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2016 Year in Review communications legislative support safety and loss control education programs ACRE/CARE

highground In 2016, CREA Executive Director Kent Singer attended the Gettysburg Leadership Experience, a leadership training course based on lessons learned from the Battle of Gettysburg. The three-day seminar, sponsored by NRECA and CoBank, used the 1863 battle as a backdrop to consider how missed opportunities and bad communication can have drastic consequences. The seminar also focused on the value of establishing and maintaining the “high ground” as a critical component to the success of any organization. At its May meeting, the Colorado Rural Electric Association Board of Directors discussed the association’s strategies and what should be considered the “high ground” for CREA and its 23 member electric co-ops. n

The board agreed that the following principles constitute CREA’s “high ground”: • Local control (regulatory and legislative) • Protecting co-op service territories • Maintaining flexible generation resources • Commitment to community/members • Safety for employees and the public • Affordable, reliable electricity • The co-ops as technology leaders



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2016 CREA Employees:

CREA Kent Singer, executive director

Liz Fiddes, director of member services and education

general administration Six employees serve CREA’s membership within the generation administration department of the association.

Cassi Gloe, designer/ production manager

Curt Graham, job training and safety instructor

Geoff Hier, director of government relations

Jen Hight, event and administrative coordinator

Angela Meyer, risk management coordinator

Mona Neeley, director of communications/publisher

Under the direction of Executive Director Kent Singer, these employees provide organizational management, meeting and training opportunities for co-op directors and employees, co-op representation for state and federal legislative activities, support for the board and accounting services for CREA and its affiliate organizations such as the Managers Association, the Colorado Electric Educational Institue and CARE. n

Gloria Smeaton, director of HR/controller

Dan Whitesides, job training and safety instructor

Heather Williams, government relations specialist

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Co-ops Visited by Board • 2012 – Sangre de Cristo Electric, Buena Vista • 2013 – Holy Cross Energy, Glenwood Springs • 2014 – Southeast Colorado Power Association,

Lamar • 2015 – San Miguel Power Association, Ridgway • 2016 – CoBank, Greenwood Village • 2016 – Gunnison County Electric Association,




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board of directors expand industry knowledge Each of Colorado’s 22 electric distribution co-ops and Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association have a director who serves on the CREA Board of Directors. The CREA Managers Association is also represented on the board by its three officers, making for a 26-member board. In 2016, the board met eight times and held 15 committee meetings. For the past five years, the CREA board has traveled for one of its summer meetings, visiting a member co-op’s headquarters. The group also learns about the energy issues within that service territory so board members can better understand the unique challenges individual Colorado co-ops face. Since 2012, board members have toured a pumped storage system, viewed a substation built entirely inside a “barn,” learned about irrigation systems on the dry plains, and visited small hydropower facilities on the Western Slope. In 2016, the board traveled to Gunnison where Gunnison County Electric Association organized a field trip to Morrow Point Dam. Board members got a behind-the-scenes tour of the dam and its powerhouse and a lesson in how this dam works with two other dams on the Gunnison River to provide support for wind and solar generation. Earlier in the year, at the April board meeting, the board traveled to CoBank’s new headquarters across from the Denver Technical Center. The board received reports on CoBank’s business and how it works with electric co-ops, as well as a tour of the offices. n

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- Co-op Day at the Capitol

- Operations & Engineering Conference

- CREA launched a new logo in mid-2016. Throughout the rest of the year, CREA slowly replaced the previous logo as new materials were printed and used.

- NRECA Annual Meeting panel

- CREA board visits CoBank

- Washington, D.C., Youth Tour



- CREA Annual Meeting


- General Assembly begins - CREA has Senate Bill 16055 introduced to clarify board elections -CREA executive director participates in Clean Power Plan hearings



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june may

- CREMS (Member Services) Conference

- NRECA Legislative Conference

- CREA managers meeting

- Colorado Co-op HR Conference

- 2016 CREA Directory published - CREA’s SB 16-055 signed by governor

- CREA Board Visits Gunnison County Electric

- Meeting with Sen. Michael Bennet - Manager meeting & tour of WAPA and the Powerhouse Energy Campus

- Region 7&9 meeting

- State Fair Junior Livestock Sale

- Careers in Energy Week


- Updates on National Electric Safety Code for co-ops




- Orientation session for new board members

- CREA Energy Innovations Summit

- CREA Loss Control Seminar

- Powering the Plains team rides Pedal the Plains

- Youth Leadership Camp

- Electricity 101 for Legislators

december november

- Election Summary - CREA managers meeting

2016 at a glance 2 0 1 6 Ye a r i n R e v i e w



6 newly elected legislators attended CREA’s Electricity 101 course. 22 legislators attended the CREA annual meeting reception.

