Due to ongoing public health concerns related to COVID, the 62nd Annual Meeting of Members will be held virtually.
We certainly hope things with COVID-19 improve, however, the health of our members and staff is our foremost concern. Without being completely sure we could have safe attendance for everyone, we feel the most prudent course of action is to have the meeting virtually, like last year, and conduct registration and voting online.
The first 100 people who attend the virtual meeting will receive a $20 bill credit!
Message from Eric Cramer, President/CEO
I am looking forward to meeting with you in our virtual environment for the Wilkes Communications 62nd Annual Membership meeting. Although the Wilkes team and Board Members would have preferred to meet everyone in person, we are blessed to be able to spend this time with you to share our progress in bringing broadband to the rural communities we serve. As a local cooperative organization, it is our goal to be good stewards of the financial health of the cooperative along with contributing to the growth and sustainability of local neighborhoods and businesses. Join us for a healthy discussion about your cooperative – now and into the future.
*Ballots will be sent via email after registration verification.
The Nominating Committee met on August 30, 2021 and the following nominations were made:
Moravian Falls, NC
Roaring River, NC
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
- On the day prior to the meeting (October 13, 2021), 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.)
- The meeting will begin at 6 PM on October 14, 2021, and can be accessed using the link in your email.
- 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.
- You will then automatically join the meeting. If you join after 6 PM, you should see presentation materials and hear someone speaking.
- 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”.
- As soon as the meeting is over, it will automatically end. You will not need to do anything.
Annual Meeting FAQs
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.
When does registration and voting begin and end?
Online registration and voting will begin on September 20, 2021. Ballots will close on October 12, 2021 at 12:00 A.M.
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.
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 are due no later than October 12, 2021, by 5:00 PM.
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 14, 2021 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.
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.
Due to ongoing public health concerns related to COVID-19, our Board of Directors decided to hold the 62nd Annual Meeting of Members virtually, instead of in-person. This is the best way to protect the health and safety of our members, employees, and board of directors.
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 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.
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.