June 2022 Great Lakes

Page 1

June 2022


COUNTRY LINES Great Lakes Energy Cooperative


Choose Your Community Grant Recipients

Vote For Your Director Next Month People Fund Grants Awarded



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Contents countrylines.com

June 2022 Vol. 42, No. 6



6 DESIGNING A DIFFERENCE Morley native and WMU student Isabella Waite combined her love of design with her sense of sustainability to capture third place in a nationwide housewares design competition.

Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives

10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN Tomatoes: Make the most of the summer season.

EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Casey Clark EDITOR: Christine Dorr

14 READY, SET, SOAR Annual Boyne City highperformance boating event brings the ‘thunder’ to this normally peaceful town.


RECIPE EDITOR: Christin McKamey COPY EDITOR: Yvette Pecha CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: Emily Haines Lloyd

18 GUEST COLUMN An Eggceptional Experience I Will Never Forget!

PUBLISHER: Michigan Electric Cooperative Association Michigan Country Lines, USPS-591-710, is published monthly, except August and December, with periodicals postage paid at Lansing, Mich., and additional offices. It is the official publication of the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association, 201 Townsend St., Suite 900, Lansing, MI 48933. Subscriptions are authorized for members of Alger Delta, Cherryland, Great Lakes, HomeWorks Tri-County, Midwest Energy & Communications, Ontonagon, Presque Isle, and Thumb electric cooperatives by their boards of directors. Postmaster: Send all UAA to CFS. Association Officers: Robert Kran, Great Lakes Energy, chairman; Tony Anderson, Cherryland Electric Cooperative, vice chairman; Eric Baker, Wolverine Power Cooperative, secretary-treasurer; Craig Borr, president and CEO.

CONTACT US/LETTERS TO EDITOR: Michigan Country Lines 201 Townsend St., Suite 900 Lansing, MI 48933 248-534-7358 editor@countrylines.com


notify your electric cooperative. See page 4 for contact information.

The appearance of advertising does not constitute an endorsement of the products or services advertised.

Be featured! Use #micoopcommunity for a chance to be featured here and on our Instagram account.


Check out all the detail revealed in these Petoskey stones after a good vinegar soak. Next up, polish. @mgcubba (Mary Grace)

MI CO-OP COMMUNITY To enter contests, submit reader content & more, visit countrylines.com/community



Win a $50 bill credit!

Win $150 for stories published!

Up Next: Pasta Salads, due July 1 Baked Goods, due Aug. 1

Submit your fondest memories and stories at countrylines.com/community.

Submit your recipe at micoopkitchen.com, or send it via email (include your full name and co-op) to recipes@countrylines.com.



A Matter Of Reliability


Shaun Lamp, Great Lakes Energy President/CEO

/greatlakesenergy /jointruestream BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Robert Kran, Chairman, District 6 231-464-5889 bkran@glenergy.com

Howard Bowersox, Vice Chairman, District 8 219-670-0977 hbowersox@glenergy.com John LaForge, Secretary, District 9 269-623-2284 jlaforge@glenergy.com Dale Farrier, Treasurer, District 5 231-564-0853 dfarrier@glenergy.com Paul Byl, Director, District 7 231-861-5911 pbyl@glenergy.com

Mark Carson, Director, District 2 231-675-0561 mcarson@glenergy.com

David Coveyou, Director, District 1 231-347-4056 dcoveyou@glenergy.com Richard Evans, Director, District 3 231-883-3146 revans@glenergy.com

Shelly Pinkelman, Director, District 4 989-390-6222 spinkelman@glenergy.com PRESIDENT/CEO: Shaun Lamp 888-485-2537 COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR/EDITOR: Brett Streby 231-487-1389 • bstreby@glenergy.com BOYNE CITY HEADQUARTERS 1323 Boyne Ave. Boyne City, MI 49712

Hours: 7 a.m.–5:30 p.m. M–F Phone: 888-485-2537 Email: glenergy@glenergy.com TO REPORT AN OUTAGE: Call 888-485-2537 or login to your account at gtlakes.com. Change of Address: 888-485-2537, ext. 8924 Great Lakes Energy is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

