KarnesEC1907 6/12/19 10:48 AM Page 18Co-op NewsKARNES ELECTRIC COOPERATIVEOur StrengthComes FromWorking TogetherMESSAGE FROMGENERAL MANAGER BRAD BIERSTEDTCOOPERATION—IT’S THE LIFEBLOOD OF ELEC-tric cooperatives and a concept vital to thesuccess of our form of business.If you’ve heard the old saying that there is power in numbers, then you understand why Cooperative Principle No. 6,COOPERATA IVE PRINCIPLEATCOOPERATION AMONG COOPERATIVESPI YAPH AT 50 I STOCK .COMCooperatives serve their members most effectively andstrengthen the cooperative movement by working togetherthrough local, national, regional and international structures.Cooperation Among Cooperatives, is key for us. Cooperativesserve their members best when they work together.Karnes Electric Cooperative embraces and relies on Cooperation Among Cooperatives in a number of ways. At themost basic level, electric cooperatives support one another intimes of crisis. When a storm or other disaster strikes one ofour fellow electric co-ops, we’re prepared to offer whateverhelp we can to restore service as quickly as possible. And ifwe need help, our neighbors will be there for us.We also collaborate with other co-ops to better serve ourmembers and communities through programs such as YouthTour, safety education outreach and employee training.18Texas Co-op Power KARNES EC July 2019Electric co-ops in Texas combine forces through TexasElectric Cooperatives, our statewide association, and theresults of our efforts are a testament to the power of cooperation. When small organizations wield the strength of a unified movement, they grow in clout, efficiency and economy.When we work together, great things happen.The power of numbers gives us a louder voice at the stateCapitol, so that when legislators make decisions aboutenergy, our members are well-represented. Our culture ofsafety spreads most effectively when we share safety trainingresources and expertise through the association’s Loss Control program.We also save money through our TEC membership. Theeconomies of scale created when co-ops combine their buying power lead to lower costs for poles and equipment andeven the printing and production costs of this magazine.Nationally, we join forces with more than 900 electriccooperatives through the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. This group not only has the ears of Washington decision-makers but also represents cooperativeinterests before regulatory bodies. NRECA also providesus with critical information about new technologies thatcan help us control costs, improve productivity and deliversuperior service.We also belong to Touchstone Energy, a nationwide electric cooperative affiliation that provides us with communications and branding programs and a host of online toolsto help you save on energy costs. Our participation inTouchstone Energy is just another way we extend thebenefits of cooperation and bring greater value to you,our members.Cooperatives work best when they work together, combining forces to leverage better services and lower prices fortheir members. When we add our voice to a grand chorus ofour fellows, our message gets

KarnesEC1907 6/12/19 10:48 AM Page 191-888-807-3952 (830) 780-3952 KARNESEC.ORGKarnes Electric CooperativeLocal Teen To RepresentKEC in Washington, DCP.O. Box 7, Karnes City, TX 78118G E N E R A L M A N AG E RBrad BierstedtBOARD OF DIRECTORSKARNES ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE SHELBY GREEN AS OUR2019 Government-in-Action Youth Tour delegate.Green will be a senior this fall at Strong Oak High School in Poteet. She is thedaughter of Phil and Bonita Green. A Texas Brigades cadet, she has participated innumerous extracurricular and political events, including placing first in the 2018Veterans of Foreign WarsVoice of Democracy essaycontest, and she served as apage at the 2018 state politicalconvention and the AtascosaCounty political convention.Green is certified in huntersafety, boater safety, CPR andfirst aid.She is also very active inthe Atascosa County Fair andhas received many awards inits arts and crafts division.The Government-inAction Youth Tour is a 10-day,all-expenses-paid trip toWashington, D.C. Green willbegin her adventure inAustin, where winners fromacross the state are greetedby Texas Electric Cooperatives, the association thatorganizes the state’s participation in Youth Tour. Whilein Austin, the group will tourthe Texas Capitol and theBullock Texas State HistoryMuseum, then board a flightto Washington, where they will join other participants in visiting historical sites,touring our nation’s capital and meeting their elected officials. The delegates willvisit the U.S. Supreme Court, the Smithsonian Institution, Mount Vernon and manyother important national sites. The group will also take a riverboat cruise on thePotomac River.Green has been selected to participate in the wreath-laying ceremony at theTomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. This ceremony honors the men and women who gave their lives serving their country. Green earnedthis privilege by writing an essay about why she would like to be a part of the ceremony and why it would be significant to her to participate.Karnes EC is proud to sponsor Green on this educational and fun-filled trip. Herapplication and essay, Changing History One Kilowatt at a Time, show her leadership ability, and after her week in Washington, she will bring home memories to lasta lifetime.karnesec.orgPaul T. Brysch Jr., President, District 5Clif Royal, Vice President, District 6Larry R. Schendel, Secretary-Treasurer, District 1Frank A. Geyer Jr., Assistant SecretaryTreasurer, District 3Martin R. Harris Jr., District 4Shirley Hofmann, District 2David Ross Nieschwitz, District 7COOPERATIVE OFFICESMain Office1007 N. Highway 123, Karnes CityDistrict Office1824 W. Goodwin St., PleasantonPay your bill and view your accountsummary at Electric Cooperative is an equalopportunity provider and employer.Contact UsFor information and outagesduring office hours(830) 780-3952 Karnes City(830) 569-5538 Pleasanton1-888-807-3952 Toll-freeTo report a power outage after 5 p.m.and on weekends and holidays(830) 780-3952Coy City, Ecleto, Floresville, Gillette, Goliad,Karnes City, Kenedy, Runge, Three Rivers,Tilden and surrounding areas(830) 569-5538Charlotte, Christine, Pleasanton, Poteet,Verdi and surrounding areasFIND US ON THE WEBkarnesec.orgJuly 2019 KARNES ECTexas Co-op Power19

