Message from the Executive Director
Pride in Performance: CREA Maintains Core Services Throughout 75th Year
For 75 years, CREA has supported Cooperative Principle #5 through in-person communication with our members: safety sessions, board meetings, the Energy Innovations Summit, annual meetings, peer group conferences, director training and national conferences and more. Then along comes 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic certainly could have sidetracked CREA, a trade association that specializes in facilitating in-person meetings. It didn’t. Like all of your co-ops, we regrouped.
—Kent Singer, CREA Executive Director
Last year's wildfire season was historic, charring more acres than any year before. In total over 600,000 acres of Colorado land were burned in 2020.
As Colorado’s wildfire risk continues to increase, it is imperative that Colorado’s electric cooperatives work with stakeholders through Colorado to prevent further wildfire destruction. The white paper analyzes different policy options to increase the effectiveness of wildfire mitigation and prevention in Colorado.
COLORADO ELECTRIC EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTE WILDFIRE RELIEF FUND
The Colorado Electric Educational Institute Board of Directors established a Wildfire Relief Fund late in 2020 to assist co-op employees, first responders, rural fire departments, paramedic services and other community-based organizations who responded to the 2020 wildfires that swept through parts of electric co-op service territory.
After collecting nearly $124,000 in donations from CREA, Tri-State, several local electric co-ops and readers of the electric co-op magazine, Colorado Country Life, the donations were distributed to 24 people and organizations affected by last summer’s wildfires. CEEI distributed 100% of the proceeds received by the fund.
CREA began 2020 by celebrating its 75th year serving as the statewide trade association for Colorado’s electric cooperatives. A month later, the world changed as the COVID-19 pandemic spread.
We all began attending virtual meetings. The safety and loss control team provided online safety training; education classes continued via video calls; the government relations team met with legislators and candidates via Zoom or with masks on and exercising social distance; and the communications team continued to carry the co-op story in all of its publications and on all of its channels. Although 2020 was a challenging year in many respects, CREA rose to the challenges.
—Jeff Hauck, President
In 2020, CREA’s expenses were $53,862 less than budget company-wide. Employee expenses, staff travel and director expenses were significantly under budget for 2020. Revenue was down because the board approved reducing third quarter dues 50%, for a total cumulative savings to the membership of $306,360. CREA ended the year with margins as follows:
CREA budgeted for negative margins (deficits) in 2020 because its cash on hand exceeded the policy requirement that three months operating cash be held in reserve. Over the past 10 years there have been five years when we did not have a dues increase for the general administration department and over the past five years the safety and loss control department did not have a dues increase in three of those years.
—Rod Martinez, Treasurer