4 JUNE 2022


n April 14, the regional grid operator, MISO, announced the results of its latest generation capacity auction. This annual process is designed to determine if there is sufficient generation supply to meet this summer’s maximum demand. The results are concerning to us at Great Lakes Energy, as this auction showed that nine northern states, including Michigan, are significantly short of the supply needed to keep the lights on when demand is highest. While this is certainly concerning, it is not surprising, nor is it the first time that Michigan has found itself in this situation. In fact, just two years ago, the Lower Peninsula of Michigan was short of the needed supply to meet the maximum demand for the summer of 2020. Fortunately, from an electric standpoint, the peak demand for the Lower Peninsula was offset by a lower commercial load due to COVID. As a result, the most extreme measures of controlled or “rolling” blackouts were not necessary. What is driving the shortfall in the necessary supply to meet demand? Simply put, the power grid is changing. Large baseload generating assets, primarily coal and nuclear, are retiring and being replaced mainly by intermittent renewable energy. The challenge placed on the grid is that for every megawatt of coal and nuclear that is retired, 2 megawatts of solar and 10 megawatts of wind are needed to replace that supply. Additionally, it is impossible to permit a new coal plant, new nuclear is extremely cost prohibitive, and natural gas is becoming more challenging to permit. Our options are limited. Fortunately, our power supplier Wolverine Power Cooperative has invested in generation supply on our behalf, meaning we at Great Lakes Energy have sufficient generation supply to meet our demand. Unfortunately, if blackouts are required by the grid operator, we must do our part, as we are all interconnected to the same electric grid. I want every co-op member to know that this isn’t a statement on renewable energy versus coal and nuclear power plants. You only have to see Great Lakes Energy’s 60% carbon-free portfolio to realize that your cooperative has been trending to cleaner resources for the past 20 years. Our concern is about reliability and the risk that continues to grow for the lights to go out. There is the potential for this problem to get worse. While we are already facing power supply shortages, nearly 10% of Michigan’s generating fleet of coal and nuclear plants are slated for early retirement in the next three years. We can’t let power plant closures get ahead of the new generation that must be built to replace them. Issues like reliability are critical, and we want to keep you informed and engaged. To support these efforts, Great Lakes Energy is partnering with other electric cooperatives from around the state and country, utilizing Voices for Cooperative Power (VCP). I encourage you to sign-up for VCP; it’s a great way to stay engaged, informed, and have a voice on critical energy policy issues. Sign up at voicesforcooperativepower.com and find out how you can get involved.

“ You only have to see Great Lakes Energy’s 60% carbon-free portfolio to realize that your cooperative has been trending to cleaner resources for the past 20 years. Our concern is about reliability and the risk that continues to grow for the lights to go out.”


Looking to make a difference in your community and for your local electric cooperative? Then join VCP today for free! VCP is a network of electric co-op members working together to influence public policy decisions that impact our co-ops and our way of life. Scan to learn more and join!

After you join, you’ll get regular updates on important issues and information on ways to get involved.



aite, now a junior at WMU, has fallen in love with her program. She is committed to not making what she calls “useless stuff,” but instead finding creative ways to create purposeful products. Waite also loves the way design, engineering, and business all intersect. These kinds of connections are something she has always appreciated.


As a member of an electric cooperative, Waite was familiar with the benefits of more sustainable energy sources and the opportunities available to her as a member. Waite was a member of Youth Tour, a group of around 1,800 high school co-op members from around the country who travel to Washington, D.C., to experience the monuments, memorials, museums, and all the history the country’s capital has to offer. It ends with students meeting their state senators and representatives and watching Capitol business unfold in real time. “It was a life-changing trip for me,” said Waite. “I was super introverted and anxious around strangers in high school, but meeting all these new people from around the country was suddenly exciting and not scary anymore.”

Designing A Difference By Emily Haines Lloyd

Raised in Morley, Michigan, with a population of just over 500 residents, Isabella Waite grew up with a sense of “sustainability.” Her parents, HomeWorks Co-op members, made a habit of composting and they also line-dried their laundry outdoors— which they continue to do to this day. When Waite went off to study product design at Western Michigan University (WMU) in Kalamazoo, she took those sensibilities with her. “I was really involved in fine arts in high school,” said Waite. “I didn’t know what that could look like in a career for me until I toured Western and the product design program director explained how design could be used to help people, even make a difference in the world.”