685 bills




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into law





became law without the Governor’s signature


legislative session Election 2016 CARE was a prominent participant in the 2016 election and supported a bipartisan slate of 58 incumbent and new legislative candidates with more than 80 percent of those candidates winning their races. Of the state legislative races in which CARE made an endorsement, 11 of the 12 state Senate candidates won and 36 of the 45 House candidates won. CARE collaborated with a coalition of business and education entities with the goal of maintaining split chambers in the Colorado General Assembly. The coalition identified four crucial races to concentrate its efforts. CARE was the lead member of the coalition on a key race that is credited with achieving the split chamber goal. Flyers, social media, radio advertising and door-to-door canvasing were utilized. continued

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Gov. John Hickenlooper signs SB16-055, which clarifies co-op election procedures.

Legislative Recap The legislative team reviewed all 685 bills for possible impacts on CREA members. CREA identified and tracked 24 bills through the legislative process to protect the interests of the membership. In addition to these 24 bills, CREA requested the introduction of two bills during the 2016 legislative session that were based on issues identified by CREA member cooperatives. Election reform: The CREA Board of Directors voted unanimously to request clarification of language in the cooperative election statutes. Senator Kevin Grantham (R-Cañon City) and Representative Domnick Moreno (D-Commerce City) sponsored SB16-055 at CREA’s request. The bill allows ballots for cooperative elections to be counted as valid when returned regardless of whether or not the secrecy envelope is used. Previously the statute indicated the use of the secrecy envelope was mandatory resulting in hundreds of ballots not being counted. The second provision of the bill clarified that if the cooperative contracts with a third-party vendor to conduct the election that the vendor may count the ballots off-site and return them to the cooperative where the candidates may inspect them. The previous language required the count to be held continued



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Category 2016 CARE Presidents Club 49 Vice Presidents Club 1 Century Club 145 ACRE – Regular 28 CARE/ACRE 48 CARE + Spouse 3 CARE Only 50 TOTAL MEMBERSHIP 324 14 cooperative boards authorized approximately $80,000 for the CARE independent expenditure campaign. The fall CARE auction raised an additional $19,000.

where the candidates could observe the process, greatly reducing the cost savings of using a thirdparty vendor. SB16-055 passed both chambers unanimously and was signed by the governor March 23, 2016. Taxes: Late in the legislative session, CREA was contacted by a member cooperative that was facing potential fines from the Colorado Department of Revenue related to a new interpretation of the exemption from sales tax for the residential use of electricity. This interpretation was contrary to standard practice that all electric utilities had been following for over 20 years. CREA intervened on behalf of the member, and all fines were waived. However, the state revenue department announced that it would conduct a rulemaking hearing in the summer of 2016 unless legislation was introduced to align statutes to the existing guidance. CREA formed a coalition with other utilities, and introduced HB16-1457 by Representatives Alec Garnett (D-Denver), Jim Wilson (R-Salida) and Senators Tim Neville, (R-Littleton), and Leroy Garcia (D-Pueblo). The bill clarified the tax exemption for the sale of energy for residential

consumption. It was passed unanimously by both chambers and signed into law by the governor on June 10, 2016.

CREA Leads Trip to D.C.

Energy Efficiency Program Expands

About 45 directors, managers and staff members from Colorado’s electric cooperatives traveled to Washington, D.C., to attend the NRECA Legislative Conference. While in D.C., representatives from the co-ops attended events hosted by NRECA and CREA.

CREA worked with the Colorado Energy Office, the Colorado Department of Agriculture and Colorado State University to expand the 2014 pilot program for energy efficiency in agriculture. The program targets dairy and irrigation producers. Participants received an energy efficiency audit and grants to offset costs to implement the audit recommendations. Significant savings were realized by participating co-op member-owners.

