“Seventy five years ago, the small group of farmers and community leaders who worked to establish your electric cooperative had great expectations,” NGEMC President and CEO Ron Hutchins told members in his annual report. “Their effort has provided great benefits and a service that we still enjoy and expect today.”
A crowd of about 2,000 met Thursday at the Northwest Georgia Trade Center for North Georgia EMC’s 75th Annual Meeting. NGEMC serves parts of seven counties in Northwest Georgia and has grown from 1,700 members in 1937 to 98,200 members today.
Since NGEMC began in 1936, electricity use has grown exponentially and brought new challenges to power distributors like NGEMC. “In the past 75 years, we have seen many changes and advances, especially in the uses of electric energy. The way we light, heat and cool our homes; much of our entertainment; our communication devices; the way we prepare our food and clean our clothes have all changed from 75 years ago and all require one common thread: energy,” Hutchins said.
Southern Gospel band, Pipeline from Catoosa County and Northwest Georgia-based band Music from the Heart along with special guest, state champion fiddler Aerin DeJarnette provided entertainment. Members also enjoyed booths that included community organizations like the Alzheimer’s Association, Dalton Police Department, Family Support Council, Girl Scouts and the Catoosa County Chamber of Commerce. Hamilton Medical Center gave free blood pressure checks, and provided health and wellness information.
“We can only begin to imagine what new inventions will power our economy, what new innovations will fuel our lives. We will continue to work to build on this great heritage; this cooperative spirit that was formed out of the need to make life better,” Hutchins said. “Each of us must take responsibility for the energy choices we make, the energy we use and the effort we give to make things better in our communities. Everything depends on each one of us. Together we can make the next 75 years even better than the last 75 years.”
NGEMC is a consumer-owned cooperative providing electricity and related services to 98,200 members in Catoosa, Chattooga, Floyd, Gordon, Murray, Walker and Whitfield counties.