JUNE 2022

Waite took that new confidence and not only applied to WMU, which is in a much larger city than her hometown, but applied for scholarships to help her on her educational journey. Waite received one of HomeWorks’ educational scholarships, helping her to get started at school. “It was actually one of the staff members who went with us on Youth Tour that told me about the HomeWorks scholarships,” said Waite. “It’s amazing how much scholarships helped me as I was beginning college.” The financial assistance allowed Waite to delve into her degree in product design. One of her courses had, as part of its syllabus, an assignment to develop a houseware product and submit it to the Student Design Competition

To learn more about Isabella Waite’s Pip the Potty Pal, visit theinspiredhomeshow.com/awards/gia-student/. sponsored by the International Housewares Association (IHA). This international competition seeks to “invigorate” the housewares industry with innovative student designs and encourages careers in the industry. Waite was inspired by her summer job as a nanny and saw the stress and difficulty the family she worked for was having with potty training their son. Waite herself wasn’t sure how to help, but with her skills in product design and an eagerness for her work to help people, she designed Pip the Potty Pal. Pip assists adults in toilet training toddlers while making the breaks fun for the children. It went from an idea, to a design, to winning third place at the Global Innovation Awards and having her design displayed at the annual Inspired Home Show. “A big part of product design is studying the behavior of your consumer,” said Waite. “Kids are just so interesting to observe, and figuring out what they need is really fascinating to me.” As Waite heads into her senior year at WMU, she continues to be passionate about her major and the notion of helping others through her design efforts. “As a designer, sustainability is really important to me. I don’t want to make things that people simply throw away,” said Waite. “I want to make products that last, that invoke memories, that you can pass down.”

“As a designer, sustainability is really important to me. I don’t want to make things that people simply throw away,” said Waite. “I want to make products that last, that invoke memories, that you can pass down.”




SAVI N G S ! Whether gas or electric, water heaters are the second highest source of energy in your home.

Real savings are available when you convert your regular water heater to a heat pump water heater. Not only are they 2-3 times more energy-efficient but Great Lakes Energy members are eligible for a $1,200* rebate for qualified heat pump water heaters. Not ready to invest in a heat pump water heater? $100* rebates for electric resistance water heaters are also available. Make smarter choices with Energy Wise. Call 888-476-9534 or visit gtlakes.com/energy-wise today!

*Restrictions may apply.







Enter to win a


energy bill credit!

Hometown Pride 1. Central Lake Fourth of July parade. Diane Dowdall, Central Lake 2. Depot Beach in Charlevoix. Sheila Melke, Charlevoix 3. Tiny patriot. Karen Willming, Branch 4. Serenity. Vickie Tuck, Grayling 5. Catching waves. Stacy Reynolds, Walkerville 6. Enjoying the walk on the White Pine Trail. Beth Fiedorowicz, Baldwin







Submit Your “Farms & Harvest” Photos By June 20!

Each month, members can submit photos on our website for our photo contest. The photo with the most votes is published here along with other selections. Our June theme is Farms & Harvest. Photos can be submitted by June 20 to be featured in the September issue.

How To Enter: Enter the contest at gtlakes.com/photocontest/. Make sure to vote and encourage others to vote for you, too. The photo receiving the most votes will be printed in an issue of Michigan Country Lines along with other favorites. All photos printed in the magazine in 2022 will be entered to win a $200 bill credit in December 2022.



MI CO-OP Recipes

Photos by Robert Bruce Photography || Recipes Submitted by MCL Readers and Tested by Recipe Editor Christin McKamey


Make the most of the summer season.


Sharon Libich, Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op 2 ¼ ¼ ½ 2 1



energy bill credit!