The week of the conference, both the House and Senate were, unfortunately, in recess. However, the group met with staff from Colorado’s delegation. Coal combustion residuals, pole attachment legislation, the reauthorization of FEMA, extending the tax credit for energy efficient geothermal heat pumps, and federal land management policies to strengthen grid reliability were reviewed. Staffers from the House were asked to encourage the representatives to join two caucuses to help promote co-op priorities on the Hill: the Congressional Cooperative Business Caucus and the Congressional Rural Broadband Caucus. n

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education Smashing CREA Employee Education Records CREA held more courses and had more participation in its training classes than ever before. Fifty-six instructors trained 902 employees during the 38 courses and conferences CREA offered in 2016. Additionally, CREA sponsored 10 webinars for co-op staff. 128 students participated in the Washington, D.C., Youth Tour and Youth Leadership Camp

In 2016, the first group of employees completed the newly created, nine-day Principles of Leadership course. Partnering with Peak Solutions, CREA designed these classes to help its member co-ops develop leaders within their employees as they face increasing numbers of retirements by the current co-op leaders.




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courses held



$82,531 saved

in NRECA registration fees


participants in the new director/manager orientation

CREA organizes its education classes in conjunction with the Colorado Electric Educational Institute. CEEI has its own board of directors and oversees not only employee education, but the youth programs, burn fund, Pedal the Plains bike tour, and fundraising ac co-op service area. CREA and CEEI also raise money to help offset the cost of the education programs.

Co-Op Youth Make Our Future Look Exciting

Director Education

In 2016, 29 students visited Washington, D.C., and 99 students attended camp. CREA assisted with organizing these events, arranged for 18 speakers, ordered supplies and equipment, set up tours and provided one chaperone.

$82,531 – That’s what CREA saved its member co-ops by hosting NRECA director courses in conjunction with CREA’s annual and fall meetings. In 2016, 215 people attended an NRECA director course sponsored by CREA and 95 people participated in the two Electricity 101 courses. Colorado directors’ understanding of the importance of education is reflected in their commitment to achieving certification. Seventy-nine percent of Colorado directors have received their Credentialed Cooperative Director certificate, 49 percent have their Board Leadership certificate, and 28 percent have received their Director Gold certificate. The Director Gold certification was introduced January 2016 to recognize directors who continue their education, even after completing their Board Leadership certification.


employee courses held


webinars held


participants in the employee courses

CREA/CEEI is an active partner in organizing the Washington, D.C., Youth Tour and the Steamboat Springs Youth Leadership Camp.

The students participating in these programs step out of their comfort zone and spend a week with strangers. This opportunity allows them to let their true personality shine, make new friends and stretch their leadership skills.

CREA’s Industry Partners Contribute To Our Success CREA applied for and received grants totaling $27,400 from for its education and youth programs. Additionally, fundraisers and other donations were received from industry partners that totaled over $10,000. n


speakers hired for employee training


manager meetings



at the managers’ meetings

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communications department Saying Goodbye The CREA Communications Department started 2016 saying goodbye to a long-time employee and welcoming a new staff member. Despite the staff changes, the small staff continued to generate an increasing number of quality projects and publications and ended the year with a strong bottom line. As the year opened, Cassi Gloe joined the staff as designer and production manager replacing Associate Editor Donna Wallin.

The monthly focus for the department continued to be Colorado Country Life magazine, which is sent by 17 co-ops to more than 220,000 electric co-op members across the state. The department also published the annual Year in Review, the Legislative Directory, the CREA Directory, 12 issues of the Colorado Co-op Report and nine issues of the Innovations in Energy e-newsletter. Other publishing projects included Executive Director Kent Singer’s Industry Overview, the Safety and Loss Control Department’s Current Flow newsletter, myriad annual meeting and Energy Innovations Summit materials, postcards promoting member co-ops, invitations and more. The department also oversaw websites for CREA and CCL and the social media sites for CREA and CCL. CREA is represented on Facebook, Twitter and You tube. CCL maintains a presence on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat. These sites are all ways for Colorado’s electric co-ops to connect with their members and others interested in co-ops and the electric industry.



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After nearly 19 years as the lead designer and production manager for CREA’s communications department and associate editor for Colorado Country Life, Donna Wallin retired at the end of February. Donna joined the department in September of 1997 and played a pivotal part in the success of the magazine. She won several awards for her magazine covers and the design of the magazine and its website. She also worked on many CREA projects, including banners, postcards, meeting materials, directories and more. She also led the bicycle team for Colorado’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives as it rode in the annual Pedal the Plains tour of Eastern Colorado. And she met with hundreds of electric co-op members through the year as she attended co-op annual meetings around the state.


