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May 2023 | Volume 85 | Issue 5

Membership Election 2023

Manager's Report

Membership Elections Take Center Stage

Democratic participation crucial to the success of our co-op

Dave Deihl PCEC General Manager

Dave Deihl, General Manager / CEO

From the General Manager

This month, PCEC consumer-members have the opportunity to participate in one of the unique and essential parts of the cooperative business model — open and fair democratic elections.

I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity and let your voice be heard. Democratic participation is one of the many things that sets us apart from investor and municipal owned utility companies.

We pride ourselves on ensuring we have a fair, open and transparent election process. PCEC consumer-members have done a great job over the years selecting Board of Director members.

Through the election process, we have the opportunity to maintain our co-op’s tradition of having strong Boards with diverse backgrounds who come together to help shape the future of your co-op.

Board members have the opportunity to receive specialized training and development in order to learn the ins and outs of the electric energy industry. They also learn how to help advocate for rural co-ops on a local, state and national level.

PCEC has monthly board meetings that directors attend where they receive updates from co-op management and help vote on matters such as expenditures, rates, capital credits, infrastructure needs, strategic direction and more.

Contact General ManagerThe members work closely with myself and our management team to ensure our co-op is always heading in the best direction for our consumer members. It is very important for board members and staff to be able to work together effectively to solve problems and keep everything running smoothly. I know our members take pride in their co-op, and board elections play a critical role in our success.

Three of the nine board seats are up for election each year — one from each of our three service districts. This year, incumbent board member David Edwards is running unopposed for re-election in the North District. And in the West and South Districts, we have several candidates facing incumbent directors.

In this special election issue of the Northland Connection, we’re providing you with everything you need in order to vote. Be sure to cast your ballot. Your participation will help us continue our excellent reputation of being one of the top co-op’s in the state.

Membership Elections Take Center Stage

Rural cooperative leaders from the around the country, including PCEC representatives, met with congressional leaders in Washington D.C. in April to advocate on behalf of their local rural cooperatives. From left, West District Director Dennis Fulk, CEO Dave Deihl, West District Director Larry Leachman and South District Director/ Board President Kendall Davis.

Board Of Directors Candidates

North Candidate

Director candidate David EdwardsNORTH DISTRICT Director candidate David Edwards is the regional director at SBS CyberSecurity. Edwards has served on the Board of Directors since 2021 and has been a member since 2003.

How would your skills, talents or experience help shape your service on the Board of Directors?

I have over 30 years of business and leadership experience across a number of industries including manufacturing, service, software, banking and cybersecurity. During this time, I have successfully led diverse teams of production, transportation, marketing, client support and sales.

I do believe everyone brings a unique set of skills and understanding that helps strengthen teams. My experience both leading and participating on corporate teams helps me remain focused on the goal of providing excellent service and value to co-op members.

My current role involves consulting with organizations of all sizes to help them identify and understand cybersecurity risk and implement strategies that mitigate those risks. Cybersecurity is a real threat to organizations of all sizes, and I am happy to share my experience and understanding to make the cooperative more secure.

What would be a few of your priorities as a member of the Board of Directors?

My first priority is to ensure the long-term success of PCEC by providing oversight and guidance to the management team. Another priority is ensuring Platte-Clay Electric Cooperative is taking proactive steps to mitigate cybersecurity threats and minimize the potential financial and operational impact of a cyber event. Our members are the most important asset, and I believe strongly in the cooperative model. My interest is in keeping prices low and service levels high for all current and future co-op members.

What makes you a good candidate for the Board of Directors?

As a longtime Platte-Clay member, I appreciate the work that management and the Board of Directors have done to provide high-quality, affordable service. I feel it is my responsibility to continue that tradition by lending my time and expertise to Platte Clay Electric. Having served on the Platte-Clay Electric Board the past two years, I feel my experience as a business leader puts me in a position to understand the regulatory, financial, security and staffing hurdles PCEC faces, and I look forward to helping continue to meet those challenges.

West Candidates

Director Kelly ParkhurstWEST DISTRICT Director candidate Kelly Parkhurst is a community banker. Parkhurst has served on the Board of Directors since 2019 and has been a member since 1991.

How would your skills, talents or experience help shape your service on the Board of Directors?

I have been in community banking for the last 36 years and a member of PCEC for 32 years. I am able to analyze complex financial statements. I recognize the importance of strategic planning to ensure the success of PCEC. The core values instilled in me by my parents and my experience from being raised on a dairy farm continue to be very valuable attributes for me.

What would be a few of your priorities as a member of the Board of Directors?

