Hundreds of members on hand for Bluebonnet’s Annual Meeting


Bluebonnet's General Manager Matt Bentke visits with co-op members prior to Bluebonnet’s Annual Meeting in Giddings on May 8.

Richard Schmidt was re-elected to Bluebonnet’s board of directors during the co-op’s Annual Meeting. Schmidt is one of two directors from District 2, Caldwell, Hays, Gonzales and Guadalupe counties, and has been on the board since 1994.

Shana Whiteley was elected to serve as the Bluebonnet director from District 1, Travis County. Whiteley has served on Bluebonnet’s board since January 2018. She owns two restaurants: The Good Luck Grill in Manor and the Lucky Duck Café in Taylor.

Bryan Bracewell was elected to serve on Bluebonnet’s board of directors from District 3, Bastrop County. He is the third generation of his family to own Southside Market and Barbecue in Elgin and Bastrop.

Nearly 600 Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative members and guests filled The Silos on 77 event center in Giddings Tuesday, May 8, for the co-op’s Annual Meeting. They enjoyed live music, and more than 40 door prizes, in addition to conducting important business that culminated with the election of three directors.

Board Chairman Ben Flencher opened the business portion of the meeting by thanking Bluebonnet’s members for their continued support.

“We have had another great year at Bluebonnet,” Flencher said. “One of the keys to our success over the years has been the incredible support we get from our members. On behalf of the board of directors and employees, we recognize that our members are the foundation for everything that we do and thank you for your support.”

Flencher also recognized and thanked James Kershaw, who retired from Bluebonnet’s board after serving 36 years as a director from Bastrop County. One of the highlights of the meeting was a moving video tribute honoring Kershaw. In the video, Directors Flencher, Schmidt and Emanuel, and General Manager Matt Bentke praised Kershaw for his dedication, devotion and love for Bluebonnet’s members and employees.

“Jimmy Kershaw’s gentlemanly demeanor set an example for us to follow and will be part of the culture in our board room for years to come,” Flencher said. “He was the face of our organization for so many years and was the strongest advocate for Bluebonnet’s members and employees.”

Three candidates in Bluebonnet’s board election this year were unopposed and elected by general consent in accordance with Bluebonnet’s bylaws. Incumbent Directors Richard Schmidt, District 1, Caldwell, Gonzales, Guadalupe and Hays counties, and Shana Whiteley, District 2, Travis County, retained their board seats. Bryan Bracewell was elected to serve as the director from District 3, Bastrop County.

Schmidt has served on Bluebonnet’s board since 1994 and is a former board chairman. He owned and operated Kreuz Market in Lockhart from 1984 to 2010, when he sold the barbecue business to his son, Keith. Whiteley joined Bluebonnet’s board in January 2018, filling a vacancy created by the resignation of former Director Suanna Tumlinson. Whiteley owns two restaurants that serve casual comfort food: the Good Luck Grill in Manor and the Lucky Duck Cafe in Taylor. Bracewell is the third generation of his family to own Southside Market & Barbeque, a business founded in 1882, now with locations in Elgin and Bastrop.

Bluebonnet is a member-owned electric cooperative governed by an 11-member board. Bluebonnet’s members elect their directors, who serve staggered three-year terms. One third of the 11-member board of directors is up for election every year. Nearly 6,000 members participated in this year’s Annual Meeting by proxy.

Bentke closed out the business portion of the meeting with a report on the co-op’s service to its members and communities, and its financial and operational strengths.

“We are in the people business,” Bentke said. “Our number one goal at Bluebonnet is to serve our members and our communities, and to make your lives better. We are committed to doing that day in and day out by providing safe, reliable, competitively priced electricity, contributing to charitable organizations that help our members and by volunteering thousands of hours each year in our communities.”

Other highlights of Bentke’s report on 2017 performance included reducing operating expenses by $3.37 million, saving members $3 million in wholesale power costs and returning $3.39 million in capital credits. Bentke said this financial performance and the record growth occurring in Bluebonnet’s service area has created capacity for the co-op to invest in infrastructure, maintenance and its communities, while borrowing less and increasing equity, benefiting all members.


Bluebonnet wishes to say Thank You!
Your generous donations toward door prizes helped make our Annual Meeting a success!

Appel Ford
Billy's Tree Service
Burlin Power Line LLC
Chemical Weed Control
Clay Richardson
Glasco & Co.
KBS Electrical Distributors
M&S Engineering
McCamant Consulting
McCord Engineering
The Nitsche Group
Oldcastle Materials
Over and Under LLC
Partner Software
Rudd and Wisdom Inc.
Schneider Engineering

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