KarnesEC1907 6/14/19 5:14 PM Page 20KARNES ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE1236710481112Community Comes Togetherfor Karnes EC Annual MeetingMANY MEMBERS OF KARNES ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE ARE DEDI-cated to attending the annual meeting each June. But perhapsnone more so than Gladys and Roosevelt Ellison, who madethe hour-and-a-half drive from their home in Poteet to arriveplenty early for the June 3 event. They never miss an annualmeeting.“We’re sure to make it out every year, and we’ve been doingso since the ’70s,” Gladys said.That day, school was out and summer vacation had begun,leaving the Karnes City Independent School District Performing Arts Center open to host Karnes EC’s annual event. Morethan 240 members made their way out of the afternoon heatand into the auditorium to reunite with friends, discuss theco-op’s recent growth and consider what the future holds.20Texas Co-op Power KARNES EC July 2019Co-op employees, ready to answer questions about themeeting, offered members bottles of ice-cold water. Membersgreeted one another with big hugs, shared family photos andcaught up on local news before the meeting began. ThoughKarnes EC’s service territory is spread over 12 counties, thesense of community that the co-op nurtures makes every partof the area it serves seem close to home—as demonstrated bythe Ellisons.Yolanda Lott, a Karnes EC member service supervisor,helped manage the registration booth and handed each member a ballot for this year’s board election. One of the SevenCooperative Principles by which all co-ops operate is Democratic Member Control, the reason behind the annual boardelections at the

KarnesEC1907 6/14/19 5:15 PM Page 211-888-807-3952 (830) 780-3952 KARNESEC.ORG51. Paul Rodriguez greets incoming guests.2. Richard Garcia awaits guestsin the auditorium lobby.3. Adolfo De La Larza welcomesa familiar face.4. A member at the registrationbooth.95. Members make their way fromthe parking lot to the performingarts center.6. Leroy Castillo offers membersbottles of ice-cold water.7–8. Members settle in and converse prior to the meeting.9. Before taking their seats,members stop by the gift bagtable.10. Members reunite and catchup before the meeting begins.11. Co-op employees awaitincoming members outside theperforming arts center.12. Paul T. Brysch Jr., board president, opens the meeting withearly-bird prizes.Board members Larry R. Schendel of District 1 and MartinR. Harris Jr. of District 4 were up for election this year, andboth earned the votes to retain their seats for another threeyear term.The meeting also included updates concerning the state ofthe co-op. Brad Bierstedt, Karnes EC general manager, summedeverything up with three talking points: growth, technology andplanning.It’s no secret that the Eagle Ford shale formation has playeda significant role in boosting the co-op’s bottom line in recentyears and that the oil and natural gas industry continues todrive the co-op’s growth. Karnes EC sold 1.1 billion kilowatthours of electricity in 2018, Bierstedt said, an 8.9% increaseover 2017 sales.“Ten years ago, our total sales were 265 million kilowatthours,” he said. “This significant growth has made KarnesElectric one of the fastest-growing cooperatives in the state, ifnot the nation.”To keep up with the demand, the co-op has constructed 612miles of additional line and continues to focus on maintenance.In 2018, the co-op invested 5.1 million in maintenance,karnesec.orgincluding wire and pole replacements, right-of-way clearingand pole testing.The rapid growth has also led to the co-op hiring newemployees and a need for updated facilities. Construction onthe new Pleasanton member service center began in Januaryand is scheduled for completion in January 2020. The co-opalso has purchased a warehouse in Tilden and is in the planning stages of a new headquarters facility in Karnes City.New technology is being implemented this year for mapping, staking and outage management. The continued rolloutof SmartHub, an online portal and app that helps membersmanage their accounts, was also mentioned. Bierstedt highlighted the co-op’s dedicated information technology team,which monitors and protects the co-op’s computer and network system from the growing threat of cyberattacks.Continuing the tradition of Concern for Community,another co-op principle, Karnes EC has sponsored anddonated to many community and educational initiatives overthe past year. An annual highlight is the co-op’s scholarshipprogram.Karnes EC awarded 10 students 1,500 scholarships thisJuly 2019 KARNES ECTexas Co-op Power21

