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AnnualMeeting_2022-01

Please join us virtually for our
63rd Annual Meeting of the Members

October 27, 2022 at 6:00PM

Members will need to register online by 12:00PM on October 27 in order to attend the virtual meeting.  Registered members can join the meeting as early as 5:30PM. The first 100 people who attend the online meeting will receive a $20 bill credit!

After registration, you will receive a confirmation email and online ballot information. Online voting will begin on October 10th and end on October 27th 2022 at 12PM.  For members who are unable to complete voting online, please mail-in a ballot to 1400 River Street, Wilkesboro, NC 28697 by 5:00PM on October 20, 2022.

The first 100 people who attend the virtual meeting will receive a $20 bill credit!

Eric Cramer

Message from Eric Cramer, President/CEO

I am looking forward to meeting with you in our virtual environment for our 63rd Annual Meeting of the Members.  It is inspiring to reflect on the outstanding growth that our company has experienced over the last few years. We have successfully expanded our service footprint to provide broadband access to roughly 30,000 customers throughout North Carolina and Virginia – holding true to our mission of making broadband services accessible to those who live in unserved and underserved communities. 

Going forward, our goal is to continue to lay the foundation and infrastructure necessary to stay true to our mission and maintain our cooperative principles. We remain dedicated to expanding the possibilities for the communities in which we serve. Our priorities include ensuring that our members have access to the latest technological advancements, providing more homes and businesses with state-of-the-art fiber connectivity, and continuing to foster positive change in the lives of those in our community. The growth and success our company has accomplished over the recent years stems not only from the hard work and dedication of our employees but also from the loyalty, participation, and support of our customers and member owners. It is truly a testament of our commitment to being “Better Together.” 

Thank you for your continued participation, encouragement and support. By attending this year’s Annual Meeting of the Members, you are making your voice heard and representing fellow community members by contributing to decisions that can benefit all of the communities we serve. 

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is comprised of nine members. The goal of our board members is to determine the strategic direction of Wilkes Communications, establish policies, and approve budgets that will help achieve the goals of our strategic long-term plans. 

Top Row: Armit Tevepaugh, Secretary and Treasurer; Wayne Black, Director; Clayton Porter, Director; Claude Shew, Asst. Secretary; Eric Bumgarner, Director
Bottom Row: Jimmie Church, Chairman of Board of Directors; Steve Mathis, Vice-Chairman of Board of Directors; Jerry Shepherd, Director; Charles Billings; Director

*Ballots will be sent via email after registration verification.

The Nominating Committee met on July 21, 2022 and the following nominations were made:

Champion Exchange
Eric Bumgarner
Purlear, NC

Clingman Exchange
Steve Mathis
Roaring River, NC

Lomax Exchange
Clayton Porter
Roaring River, NC

Meeting Instructions

  • 1) On the day prior to the meeting (October 26, 2022), you will receive an email from Wilkes Communications/RiverStreet Networks with information on how to join the virtual event as well as attachments that are related to the meeting. (If you have any problems finding the email, please check your JUNK and/or SPAM folder.)
  • 2) The meeting opens at 5:30 PM and will begin at 6 PM on October 27, 2022, and can be accessed using the link in your email.
  • 3) This will open a link in your internet browser. Another small window will open asking you to enter your name and email address. You will need to provide information so we know who is participating in the meeting.
  • 4) You will then automatically join the meeting. If you join after 6 PM, you should see presentation materials and hear someone speaking.
  • 5) During the meeting, you will have an opportunity to make a motion. If you wish to make a motion, simply click the “Raise Hand” button at the bottom of the screen. After the motion is made, participants of the meeting will be asked to vote. You will see a poll appear on your screen and you will be able to click “Yes” or “No”.
  • 6) As soon as the meeting is over, it will automatically end. You will not need to do anything.

Annual Meeting FAQs

When does registration and voting begin and end?

Online registration is now open and voting will begin on October 10th 2022. Online ballots will close on October 27th 2022 at 12 pm. Mail in ballots must be postmarked by October 20th 2022.

How do I register for the meeting?

Registration for this year’s meeting will be completed online. Members with email addresses on file will receive their annual meeting notice via email along with instructions on how to register. Members for whom we do not have an email address on file will receive their notice by mail with instructions on how to register online. Members will need to use a valid email address during the online registration process. We will be providing a link to the virtual meeting via email only.

What if I need help completing registration?

Our friendly Sales and Support team is happy to help at 336-973-3103 or 844-238-0131.

Who is eligible for registration and voting?