My priorities continue to revolve around providing reliable energy to our members at an affordable and fair price. I also believe we must maintain our resource of baseload generation to avoid blackouts during times of high energy demand. The safety and well-being of our employees is of utmost importance as well.

What makes you a good candidate for the Board of Directors?

Having served as a director for PCEC over the last 4 years has given me an opportunity to gain valuable insights into the rural electrification business. I have an understanding of the challenges associated with the industry that will enable me to help guide PCEC in the coming years. My background in banking and finance will also help guide the co-op during the challenging and uncertain economic environment that may lie ahead.

Director candidate Terrance MooreWEST DISTRICT Director candidate Terrance Moore is retired and a former technical maintenance planner and has been a member since 2012.

How would your skills, talents or experience help shape your service on the Board of Directors?

I spent 15 plus years as an employee with KCP&L, now Evergy. I retired Sept. 1, 2018. I was a maintenance technician for 7+ years and then promoted to management as a technical maintenance planner for 8+ years. Worked at the generation stations at Hawthorn and Iatan.

Since retirement I periodically provide independent construction manager services for energy solutions professionals. This is not an energy supplier, but they provide energy solutions to various community entitles such as schools, hospitals, and city buildings.

I was also self-employed as an industrial controls specialist for about nine years prior to my employment at KCP&L. Worked closely with major companies such as Turner Construction, Quaker Oats, Wilsey Foods and Nestle.

What would a few of your priorities be as a member of the Board of Directors?

To support the priorities and goals for Platte-Clay Electric Cooperative. I will also enthusiastically support what I consider to be the highest priority, which is safety and training of the co-op workers to ensure efficient and reliable distribution of electric service to our customers.

What makes you a good candidate for the Board of Directors?

My attention to detail.

South Candidates

Director Ed BargerSOUTH DISTRICT Director candidate Ed Barger is a retired firefighter and Battalion Chief. Barger has served on the Board of Directors since 2021 and has been a member since 2012.

How would your skills, talents or experience help shape your service on the Board of Directors?

Spending over 30 years in public service has developed a deeply rooted personal sense of responsibility to serve both the community I live in and organizations that serve the public. My experience in the delivery of highly effective services tailored to the needs of the public allows me to continually strive for the most efficient delivery possible while we ensure that we meet the financial goals of the organization.

What would a few of your priorities be as a member of the Board of Directors?

Firstly; Dedication of the time commitment for meetings, projects and the educational needs of the position.

Secondly; Maintain our dedication to meet the goals set down in our comprehensive strategic planning sessions in 2022.

Thirdly; Transparency and Accountability to our membership.

Last but not least; Employee recruitment and retention.

What makes you a good candidate for the Board of Directors?

I am energized by the opportunity to continue to serve the needs of the membership. Whether that be in attendance of board meetings, events working with and meeting the membership or traveling for educational opportunities. I have taken the steps in my first year as a Director for the South District to gain my Credentialed Cooperative Director (CCD) Certificate. In my next term I am committed to begin working towards my Board Leadership Certificate to understand more about governance issues specifically related to electrical cooperatives. A better understanding of industry trends, governance issues, policy development and risk management allows me to further serve the membership.

Director candidate Brad ScarlettSOUTH DISTRICT Director candidate Brad Scarlett is a realtor and has been a member since 2013.

How would your skills, talents or experience help shape your service on the Board of Directors?

As a realtor serving the region I come into contact on a daily basis with current and future customers of PCEC. The process of becoming a new PCEC customer is something I am able to confidently praise to my clients. Whether it be new construction, a transfer of service or a new service for an existing property, I am always happy to explain the benefits of living and working within the PCEC service area. As a current customer and past customer of an electric co-op in another state, I have been impressed with the quality service and pride that PCEC employees bring to their daily lives interacting with PCEC customers and the general public. That is a testament to not only the great employees but the management team at PCEC. I believe that the Board of Directors plays a key role ensuring that management and employees feel supported and appreciated so they can continue their great work providing an invaluable service to PCEC members.

What would a few of your priorities be as a member of the Board of Directors?

As a board member I feel it is incumbent upon me to continue the great work being done daily by the current board. I want to focus on continuing to work with internet companies to advance internet service within PCEC’s service area. This will ensure the opportunities for education, personal development and business expansion are able to flourish in our coverage area. A primary focal point will be on maintaining and improving our current infrastructure to minimize outages and service interruptions. I believe green initiatives for renewable energy are a critical piece of the puzzle for maintaining an affordable rate for PCEC customers in the future and that continued expansion in this area is necessary and desirable.