KarnesEC1907 6/12/19 10:48 AM Page 22KARNES ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE211. James Schendel leads theinvocation.2. Randy Ortiz is recognized alongwith other veterans present.33. Larry R. Schendel, boardsecretary-treasurer, presents theco-op’s financial report during themeeting.44. 2019 Karnes EC scholarshiprecipients. Front, from left: TaylorVoelkel, Serah Blair, Mia Ortiz andCrystal Tam. Back row, from left:Colton McCartney, Shelby Henson,Chelsea Kruse and Laken McAda.55. Cory Ebrom spins the raffledrum during the prize drawing.66. Terrell Benton and KimberlyMueller each received 750TEC Loss Control programscholarships.787. Roosevelt Ellison won a 50Amazon gift card.8. 2019 Youth Tour participantShelby Green presented herwinning essay during the meeting.year, its 20th providing scholarships to local students. Over thepast two decades, the co-op has awarded 220 scholarshipstotaling 200,200.This year’s recipients are Serah Blair, Jourdanton HighSchool; Shelby Henson, Pleasanton High School; Aileen Krause,Karnes City High School; Chelsea Kruse, Poth High School;Laken McAda, Pleasanton High School; Colton McCartney,McMullen County ISD; Mia Ortiz, Poteet High School; ErinSoward, Jourdanton High School; Crystal Tam, Kenedy HighSchool; and Taylor Voelkel, Karnes City High School.Terrell Benton and Kimberly Mueller were also recognizedfor receiving 750 Texas Electric Cooperatives Loss Controlprogram scholarships.Shelby Green, this year’s Government-in-Action YouthTour winner, wrapped up the meeting with the heartfelt essaythat secured her the opportunity to participate in Youth Tour’s22Texas Co-op Power KARNES EC July 2019annual wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the UnknownSoldier at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C.If you ask Karnes EC members what brings them back tothe annual meeting every year, the door prizes are a popularresponse. And though the Ellisons scooped up one of the manyprizes given away during the drawing, they emphasized theirreason for making the trip every year is catching up with thecommunity they’ve grown to love.“Seeing people year in and year out is what it’s all about,”Gladys said with a big smile.And though the area is developing and growing, the senseof community remains. That, along with low-cost, highly reliable electricity, is why the cooperative has thrived for 81years.“Thank you to our members for the opportunity to serveyou,” Bierdstedt said as he bid farewell to

KarnesEC1907 6/13/19 2:35 PM Page 231-888-807-3952 (830) 780-3952 KARNESEC.ORGTEXAS DIVISION OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENTHurricane Preparedness GuidelinesPreparing for Hurricane Season: June 1–November 30EVACUATION PLANNING: When a hurricane threatens, listen for instructions fromlocal officials. If they call for an evacuation in your area, get going without delay.a Discuss evacuation plans with your family before hurricane season, June 1–November 30. Make a checklist of what you need to do before you leave townand review it.a Monitor NOAA Weather Radio, local TV and radio broadcasts during storm season.a Prepare an emergency supply kit that includes a radio, flashlight, extra batteries,extra eyeglasses, bottled water, nonperishable food, dry clothes, bedding, insuranceinformation, important documents, medications, copies of prescriptions and specialproducts for babies, seniors, medically fragile family members and pets.a Learn evacuation routes before storm season. When there’s a hurricane in theGulf, keep your gas tank as full as possible. Expect traffic delays in an evacuation.a Register with the State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry online or dial 211 to register if you have a disability or medical needs,or if you simply do not have transportation. Gulf Coast residents in evacuationzones who have a disability or medical needs who do not have friends or family tohelp or do not have transportation should register with STEAR in advance.DIVISIÓN DE ADMINISTRACIÓN DE EMERGENCIAS DE TEXASDirectrices para HuracanesPreparando para la temporada de huracanesdurante el 1 de junio hasta el 30 de noviembreEVACUACIÓN EN CASO DE HURACÁN: Cuándo exista una amenaza de huracán,escucha las instrucciones de funcionarios locales. Cuando llamen para una evacuación en su área, sálgase del área lo más pronto posible.a Discute los planes de evacuación con su familia antes de la temporada dehuracán, que empieza el 1 de junio hasta 30 de noviembre. Haga una lista de lo queusted debe hacer antes de salir de la ciudad y revísela.a Escuche la radio y televisión durante la temporada de huracanes.a Prepare un equipo de emergencia que incluya una radio, linterna, repuesto debaterías, anteojos extras, agua embotellada, alimentos no perecederos, ropa extra,ropa de cama, información de seguro, documentos importantes, medicinas, copiasde recetas medicas y productos especiales para bebés, las personas mayores,miembros de la familia médicamente frágiles y mascotas.a Puede regístrese con el State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry vía susitio web,, o llamando al 211 para registrarse si usted tiene unadiscapacidad o necesidades médicas o si simplemente no tiene transporte. Losresidentes de la Costa del Golfo en zonas de evacuación con una discapacidad onecesidades médicas quienes no tienen amigos o familiares para ayudarles o notienen transporte deben registrarse con STEAR por adelantado.karnesec.orgI STOC K.COM H ARV EPI NOa Aprenda sus rutas de evacuación antes de la temporada de huracanes. Cuandohay un huracán en el Golfo, mantenga el tanque de gasolina lleno. Esté consientede que habrá demoras de tráfico.July 2019 KARNES ECTexas Co-op Power23