10 JUNE 2022

Pasta Salads due July 1 • Baked Goods due Aug. 1 Submit your favorite recipe for a chance to win a $50 bill credit and have your recipe featured in Country Lines with a photo and a video. Submit your recipe at micoopkitchen.com, or send it via email (include your full name and co-op) to recipes@countrylines.com.

pints cherry/grape tomatoes cup mayonnaise cup sour cream pound bacon, cooked and crumbled tablespoons grated Romano cheese tablespoon dried, chopped chives (or ¹⁄³ cup fresh chives)

Rinse and dry tomatoes. Cut the tops off of the tomatoes just enough so you can scoop out the inner part of the tomatoes. To scoop out the inside pulp, you can use a strawberry huller (recommended). Place scooped-out tomatoes upside down on paper towels. While draining, mix the rest of the ingredients together. Place the mixture into a plastic bag and clip off the corner. Squeeze the mixture into the cherry tomatoes. Place the tomatoes onto a tray with plastic wrap surrounding the tomatoes to keep them upright. Chill the tomatoes for 2 hours. Enjoy! This is a family favorite at a summertime BBQ or anytime. It’s an easy way to share a yummy appetizer! Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at micoopkitchen.com/videos



Lynn Wall, Great Lakes Energy

1 large package heirloom cherry tomatoes 1 tablespoon olive oil 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh (or 1 teaspoon dried) oregano 2 tablespoons chopped, fresh (or 1 tablespoon dried) basil

Lianne Briggs, Great Lakes Energy Preheat oven to 325 F. Stir all ingredients together, and place in a 9x9 square baking dish. Bake for 2–3 hours, stirring every ½ hour or so. The mixture will get very wet. When the tomatoes start to pop, they will start to thicken like jam. Serve warm or cool with crackers or bread, with cream cheese, or with any other cheese and/or meat, if desired. This is delicious on a charcuterie tray and smells wonderful when it bakes. I use my toaster oven to bake it.

3 3 1 4 28 • 1 ½

tablespoons olive oil cups finely chopped onions tablespoon minced garlic cups chicken stock ounces tomato purée pinch saffron threads teaspoon salt teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ½ cup orzo, dry ½ cup heavy cream

Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook over medium-low



Cindy Hodges, Ontonagon County 1 onion, chopped 2 tablespoons olive oil 4 (15-ounce) cans French cut green beans, drained 4 (15-ounce) cans petite diced tomatoes, undrained 2 small cans tomato paste 2 heads garlic cloves, peeled and smashed • salt and pepper, to taste

heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Stir in the chicken stock, tomato purée, saffron, salt, and black pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, fill a medium pot with water, add 2 teaspoons salt, and bring to a boil. Add the orzo and cook for 7 minutes. (Note: The orzo will finish cooking in the soup.) Drain the orzo and add it to the soup. Stir in the cream, return the soup to a simmer, and cook for 10 more minutes, stirring frequently. Serve immediately.

Cathy Nichols, Great Lakes Energy Preheat oven to 250 F. In a Dutch oven or another lidded heavy pan, sauté onion in olive oil until soft. Add all ingredients (except salt and pepper) and cook for 5 hours or until the garlic is soft. Add salt and pepper to taste. This can be served on pita bread as a dip, or over rice for a meal.

1 pie crust, store-bought or homemade 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese 3 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced (any variety) • salt and pepper • thinly sliced basil leaves

Preheat oven to 375 F. Roll out storebought or homemade pie crust into a fluted tart pan or pie pan. Spread Dijon mustard in the bottom of the pie crust. Top with grated Gruyere cheese. Next, place tomatoes in an overlapping concentric circle over the cheese. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for 40 minutes, or until tomatoes look wrinkled. Sprinkle tart with basil and serve.



CAST YOUR $7,000 VOTE Last month, GLE members nominated local nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations for a chance to win a $7,000 grant. Now that your nominations have been made, it’s time to vote!

Great Lakes Energy has teamed up with CoBank, one of its lenders, to create a positive impact in your community by awarding three $7,000 grants to local nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations. The GLE service area is split into three regions—north, central, and south, with each region to select a respective winner.



ONLINE VOTING June 6–June 17


Visit gtlakes.com/community-grant-giveaway to cast your vote!

From June 6 to June 17, GLE members are asked to visit gtlakes.com/community-grant-giveaway and submit their vote for the organization in their region they feel is most suited to receive a $7,000 grant. In just a few brief moments, your vote can help steer this program to benefit your friends, neighbors, and community. Your participation helps to make a positive impact for the organizations making a difference in your community. 12 JUNE 2022

Let The Savings Flow Energy Wise program can help cut your water heating costs

here’s nothing quite like a hot shower to wake you up in the morning or wash away the cares of the day, but making all that hot water for showers and all those other uses around the house also adds to your energy costs.


