Field set for board-member elections at annual meeting
The nominating committee for the Co-Mo Electric Cooperative has selected six candidates to compete for three spots on the Board of Directors.
The election will be held May 27 at the cooperative’s 71st Annual Meeting.
The nominating committee met March 18 to review the information of those who expressed interest in serving on the Co-Mo board. All three incumbents — Larry Schupp, John Schuster and Bill Blankernship — are seeking re-election. Each will have a challenger in his district.
Members of Co-Mo Electric can cast their ballots at the Annual Meeting, which begins at 4:30 p.m. with a free dinner at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Tipton. Along with energy-efficiency information booths, there will be a health fair at the high school from 4:30 until 7 p.m. Bluegrass band “The Martins” will be playing from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. in the gymnasium. The business meeting portion of the Annual Meeting will begin at 7 p.m.
In addition to the election of board members, Co-Mo General Manager/CEO Ken Johnson and Board of Directors President Doug Strein will provide an update on the cooperative’s financial status, its strategic plan and information about the cooperative’s efforts to seek a federal grant to build a fiber-optic broadband network throughout Co-Mo’s service territory.
Those who cannot attend but still would like to vote in the election can do so by mail. To receive a mail-in ballot, members can:
• Call: (800) 781-0157
• Write: P.O. Box 220, Tipton, MO 65081
• E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Visit: Either our Tipton or Laurie office
Members should ask for a mail-in ballot and return it with their annual meeting registration card in the envelope that will be provided. The official Annual Meeting Notice and Registration Card will be mailed to members with their May bill.
“The foundation of cooperatives is that they are democratically controlled. The election of board members is the main way in which that democratic control is exercised,” Johnson said. “If you’re a member, you have a say in how your cooperative runs. I hope everyone takes advantage of that right and responsibility.”
Board members exercise control of the cooperative by setting the strategic vision for Co-Mo and holding management and staff accountable for executing that vision.
Members can vote for one candidate in each district, regardless of in which district they reside. The candidates will be available to talk with at the Annual Meeting in the lobby outside the gymnasium at the high school. They are:
Larry Schupp of Pilot Grove has been on the Co-Mo Board of Directors for nine years. He and his wife, Barbara, have three children and nine grandchildren. The Pilot Grove High School graduate is a retired farmer who is involved in the Clear Creek Knights of Columbus and the St. Martins Cemetery Association. He is currently the vice president of the Co-Mo Board of Directors. He said he is interested in continuing his service on Co-Mo’s board because he has learned a tremendous amount in the past nine years and wants to continue the learning experience. He also said he wants to continue to serve to help with issues surrounding ever-changing technology such as broadband and also to manage through issues such as cap-and-trade.
Robert Koonse of Boonville has lived in Co-Mo country since before there was a Co-Mo and remembers when the cooperative turned his family’s lights on for the first time. He and his wife, Barbara, have four children, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild. The graduate of Boonville High School is a retired mail carrier and currently is the Chief Operator for Public Water Service District #2 in Cooper County. He is a previous member of the Co-Mo Board of Director’s Nominating Committee. He served six years in the U.S. Army. He said he wants to serve on the board to represent the people in his district and to bring issues important to them to the board. He also said he wants to make sure the cooperative stays in good financial health and that the cooperative is being good stewards of the members’ money.
John Schuster of Tipton has been a member of the Co-Mo Board of Directors for three years. He and his wife, Kaye, have two children and two grandchildren. The Tipton High School and State Fair Community College graduate has been owner/operator of Schuster’s Carpet Service since 1973. Among his activities, he has been a member of Tipton United Methodist Church, Moniteau County VFW Post 4345, the Community Choir and the Tipton American Legion. He said that he wants to continue to serve because, as a native of Tipton, Co-Mo has always been a part of his life and that he would like to give back just a little of what he has been given. He said he enjoys working for a co-op that has as its motto “Place the interest of its members above all others” and that he has a genuine concern for the community.
David Huecker of Bunceton has lived in Co-Mo country since 1946, with the exception of his time in college and two years in Nebraska. He’s been back in Co-Mo country since 1968. He and his wife, Jennifer, have two children and six grandchildren. He is a graduate of Bunceton High School and received his bachelor of science degree in horticulture from the University of Missouri in 1962. He received his master’s degree in horticulture from the University of Missouri in 1963. He is a crop insurance agent and farmer, and has been director of Clarks Fork Mutual Insurance in Boonville for 25 years. He has also been director of Bunceton Rural Fire Department for six years. He said he wants to serve on the board to make sure the consumer’s house is economically lit and that the cooperative remains economically fit.
Bill Blankenship of Latham has been a member of the Co-Mo Board of Directors for 24 years. He and his wife, Norma, have two children and four grandchildren. He is a cattle and farm operator, and he has served as the Co-Mo board secretary/treasurer. He is the board chairman of the Latham Christian Church, has been president and director for Latham R-V School Board, director of Tipton Country Club, director of Latham Fire Department and has served on the Moniteau County ASCS Board. He said he feels his experience as a director and the knowledge he obtained over the years can be helpful for the continued success of the cooperative. He said he feels his training as a credentialed cooperative director will help him make a meaningful contribution to the cooperative. He is interested in continuing his service on the board to deal with the challenges of broadband and see the issue to completion.
Clinton Carlyle of High Point has lived in Co-Mo country for nine years, he and his wife, Alice, have three children and seven grandchildren. He is a graduate of Odessa High School. He is “94 percent retired” and works one day a week with those with mental illnesses for New Horizons Community Support Services in Jefferson City. He is involved with the Moniteau County Census Committee, High Point Community Renewal Association and the Missouri State Troopers Association. He was an Army Warrant Officer for four years, a member of the Missouri State Highway Patrol for 26 years and owner of a trucking company from 1997 to 2003. He said he wants to serve on the Co-Mo Board of Director because he has been impressed with Co-Mo since he moved to High Point about nine years ago and that he would enjoy serving others through the board.
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