The Purpose of an Annual Meeting

As the sweet sound of country music lightly filled the air, over 270 people gathered at the Salem Armory last week for TrioTel’s 58th Annual Meeting. Western decor illuminated the room, as did the succulent aroma of honey bbq chicken, roasted potatoes, and glazed carrots. It seemed as most members arrived, expectations for a charming evening were high and TrioTel did not disappoint.

With 58 meetings now under our belt, TrioTel could be considered a well-oiled, annual meeting planning machine. Each year decorations, notices, door prizes, presentations and of course, the meal, are all carefully planned with the hope of treating the Co-op members to an entertaining, yet informative evening. But imbedded within all of the numerous details that goes into the planning, comes the defying question of what is the true purpose of our meeting?

Fifty eight years ago, in 1957, the Board of Directors gathered for the first time with members to celebrate the success of the Co-op. At that time it was very important for the Board to discuss the status of the business with the members that had taken a risk and invested years prior. Looking back, in 1951, when the Co-op was first established, the Directors were hopeful to create a business that would successfully provide telephone service to the rural subscribers in the area, which would be comparable in quality to that enjoyed by urban telephone customers. The years from 1951 to 1955 were the formative years of the business when the seven directors strived to garner enough support to make the Co-op function successfully. There were even stories of the Directors knocking on farmer’s doors asking them to take phone service and contribute to the Co-op in order to get it established. That’s why the first annual meeting has held such a significance in our company history.

Today, TrioTel carries that same amount of responsibility that the founding Directors had, in regards to the meeting. We take pride in our duty to inform and reassure members of our financials and goals. TrioTel also strives to provide members with a special, social evening full of fellowship and fun! And this year it seemed that goal was met, and members walked away with not only a $2 bill in-hand, but a warm, positive feeling of the Co-op’s success and true purpose.

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