Most people only think about their home’s water heater, and the associated costs, when a problem arises. But there are good reasons—in addition to not being left without hot water—to consider replacing that old water heater before it fails. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, hot water accounts for about 20% of your home’s energy use. Fortunately, more efficient products are available that can help cut those costs. As a bonus, many of these products are eligible for rebates through Great Lakes Energy’s new Energy Wise program.

Heat pump water heaters A heat pump water heater operates like a traditional tank storage water heater in that it always keeps a tank full of water hot and ready for use. But unlike traditional water heaters, which use electric resistance elements or burn natural gas or propane to heat the water, a heat pump water heater

extracts heat from the surrounding air to heat the water. Like heat pumps used to heat and cool a home, a heat pump water heater works like a refrigerator in reverse. Instead of pumping heat from inside the unit to the outside, it takes heat from outside the unit and pumps it inside. Most are hybrid units, which means they also have a typical electric resistance heating element to help heat water during high-demand periods. Heat pump water heaters can be stand-alone units or integrated as part of a home heating and cooling heat pump system, and, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, they can be two to three times more energy efficient than standard electric resistance water heaters. Although heat pump water heaters have a higher initial cost, they have much lower operating costs. For example, the estimated annual cost to operate a 50-gallon heat pump water heater is $320 less than the same size standard electric resistance water heater of the same brand.

Heat pump water heaters aren’t right for all situations, so consult your plumbing contractor to see if one is right for your home.

Standard electric resistance water heaters Even if a heat pump water heater isn’t right for you, it still might make sense to upgrade to a new standard electric resistance water heater. New water heaters are becoming more efficient every day. Some even come with a Wi-Fi connection that will allow you to track your energy usage, set water temperature, and set other functions, such as vacation mode. Many of these models are eligible for a $100 rebate through the Energy Wise program. For more information about rebates available through the Energy Wise program, including links to download and submit forms, visit: gtlakes.com/ energy-wise/.

Making the switch to a heat pump water heater even more appealing is that it may qualify for a $1,200 rebate through the GLE’s Energy Wise program.



By Emily Haines Lloyd || Photo courtesy of Boyne City Main Street



t’s hard to visit the small town of Boyne City, making five stops to pick up cards for a poker Michigan, and not conjure up words like hand. With each stop—in Elk Rapids, Northport, “quaint” and “charming.” A town of around Charlevoix, Bay Harbor, and Harbor Springs— 3,700 residents on the shore of Lake Charlevoix, participants get closer to the opportunity to it’s what you imagine when you think of a get the winning hand, with the added benefit peaceful place to live or visit. But every year, the of delighting boat enthusiasts, residents, and weekend after the Fourth of July, this little town vacationers in those cities. While the competition opens up to over 120 high-performance boats is fairly tame and offers prizes for first, second, from around the country and Canada for the third, and—generously—last place, it’s the boats annual Boyne Thunder Poker Run charity event themselves that bring all the excitement. that brings all the energy, buzz, and, yes, noise of a big city. The boats range in size from 22 to 55 feet in length and feature horsepower ranging from “You can’t quite describe the awe and genuine 425–3,600. If you’re not a boat geek—that excitement you feel when these magnificent means some of these boats are capable of boats roar by,” said Ingrid Day, Boyne Thunder speeding up to 150 mph. event coordinator. “For a few days, we not only get to show off these powerhouse boats, but What started about 20 years ago as a also get to show off our city.” fundraising event for a charity has developed into an effort to revitalize the downtown area. Boyne Thunder is a 150-mile treasure hunt of The event has grown to more than 120 boats sorts, with large power boats roaring through with full crews from California to Florida to the waters of Lake Charlevoix and Lake Michigan, Canada, bringing thousands of people to Boyne

14 JUNE 2022

“The nonprofits that Boyne Thunder supports are as big a part of the event as the boats themselves. They are part of our community and are part of who we are.”