“Colorado Country Life” The magazine is designed to help Colorado’s electric co-ops connect with their members on a regular basis and create a way for the co-ops to share industry-related information through a trusted resource. As part of the effort to connect with members, CCL finds ways to get readers involved with the magazine. In 2016, CCL welcomed letters to the editor, invited readers to submit photos of themselves with the magazine, accepted funny stories from readers, offered monthly contests readers could enter for a chance at a prize, sponsored a photo contest with more than 500 entries, asked for stories on favorite pets and reviewed books from local authors and publishing houses in the November issue. Readers from every subscribing co-op connected with the magazine through all of these avenues.

Readership Continues Strong

Website Award

According to a scientific survey done by GfK MRI in New York, it was determined that 83.1 percent of those receiving Colorado County Life had read three out of the last four issues of the magazine. This is up slightly from the previous survey three years ago. There are a few more women than men, who read the magazine. The survey found that 90.2 percent of those age 55 or older read the magazine regularly. And it found that 69 percent of those ages 25-54 read the magazine regularly. And almost half of those readers spent more than 30 minutes with the magazine such as cutting out a recipe, contacting an advertiser, buying a product or service or visiting a website for information.

Colorado Country Life’s website at www. won a Willies Award of Merit in the best website competition among NRECA statewide magazine websites. The Willies Awards, named for the coops’ Willie Wiredhand, are awarded each summer by the NRECA Statewide Editors Association.

Pedal the Plains Colorado’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives’ Powering the Plains bike team rode in the September Pedal the Plains bike tour of eastern Colorado. Team members rode 151 miles and raised a record-setting $15,365 for Energy Outreach Colorado. n

Innovations in Energy e-newsletter

Colorado Country Life

annual circulation 2 0 1 6 C I R C U L AT I O N S TAT S Colorado Country Life

monthly circulation




Colorado Co-op Report monthly circulation


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Loss Control Seminar Attendees found the active shooter training to be a valuable part of the 2016 summer seminar.

Co-op Mechanics Meet Nearly 20 mechanics from 13 Colorado electric co-ops met in Glenwood Springs for the CREA Mechanics Conference. That group was trained on equipment diagnostics and air brakes, as well as receiving training on communication and people skills.



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JT&S Instructor Dan Whitesides drove 26,000 miles in 2016


and loss control department Under the leadership of Director of Safety and Loss Control Randy Westberg, the department moved ahead with its second year under a new program that quadrupled the number of days each co-op was provided with on-site and in-field training in 2016. With two job training and safety instructors and a new schedule and division of the state, this new program resulted in stronger relationships between the four members of the CREA Safety and Loss Control team and the cooperatives that they serve.

JT&S Instructor Curt Graham drove 30,000 miles in 2016

Risk Management Coordinator Angelea Meyer drove 18,000 miles in 2016

The team became more specialized in regulatory compliance with the JT&S instructors focusing on the overall safety performance at the cooperatives, and the department director and the risk management coordinator reviewing new regulations and researching current regulations that affect the co-ops. continued

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White River General Manager Alan Michalewicz (left) and Operations Manager Frank Sampson (right) accept the annual safety award from Curt Graham of CREA.

Popular Statewide Classes In 2016 National Electric Safety Code Training - 4 classes offered - 3 locations - 155 attendees

Confined Spaces & Excavating Safety (1/2 day each topic) - 3 classes offered - 3 locations - 74 attendees



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The department director, the risk management coordinator and at least two trained observers from other co-ops performed seven successful onsite RESAP observations in 2016. The Rural Electric Safety Achievement Program is an NRECA service that promotes high safety standards through safety plans, commitment by the co-op leadership, performance measures of key OSHA data and observation by a CREA RESAP team. In Colorado, seven successful onsite observations were conducted in 2016. Speak Up/Listen Up was also added in 2016. Following training for each member of the safety and loss control department, the first classes for the program were implemented in 2016. The program is designed to help employees communicate safety concerns and issues to supervisors and other employees in a beneficial way. The safety team expects to bring the program to more co-ops in 2017. A follow up visit will be scheduled a year after the initial training to ensure that the concepts have been absorbed into the co-op’s safety culture. As the year closed, the department said goodbye to Westberg, who resigned to move back to South Dakota.

