Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the in-person Annual Meeting of Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative for 2020 has been changed to a virtual meeting only.

The revised meeting will be held on the same date that the in-person meeting was scheduled for, which is Saturday, May 2. At 10 a.m. CT, members may call a dedicated line to listen to the business portion of the meeting. The toll-free number is (833) 420-0339.

Election packets were mailed to members in early March, and members were given the option to register and vote either by mail or online. Votes will be accepted by mail or online.

Members will receive a $5 bill credit for registering and voting, and the returned ballots will serve as prize tickets. Once the election has ended, the third party that is conducting the election on behalf of the co-op will randomly select members to win the following:

• $1,000 in gift cards (40 $25 winners)

• $1,000 in free electricity (10 $100 bill credit winners)

• 2003 Chevrolet 1500 4x4 pickup truck (one winner)

GCEC will still award the 10 $1,000 scholarships to be used for college, university, or vocational/technical training. A random drawing will take place during the virtual meeting.

To make or second the motion to approve the minutes from last year’s (2019) annual meeting, as printed on pages 28 and 29 of the May 2020 edition of Florida Currents magazine, and then to adjourn the 2020 Annual Meeting of the Membership at the conclusion of the business portion of the meeting, members may email Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative Inc. at annualmeeting@gcec.com prior to the start of the meeting on May 2 stating: “I (list member name and address) make or second the motions to approve the 2019 annual meeting minutes and to adjourn the 2020 meeting at the conclusion of the business part of the meeting.” Members should indicate if they are in favor of or against the motions.

From now until May 2, if members have any questions, they may be emailed to annualmeeting@gcec.com. A few questions will be selected to address during the virtual meeting.

A full report of the election results and the scholarship recipients will be provided in a future edition of the co-op’s monthly Florida Currents magazine. Members can stay engaged with GCEC by visiting their website, www.gcec.com, by reading their monthly Florida Currents magazine and by following the co-op on Facebook.

“We hope that members agree that being diligent on our part to help prevent the spread of this virus is warranted at this time,” GCEC CEO/general manager John Bartley said. “We will miss seeing our members in Wewahitchka, but remember that we’re all still here and ready to provide the best service around. Their lights will stay on in this dark time.”

Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative is part of the Touchstone Energy® national alliance of local, consumer-owned electric cooperatives providing high standards of service to members large and small. GCEC employees serve approximately 20,000 meters and 2,600 miles of line in Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Jackson, Walton and Washington counties and in the municipalities of Wewahitchka, Ebro, White City, Fountain and Southport.