Golden West’s 71st Annual Meeting Includes Updates, Voting, Prizes and Meal
Golden West Telecommunications Cooperative’s 71st annual meeting will be held at 10 a.m. Sept. 23 at the Community Center in Wall. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.
Members who register at the meeting will receive a $20 bill credit as a registration gift and will also have a chance to win door prizes, including a $500 grand prize. Following the meeting, attendees can enjoy lunch compliments of Golden West at one of four local restaurants.
Cooperative members who attend the annual meeting on Sept. 23 will hear updates about the cooperative, elect three board members, and review and vote on proposed changes to the organization’s bylaws.
Elect Three Directors
Three of Golden West’s 15 board seats are up for election this year; all director terms are four years. Two incumbents are running unopposed, and another candidate is running for the third seat left open by Kenneth “Buddy” Bolzer. Candidates are as follows:
• District III: Arnie Hill, unopposed incumbent
• District IV: Thomas Zickrick, unopposed candidate
• District VI: Ansel Wooden Knife, unopposed incumbent
to Articles & Bylaws
Registered members will also vote on proposed changes to the cooperative’s bylaws; the Board of Directors recommends amendments to help enhance member satisfaction and participation in the cooperative.
Last year members approved bylaw changes giving the Board of Directors flexibility in establishing additional voting methods for member meetings, such as voting electronically or by mail. This year’s proposed changes would expand the timeframe for submission of nominations and notice of member meetings as needed for certain voting methods. The changes would also allow the voting to occur in advance of the meeting.
Members were sent a Notice of Proposed Amendments to the Bylaws of Golden West Telecommunications Cooperative with this year’s annual report. The notice provides a general overview explanation and details of the proposed changes. The September 2023 Horizons member newsletter includes an article summarizing the changes; the newsletter will arrive in mailboxes as early as Sept. 15 or shortly thereafter. The proposed amendments will also be reviewed at the annual meeting.
How to Vote as
The process that enables non-individual cooperative members to vote at the annual meeting was updated last year. Examples of a non-individual member include a school district, town, church, corporation, LLC, etc.
To vote, non-individual members must contact Golden West to request an Authorization to Vote form, complete it, and return it to Golden West by 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023. The form designates a representative to vote who is an officer, an LLC member, or other senior official within the non-individual member organization. The Authorized Voting Representative must present a photo ID when registering at the annual meeting to receive a ballot.
Individual members, such as residential and sole proprietor businesses, must vote in person at the annual meeting. The Authorization to Vote form is not a proxy statement; therefore, individual members cannot use the form.
Capital Credit Returns
Co-op members will also receive their capital credit payments issued on their Golden West bill or in the form of a mailed check prior to the annual meeting. In line with the Cooperative’s performance, Golden West’s Board of Directors approved the return of $7 million in capital credit payments to cooperative members this year. The capital credit retirement consists of $3.3 million for patronage allocated in 2005, $750,000 for patronage allocated in 2006, and an additional $3 million for allocations generated in 2022. Members with active service during any of those years will receive capital credits.
Any member requiring special accommodation to have full and equal participation in the annual meeting should contact Golden West at 1-855-888-7777, option 3, prior to the meeting.
Since 1916, Golden West has been providing telecommunications services across the state of South Dakota. A member-owned cooperative, Golden West provides business and residential customers with advanced broadband internet, phone, and cable TV solutions. We strive to exceed the expectations of our members so they can live, work, and play in the place they choose to call home. Golden West is proud to be an equal opportunity provider and employer. Learn more at www.goldenwest.com.