City each summer for the two-day event. Friday night hosts a welcoming of the boats to town with strolls along the marina to get early peeks at this year’s participants—and the popular Stroll the Streets, which brings 10,000–15,000 people to the downtown area for dining, shopping, entertainment, and the car show. Saturday can include a stop at the farmer’s market before the boats power up and roar out from Lake Charlevoix into Lake Michigan, and then parade through the five town stops along the way. People line the harbor and bridges to get a good look and, with good reason, gawk. “There’s really nothing like it,” said Day. “People lined up along the end of the lake, on the bridge—smiles just everywhere.” While one crew will triumph in the Poker Run, the real winners are the two charities at the heart of the event, Camp Quality and Challenge Mountain, and the sponsoring organization, Boyne City Main Street. Camp Quality provides experiences and year-round support for children with cancer and their families. Many people in the community have volunteered and worked at the very first camps held by Camp Quality. Challenge Mountain provides experiences for individuals with mental and physical challenges through outdoor recreation like skiing, which is such a huge part of Northern Michigan life. There are Boyne City residents who work at the local resale shop that also raises money for the nonprofit. And finally, Boyne City Main Street, which seeks to make the downtown a more vibrant place while preserving its historic character. “The nonprofits that Boyne Thunder supports are as big a part of the event as the boats themselves,” said Day. “They are part of our community and are part of who we are.” It’s clear that the only thing bigger on the water than the boats each summer in Boyne City are the hearts of the people who live there.

boynethunder.com facebook.com/BoyneThunder instagram.com/boynethunder MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES




Electric plant:


Distribution and fiber plant


Construction in progress

709,170,769 61,784,625

Less accumulated depreciation Net electric plant

Donated capital Accumulated other comprehensive income

17,366,391 120,969,772

Notes and other receivables


Other assets


Total other assets


Current assets:

519,740 215,883,454

770,955,394 595,349,532

Investments and memberships


Patronage capital


Other assets and investments: Nonutility property, net of accum. depr.


10,720,629 5,533,332

Total equities


Long-term debt, net of current portion, and noncurrent accrued expenses: Long-term debt


Noncurrent accrued expenses


Total long-term debt and noncurrent accrued expenses


Current liabilities:


Current maturities of long-term debt


Accounts receivable, net of bad debt reserve



Accounts payable


Materials and supplies


Accrued expenses


Customer deposits


Other current assets


Total current assets


Deferred charges: Total assets:

3,865,395 $


Total current liabilities


Deferred credits:


Total liabilities and equities:



GREAT LAKES ENERGY COOPERATIVE CONSOLIDATED OPERATING STATEMENTS* for the years ended Dec. 31, 2021 and 2020 2021 Operating revenues:






Operating expenses: Cost of power





Distribution system operating and maintenance expenses



Customer service and information expenses



Cost of phone and internet

Administrative and general expenses



Depreciation and amortization



Other operating (income) expenses Total operating expenses Operating margins before fixed charges Fixed charges and interest expenses: Operating margins after fixed charges

















Nonoperating margins: Interest and investment income Other income (expense) Total nonoperating income Capital credits from associated organizations: Wolverine Power Company



Other associated organizations



Total capital credits from associated organizations Net margins:

10,233,666 $

10,817,672 $

*A copy of the audited financial statements and the auditor’s report is on file at the cooperative’s office in Boyne City, Michigan.

16 JUNE 2022

8,647,638 14,982,366

VOTE NEXT MONTH For A Board Member


EMMET Beaver Island

t’s time to vote! Great Lakes Energy members in three director districts will receive a mail-in ballot with their July/ August issue of Michigan Country Lines.



Three board positions, each for three years, need to be filled. Qualifying GLE members who reside in Districts 6, 8, or 9 can seek election to the board and will be listed on your ballot.

District areas are:

District 6 – Lake and Mason counties District 8 – C lare, Mecosta, Newaygo, and Osceola counties District 9 – Allegan, Barry, Kent, Montcalm, and Ottawa counties














The terms of directors Bob Kran of Free Soil (District 6), Howard Bowersox of Stanwood (District 8), and John LaForge of Delton (District 9) expire this year. Bowersox and LaForge plan to seek re-election. In addition to the mail-in ballot, the candidates’ profiles will appear in the July/August election issue that will be sent to members in Districts 6, 8, and 9. Profiles will also be available in the online version of the July/August issue available at countrylines.com/ my-co-op/great-lakes/. Winners will be announced on Aug. 24 at the cooperative’s annual business meeting.