Rural Electric Safety Achievement Program In 2016, seven cooperatives were scheduled for assessment and for the second year, every co-op agreed to have an “unannounced” visit. This means that only one or two key staff members were aware of the week that CREA would come for the RESAP assessment.

NRECA also launched the official version of the new RESAP online system for the 2016 participants, which operated perfectly. The other function of the new program lets CEOs become more involved with the program by submitting the Safety Improvement Plan themselves. According to NRECA, more changes will be coming in 2017 to make the functionality of the program more helpful to the co-ops.

Loss Control Seminar 2016 For the 24th year, CREA hosted its July Loss Control Seminar. The team decided to change the format of the seminar by utilizing break-out sessions in various topics such as RESAP User Training, Federated Near Miss Reporting and Specialized Data Tracking Systems to broaden the scope of learning. An intense Active Shooter Training taught by two Texas SWAT officers capped the seminar. That training is a highly sought after program that several law enforcement divisions have received. During the seminar, the annual All Around Safety Performance award was presented to White River Electric. To win the award, the co-op must comply with a series of stipulations that look at the number of accidents within the co-op personnel, safety meetings, and how involved the co-op general manager is with the safety program and more. Fourteen other cooperatives were also recognized for having no loss time accident during the previous year. n

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president'sreport by Jack Schneider

I’ve completed my first term as president of the CREA Board of Directors and I’m happy to report on the accomplishments of the organization and how CREA is leading the way toward powering tomorrow. In May, the CREA board held its regular meeting at Gunnison County Electric. During the meeting, there was an in-depth discussion with staff about the association’s activities, our strengths and where we need to refocus our efforts. The board evaluated the programs CREA is offering and discussed CREA’s mission and concluded that staff should continue to focus on legislation, education, communication and safety. The board also agreed that current staffing levels are appropriate. We also spent time discussing “high ground” issues, or issues that we believe are critical to the cooperative program’s success. Those issues are: • Local control (regulatory and legislative) • Protecting service territory • Maintaining flexible generation resources • Commitment to community/members • Safety for employees and the public • Affordable, reliable power • The co-ops as technology leaders Having these discussions will allow the staff to move forward with a good understanding of the board’s vision. Now it’s up to staff to execute that vision. There are only 12 employees at CREA so one of the ways to enhance its services is through partnerships. These partnerships may be through consultants hired for contract lobbying work, instructors hired for director and 20


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employee education, writers and photographers hired to enhance the magazine, or through partnerships with other organizations that have the same goals on issues. A good example of the partnerships CREA developed was during the 2016 legislative session when all the investor and municipally-owned utilities in the state came together under CREA’s leadership to run legislation to make it clear that residential sales of electricity are exempt from the state sales tax. This issue arose during an audit at Holy Cross Energy. CREA’s work on this bill prevented the Colorado Department of Revenue from collecting taxes on sales that had historically been exempt from sales tax. Another good example of CREA leading the way is through its education programs. As baby boomers retire utilities across the country are undergoing staffing changes at all levels: from boards, to CEOs, to the lineworkers. In 2016, CREA held more classes and trained more co-op directors and employees than ever before. We provided tools for co-ops to lead the way in powering tomorrow. CREA’s communications team is also providing the membership with one of our most valuable assets, an award-winning communications tool in Colorado Country Life magazine. Monthly subscriptions for the magazine have topped 220,000 copies per month, and readership studies show that over 81 percent of your members read three out of four issues. Can you think of a better way to get your co-op’s message out for 37¢ per subscription, or 11½¢ less than a first class stamp?

Lineworkers are on the front line of powering today’s cooperative because they are the individuals who are identified by members as providing their electric service. The partnership that CREA’s safety and loss control team has formed with these workers is vital to the success and safety of all the cooperative employees and members. CREA’s safety team is committed to continuing the partnership we have worked hard to develop. CREA will continue to seek the “high ground” as it represents your cooperative. Your members and your service areas are diverse, and that diversity is reflected in your boards and in the CREA board of directors. Two years ago the board adopted a policy requiring a twothirds majority vote of the members in attendance to take an official position on legislation. This voting mechanism gives the minority opinion a stronger voice on issues and makes our decisions even stronger when we take positions on legislative issues. CREA’s partnership with you and your cooperative is strong. Our industry is seeing rapid change and your coop is aligning its policies and staff to power tomorrow’s utility. CREA is at your side to help you lead the way. We are proud to serve the co-op program.