According to Wilkes Communications bylaws, only active Wilkes Communications, Inc., members can vote and there can only be one vote per membership.

Wilkes Communications, Inc., is a membership cooperative and the annual meeting is held to comply with the bylaws of the cooperative. In the past, we invited our customers who live outside the cooperative area to the meeting as a show of customer appreciation. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have limited the scope of the meeting to include cooperative members only to fulfill our bylaw obligations. Wilkes Communications, Inc., hopes to have a community appreciation event in the near future and all customers will be invited to attend.

How do I submit my vote?

After completing registration, you will receive an email with a link to the voter’s registration. You will receive the email within one business day.

Do I need to download an app or create an account before the meeting?

No. Meeting participants will not have to download an app or use their own Zoom account to join the meeting. If you do already have the Zoom app installed and wish to use that, the meeting may have better audio and video.

Will there be mail-in voting available?

There will be a mail-in ballot available for those who are unable to register and attend the online meeting. Contact a Sales & Support Representative to request this to be mailed to you.

*All mail-in registration must be mailed to our Wilkes Office at 1400 River Street, Wilkesboro, NC 28697. 

There will also be drop boxes available at:

Wilkes Office: 1400 River St, Wilkesboro, NC 28697
Belhaven Office: 2193 NC 99 Hwy S, Belhaven, NC 27810

Ballots must be postmarked by October 20, 2022.

When will the results of the election be announced?

Election results will be announced during the meeting.

How do I attend the meeting?

The Annual Meeting of the Members will be hosted virtually on October 27, 2022 at 6 PM via a video conferencing platform called Zoom. Once registered for the meeting, members will receive a link that will be accessible on the day of the event. You must attend the meeting as you would if we were to have this year’s meeting in-person. Registration does not count as attending the meeting. 

Will I receive a gift by attending the meeting, like the in-person meeting?

We will be rewarding the first 100 Cooperative Members who attend the meeting a one-time bill credit of $20. If you register for the event and do not attend the day of, you will not receive the one-time bill credit.

Will there be door prizes given away during the meeting?

All cooperative members who attend the virtual meeting will be entered into a drawing for a door prize and will be announced at the end of the meeting.

If my name is announced during the prize drawing, how do I claim my prize?

Winners will be announced at the end of the meeting and will be notified by email or phone.  We will also share the names of the winners on our website the following day.

If I don’t have access to the internet, how can I attend the meeting?

Wilkes Communications/RiverStreet Networks has provided FREE WiFi Hotspot locations in local serving areas. Please click below to find a location near you:

WilkesBelhaven

Zoom FAQs

What is Zoom and why is Wilkes Communications/RiverStreet Networks using this?

Zoom is a video conferencing platform that allows you to host online meetings when an in-person meeting isn’t practical. This is an easy, reliable platform for video conferencing, voice, content sharing that runs across mobile devices, desktops, and telephones.

Considering the success of the past virtual meetings and the continued health concerns the Board of Directors voted to hold the 63rd Annual Meeting of Members virtually.

What kind of device should I use to participate in the meeting?

We recommend using a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet to join the online meeting. If you’re calling in and not clicking on the link in the email, you will only be able to hear the presenters and not see the presentations.

Do I have to enter a password to join the meeting?

No. The meeting will be accessible by clicking the link in the email you received the day prior.

Do I have to participate during the meeting?

No. All you will have to do is listen and watch the presentation from the comfort of your home! When you sign in, you will automatically be placed in a listen-only mode. You will only be asked to participate when motions are requested and voting takes place.

What if I can’t hear what’s being said?

If you are joining by clicking the link in the email, you will be connected automatically to the audio and will hear what’s being said. Be sure that the volume on your audio is not muted or on “silent mode”. Please turn the volume up to a level that is comfortable before joining the meeting. Using headphones may make it easier to hear.

How do I ask a question during the meeting?

If you have a question pertaining to the meeting, please use the Q&A feature that is located at the bottom of the screen. Our staff will be monitoring the Q&A throughout the meeting and will answer questions you may have.

For any technical questions or if you have issues seeing or hearing the meeting, please call our support team at 844.238.0131.

Will I need a camera on my computer?

No. We do not need to see you, and you do not have to use the camera on your device.  You can use it if you would like to do so.

Will there be door prizes, like at the in-person meeting?

When you attend this virtual event, the first 100 will receive a $20 bill credit. At the end of the meeting, winners in each exchange will be announced to win door prizes. You must be present virtually to win a door prize.

What do I do if I have technical issues during the meeting?

Our tech support team will be available to help you. You can reach them at 844-238-0131.