Thank You For Your Tremendous Support! More than $144,000 has already been granted to charitable and community organizations throughout the GLE service area in 2022. The People Fund owes its success to the outstanding support and generosity of our members spanning more than 20 years. Your generosity and selflessness continue to impact our communities for the better!


Guest Column

An Eggceptional Experience I Will Never Forget! By Cindy Zavadil, HomeWorks Tri-County Cooperative member


will never forget my visit to an ethnic art fair outside of Detroit’s Cobo Hall at the age of 12. It is one of my fondest memories. Why? It was there that I was introduced to the art of Ukrainian egg decorating, or Pysanky. This art form is rich in cultural heritage, symbolism, and pure beauty. The intricacy, vibrant colors, and skill involved had me hooked right away. From quail eggs to ostrich eggs, it’s a joy! My parents took me to this event. They had no idea that I would become a high school art teacher and one day share this art form with my students. I remember watching the elderly artist, a woman, writing on her egg. This art process involves writing/drawing on the egg with beeswax, using a tool called a kistka. The egg is then dipped in various colored dyes after each new design has been written, and it culminates with melting the wax off the egg over a candle flame. I call it the unveiling. Here you see all your hours of work before your eyes. Watching the experienced Pysanky artist that day, with her grey hair, steady hands, and patience, melting the wax off her creation is something I will never forget. I asked my parents if I could buy a kit, including all the tools, to begin my journey. The elderly woman handed my mom my first yellow box. From there, I practiced and

18 JUNE 2022

learned from my mistakes. I kept at it. Like anything else, art is a process, and we learn as we go. Since that day, I have created hundreds of eggs and enjoy sharing the tradition of Ukrainian Pysanky. The world is a better place with art showing its face around every corner. I owe this opportunity of learned joy to that one day at the art fair. If I hadn’t had the opportunity to meet the lovely lady sharing her skills, I would never have begun my journey. That day is a fond memory, and it is because of this memory that I am able to share my art with you.

Cindy is a retired art/humanities teacher. She enjoys all kinds of art, reading, and gardening.

WIN $150!

Share your fondest memories and stories. Win $150 for stories published. Visit countrylines.com/community to submit.

Add Well-Connect Geothermal to Your Existing Furnace TODAY. Cool (and heat) for half with your well.

Add a Well-Connect for $0 down and as little as $80/month.

Typical heating cost savings of over $100/month. Air conditions for pennies a day. Well-Connect pays for itself.

LOW-COST COOLING Air condition and dehumidify your home for pennies a day. Say goodbye to box fans and noisy window or outdoor units.



Heat your home for an estimated 50%-70% less than with propane, fuel oil or electric and eliminate the need to burn wood.

Stop worrying about rising energy costs. Instead, install a Well-Connect in a day and reduce your energy costs tomorrow.

Well-Connect is a water source heat pump designed to provide efficient heating and cooling all year long. It is designed for rural homes that have a well and where either propane, fuel oil, electric resistance, or wood is used as the heating source. Well-Connect is ideal for use in rural areas to deliver clean, economical heating and cooling. It works with an existing furnace - it does not replace it - and greatly reduces the expense associated with burning fossil fuels and keeps the up-front cost of the system as low as possible.

wellconnectgeo.com (989) 356-2113

70° AIR


95° AIR


Hybrid Geothermal


Geothermal Made Affordable

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David Coveyou District 1

Mark Carson District 2

Your Voice. Your Board of Directors. Your Cooperative. Great Lakes Energy Directors Put Members First*  Major system improvements in the last 17 years have increased service reliability to all GLE members.

Ric Evans District 3

Shelly Pinkelman District 4

 GLE accomplishes more with less, ranking it as one of the most productive electric cooperatives nationwide.1  GLE’s fiber-to-the-home project is connecting rural homes and businesses to Truestream’s high-speed internet and voice services.  Profits earned are returned to you. More than $87.5 million in capital credit refunds have been returned to members since 2003.  Eight local offices deliver quick and courteous service, especially when big storms roll in.

Dale Farrier District 5

Paul Byl District 7

John LaForge District 9

Bob Kran District 6

Directors Work for You and You Alone. That’s the Cooperative Difference. *Directors are not appointed by management but rather democratically elected by members each year. All directors are members who receive electric service from GLE.

Howard Bowersox District 8

1 Based

on number of members per employee statistics compiled by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.