CHELCO Annual Meeting Returns To In-Person Format

May 03, 2022

DeFuniak Springs — After a two-year pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CHELCO hosted its first in-person Annual Meeting since 2019 on April 9 at Freeport High School.

During the meeting, CEO Steve Rhodes discussed the growth CHELCO has experienced over the past several years and provided updates on the co-op’s high performance in safety, reliability and cost control in 2021. In the best news of the day for members, Rhodes announced that distribution rates would remain the same for 2022.

“Because of our effectiveness of controlling costs over the past several years, we are in a very strong financial position,” Rhodes said. “Therefore, I’m pleased to announce there will be no distribution rate increase in 2022.”

Board President Gerald Edmondson added that he believes CHELCO is a well-run cooperative managing its resources efficiently.

“While some costs are out of our direct control, such as wholesale power cost, interest and taxes, we are dedicated to controlling what we can,” Edmondson said. “A growing membership helps to share costs, and last year alone, we added nearly 2,300 new member accounts.”

During the meeting, it was announced that the three incumbent trustees up for election were re-elected for three-year terms. District 2 Trustee Terry Pilcher and District 6 Trustee Gerald Edmondson ran unopposed, and in District 4, Trustee Brady Bearden defeated challenger Joe Proffitt.

Immediately following the meeting, CHELCO announced the six winners of the $1,000 scholarship in a drawing of 40 eligible applicants. Brooke Lewis (Niceville High School), Emily Casey (Walton High School), Hannah Blanton (Niceville High School), Ty Sheriff (South Walton High School), Brandilyn Ring (Rocky Bayou Christian School) and Jake Powell (Walton High School) were the six recipients of the 2022 CHELCO Scholarship.

To view an entire recording of the 2022 Annual Meeting, visit

CHELCO is a not-for-profit electric distribution cooperative serving more than 60,000 accounts in Walton, Okaloosa, Holmes and Santa Rosa counties.

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