Jack Schneider Board President

executivedirector'sreport by Kent Singer

The Colorado Rural Electric Association: Making a Difference The primary reason for your cooperative to belong to CREA is simple: you pay us a small portion of the hard-earned money your members pay you because we make a difference. When it comes to safety, education, communications and, of course, politics, we have your back. We provide services that would cost you much more if you hired your own staff or contractors instead. That’s a good investment when you consider your monthly dues to CREA amount to less than one cent per dollar of revenue to your co-op. CREA enjoyed a strong year in each of our service areas in 2016. We continued our new approach to providing safety training, focusing on more comprehensive visits by our terrific trainers and looking for fresh approaches and new topics. Our education department provided a record number of training courses for directors and staff, with an emphasis on providing leadership training for the managers of tomorrow. And Colorado Country Life continued to bring your message to your members. And then there’s politics. It’s sometimes easy to think of CREA only in terms of our political

efforts, but we take as much pride in our safety training, education and communications functions as the political function. That said, we understand that the major shifts that are taking place in energy policy mean that we need to closely follow what happens at the state legislature and how it could impact your co-op.

Year-round Advocacy In the past two election cycles, our political action committee, CARE, has asked our members for support of our 527 activities. These funds are not contributed to candidates or campaigns, but are used instead to create messages in favor of candidates who support electric co-ops. These 527 efforts have been extremely successful. Maintaining a balance of power in the Colorado General Assembly is important to our political success and our work has contributed to that end. With each passing year, the influence of rural Colorado seems to lessen and our fate is in the hands of urban legislators some of whom, God bless them, don’t know the difference between an apple pie and a cow pie. We are extremely grateful to those of you who have not only become members of CARE and/ or ACRE, but who have also contributed items for our annual auction. That fundraiser and the contributions made by individual co-ops have been instrumental in our political efforts.

Co-op Innovation Continues It would be impossible to review all the innovative co-op projects around the state. With automated metering, community solar, small hydro, landfill methane, utility scale renewables, distributed generation, new rate designs and battery storage, co-ops are using new approaches to energy production and consumption. Some have said that co-ops oppose new technologies and new power generating sources, but that’s clearly not the case. And our innovative efforts are being noticed by the Colorado General Assembly and other stakeholders engaged in Colorado’s energy policy discussions. We have a great story to tell and CREA is working hard to find new ways to tell that story.

Defending the High Ground: Technology Leaders At the beginning of this booklet, we list the seven “high ground” principles that our board developed in May. And I think that, in addition to providing affordable and reliable power and protecting our right of self-determination, the most important of these principles is for the coops to be recognized as technology leaders.

community solar, very little rooftop solar, no utility scale renewables, not much in the way of net metering and very little, if any, automated metering. Our energy world has changed over the last 10 years and will continue to do over the next 10 years. For us to be successful, we must be technology leaders.

Our unity comes from YOU I am happy to report that in 2016 every electric co-op in Colorado continued as a member of the statewide association. Even though we may see the world differently based on our geography, our culture and our politics, we stand together as members of the electric co-op community. Our common objectives such as serving our member-owners, helping our communities, and improving the quality of life in rural Colorado are more important than our differences. If we stick together, we can meet the challenges of our evolving world just like we have met many other challenges over the last 70-plus years.

Kent Singer Executive Director

We have come a long way on this front. Just think about where we were 10 years ago: no 2 0 1 6 Ye a r i n R e v i e w



treasurer'sreport by Ginny Buczek

I am happy to report that CREA is in a strong financial position. CREA’s unaudited financials show cash on hand at year-end of $1,608,243. By department, margins for yearend 2016 are: General Administration . . . . . . $129,877 Communications . . . . . . . . . . . . 183,767 Safety & Loss Control . . . . . . . . . 38,983 Total . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $352,627 Because of CREA’s strong cash position, the board approved a 2017 budget with no dues increase. The general administration is budgeting for a loss of $21,111 and the safety and loss control budget is anticipating a loss of $28,229, but these losses will be covered with cash. The general administration’s margins were primarily due to employee expenses being $35,909 less than budgeted because of a vacancy in the department, director expenses being $41,778 less than budgeted due to meetings and events not held, and $21,738 was saved because we delayed hiring a contract lobbyist until 2017. The communications department revenue was $66,672 greater than budgeted due in part to increased circulation, special projects and stronger than expected advertising. Additionally, production expenses were $34,954 less than budgeted. The subscription cost in 2017 for Colorado Country Life will remain at 37¢ per copy. Postal and printing increases are expected, but these increases will be absorbed through advertising sales. The safety and loss control department’s expenses 22