What makes you a good candidate for the Board of Directors?

Prior to becoming a realtor I worked for several large insurance companies. My last position as Vice President of Claims helped me develop not only strong customer service skills, but what I believe is the most important quality that anyone can bring to the PCEC Board of Directors, and that is the ability to create a collaborative environment. Being engaged and actively listening to all sides of an idea helps bring out the best in people. This creates an atmosphere where people feel heard and appreciated to ensure that everyone is confident in bringing their ideas to the table in order to discuss them in an open and effective manner. This allows honest and sincere discussions that can enable the best ideas to be developed and brought forward for implementation.

Director candidate Michael CurrySOUTH DISTRICT Director candidate Michael Curry is retired and a part-time bus driver. Curry has been a member since 2020.

How would your skills, talents or experience help shape your service on the Board of Directors?

I have 43 years of experience in the trucking/transportation industry. That time included working for LTL carriers, truckload carriers, transportation brokerage and international transportation via ocean and truck. I also owned a transportation brokerage company for 10 years prior to selling it to a larger company and becoming the President of their logistics division. I believe my experience will help ensure that the costs of shipping and receiving can be kept to a minimum without impacting service. My contacts in the international side of the business can also ensure any imports are brought in cost effectively as well as timely.

What would a few of your priorities be as a member of the Board of Directors?

  1. Making every effort to keep our cost per KWH as low as possible without sacrificing customer service.
  2. Reviewing alternate forms of energy for true cost of ownership to ensure we meet goal number 1.
  3. Maintain policies that keep the co-op in compliance with state and federal laws without causing undo stress on the employees.
  4. Researching methods to harden our energy production and transfer stations against saboteurs and EMPs.
  5. Looking for opportunities to continue the coop’s record of reliable service during storms.

What makes you a good candidate for the Board of Directors?

My experience in transportation gives the Board a depth of expertise it may not have right now. Having owned my own company, I learned strategic thinking and project implementation as well as employee relations.

Director candidate Brian LawrenceSOUTH DISTRICT Director candidate Brian Lawrence is a retired law enforcement officer. Lawrence has been a member since 2000.

How would your skills, talents or experience help shape your service on the Board of Directors?

I offer the experience of working extensively in public-private partnerships during my tenure in a community policing and problem-solving unit. This non-traditional type of policing engaged a proactive approach, taking stock in quality-of-life issues of neighborhoods and arming business owners with decision making knowledge, My collateral assignments included hostage and crisis negotiation, drafting municipal legislation, and collective bargaining representation. From the time of inception in 2017 until my retirement in 2023, I served on the board of the Region 3 CIT Council, a partnership of Tri-County Mental Health Services and law enforcement agencies serving Platte, Clay, and Ray counties, with the primary mission of training first responders as crisis intervention team members.

Rounding out my qualifications, I hold a master’s degree of business administration from Northwest Missouri State University, a bachelor’s degree from American Military University, and an associate degree in applied science from Metropolitan Community College-Maple Woods.

What would a few of your priorities be as a member of the Board of Directors?

A few of my priorities include maintaining a viable infrastructure in the face of the Cooperative’s rapid growth. It is important to me that PCEC’s products and services be delivered reliably and affordably. It is also important that the employees and leaders within the organization have a vested interest in their workplace and feel that they are fairly compensated for their effort.

What makes you a good candidate for the Board of Directors?

My philosophy is that service on a board of directors is an opportunity to foster new ideas, improvements, and future growth of the Cooperative and the community it serves. The direction the board steers the Cooperative today will have a lasting impact tomorrow. I believe my combination of experience and education makes me the most qualified candidate for the South District seat.

How To Vote

Free Energy Bill Credits

VOTE in the 2023 co-op election for your chance to win!

By participating in the co-op election vote, you will automatically be entered into our special election prize drawing. Two members will receive $750 in bill credits plus one lucky voter will receive a $1500 bill credit!

All you have to do is participate in the co-op’s democratic election. Prize winners will be drawn and announced the week following the annual business meeting on June 1. The drawing will not take place at the meeting and you do not need to be present to win.

Vote today at www.PCEC.coop/vote.

Service Spotlight Ritchie Waterers

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The Northland Connection is published monthly by Platte-Clay Electric Cooperative, Inc., 1000 W. 92 Highway, Kearney, MO 64060. Postmaster: Please send address changes to: Northland Connection, PO Box 100, Kearney, MO 64060 or mail@pcec.coop.

Platte-Clay is an equal opportunity employer.