thru event on May 24.
Susan E. Flythe
Executive vice president and general manager