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were $14,701 less than budgeted due to a vacancy in the department. Travel expenses were also less than budgeted because of this vacancy and because of a new travel schedule that increases the length of time instructors spend at each co-op, reducing travel time and miles driven. CREA’s largest budget expense is its employees. Staffing levels were reduced effective with the 2016 budget when the safety and loss control department was reorganized. The communications department will be hiring a part-time employee in 2017, filling a position that has been vacant for some time. A review of employee salaries is completed annually and uses data collected from multiple sources. CREA’s benefits package also goes through a rigorous evaluation by the board and staff. CREA is continuing to offer the RS program as part of its benefits package. In 2013, the board approved a $622,121 payment to the retirement plan with the promise of discounted rates in the future. CREA has seen savings every year since making that investment; that savings totaled $56,947 in 2016. Since 2013 the savings totals $254,495. Several capital expenditures were made in 2016. An energy audit of the headquarters building was done and resulted in replacing a vending machine and updating the lighting and thermostats in the building. This has significantly reduced CREA’s electricity bill, with more savings expected if our lower usage drops us into a different rate class. Additionally, CREA purchased a new copy machine. Looking to 2017, capital items include remodeling the kitchen, replacing the roof, and purchasing a vehicle for the safety and loss control department.

In 2016 the board also approved CREA opening a $100,000 line of credit with CoBank. Although we do not anticipate a need to access these funds, becoming a CoBank member gives us access to the Sharing Success program. The Sharing Success program will match a donation made by CREA to a 501-C-3 organization. The Colorado Electric Educational Institute—which is responsible for the Washington, D.C., Youth Tour and the Youth Leadership Camp—qualifies for this donation. CREA applied for and received a $5,000 donation for CEEI. (We will apply for another donation in 2017.) Partnerships like the one we have with CoBank are important to CREA’s success. Other organizations have also made financial commitments to CREA and include CFC and NCSC that donated $17,400 in 2016 for employee education and youth programs, Federated Insurance that donated $120,000 for safety activities, and Basin Electric matched Tri-State's donation of $5,000 to CEEI for the youth programs. I am confident that the staff has done a good job controlling costs and spending your membership dollars wisely. Your statewide is in a strong financial position and well situated for the future. Thank you for the opportunity to serve as treasurer.

Virginia “Ginny” Buczek Treasurer


Current Year Prior Year ASSETS Current Assets Cash — General Funds $1,608,242.83 $1,382,052.60 A/R General Association 8,577.51 10,176.55 A/R Communications 30,611.22 23,576.69 Reserve Doubtful Accounts — Communications (12,268.85) (12,068.85) Prepaid Expenses 43,028.27 30,875.72 Balance Sheet   Unaudited Total Current Assets 1,678,190.98 1,434,612.71 Fixed Assets Land 288,884.00 288,884.00 331,694.59 Property and Equipment, net of accumulated depreciation 371,242.33

rural electric association as of December 31, 2016

Total Fixed Assets 660,126.33 620,578.59 Other Assets: Long-Term Investments 28,102.72 29,777.72   Total Assets $2,366,420.03 $2,084,969.02     LIABILITIES Current Liabilities Accounts Payable ($ 10,988.99) $ 45,660.76 Accrued Liabilities 102,487.55 116,801.64 Deferred Revenue 4,117.72 4,336.42 Total Current Liabilities 95,616.28 166,798.82 Long-Term Liabilities 0.00 0.00 Total Liabilities 95,616.28 166,798.82 Net Assets Fund Balances — G/A (247,506.70) (279,900.48) Fund Balances — Safety Training and Loss Control 712,423.50 673,345.24 Fund Balances — Communications 1,453,253.40 1,379,486.75 YTD Profit/(Loss) 352,633.55 145,238.69     Total Net Assets 2,270,803.75 1,918,170.20     Total Liabilities and Net Assets $2,366,420.03 $2,084,969.02

2 0 1 6 Ye a r i n R e v i e w



5400 Washington Street | Denver, CO 80216 | Phone: 303-455-2700 | Fax: 303-455-2807 |

2016 CREA Year in Review | Denver, CO  
2016 CREA Year in Review | Denver, CO