KarnesEC1907 6/12/19 10:48 AM Page 24KARNES ELECTRIC COOPERATIVEKarnes EC Awards ScholarshipsSERAH BLAIRCHELSEA KRUSESHELBY HENSONLAKEN MCADAERIN SOWARDCOLTON MCCARTNEYCRYSTAL TAMKARNES ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THErecipients of its 1,500 scholarships for graduating high schoolseniors from the Karnes EC service area. Eligible studentsmust be a child of an active member receiving electric servicefrom Karnes EC and have the desire to further their education.This award will assist these students in making theirdreams, goals and plans a reality. This year, the following10 recipients were chosen from a field of highly qualifiedcandidates:Serah Blair, Jourdanton High SchoolShelby Henson, Pleasanton High SchoolAileen Krause, Karnes City High School24Texas Co-op Power KARNES EC July 2019AILEEN KRAUSEMIA ORTIZTAYLOR VOELKELChelsea Kruse, Poth High SchoolLaken McAda, Pleasanton High SchoolColton McCartney, McMullen County ISDMia Ortiz, Poteet High SchoolErin Soward, Jourdanton High SchoolCrystal Tam, Kenedy High SchoolTaylor Voelkel, Karnes City High SchoolKarnes EC congratulates these students on their accomplishments and for receiving these scholarships. Congratulations and best wishes for the future endeavors of each andevery senior in the class of

KarnesEC1907 6/12/19 10:48 AM Page 251-888-807-3952 (830) 780-3952 KARNESEC.ORGMARCCOPHOTO ISTOCK.COMPower TipIMAGEDEPOTPRO ISTOCK.COMEVERY DEGREE DOLLARSDon’t let summer heat burn yourbudget. When home, set yourthermostat to 78. Going out forthe day? Turn your thermostatup 10–15 degrees to cut yourelectricity bill by up to 15%.Tornado SafetyTEXAS CONSISTENTLY RANKS IN THE TOP 5 WHEN IT COMES TO THREATS FROM TORNA-does, and spring is the most likely season for them to occur. But tornadoes can anddo occur all year long, so you should never take the associated risks for granted, nomatter what month it is.Practice and PrepareKnow where you’ll meet your family during a tornado (and after). Practice a tornado drill annually. Keep a weather radio in your storm shelter along with safetysupplies.Know the SignsLook for swirling clouds and watch for quick wind shifts or stark calm after heavyrain. Listen for a loud roar or rumble that doesn’t fade.Seek ShelterGo to your basement, a small interior room or under stairs on the lowest floor of thehouse. If you live in a mobile home, get out and look for a stable building. If outside,find low ground—away from trees and cars—and lie facedown with your arms protecting your head.After the StormStay away from downed power lines and avoid flooded areas—power lines could besubmerged and still live with electricity. Don’t enter seriously damaged buildingsand avoid using matches and lighters in case of gas leaks.karnesec.orgSARA WINTER ISTOCK.COMHAPPYINDEPENDENCEDAYThursday, July 4July 2019 KARNES ECTexas Co-op Power25

KARNES ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE 20 Texas Co-op Power KARNES EC July 2019 MANY MEMBERS OF KARNES ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE ARE DEDI-cated to attending the annual meeting each June. But perhaps none more so than Gladys and Roosevelt Ellison, who made the hour-and-a-half drive from their home in Poteet to arrive plenty early for the June 3 event.