Annual Meeting

JOIN US FOR OUR 83rd ANNUAL MEETING!

May 26, 2022 | Co-Mo Operations Center, 448 Richard Blvd

4:00 PM – 6:30 PMMember Registration
4:00 PM – 6:15 PMEvening Meal Served
4:30 PM – 6:15 PMHealth Fair
Kids Entertainment
Information Booths
6:30 PM – 8:30 PMBusiness Meeting of the Members

Voting in Co-Mo Connect’s 2022 election is an easy and secure process!

STEP 1

Review the candidates! You can view the candidate bios below on this page or in the May edition of Rural Missouri. You can also watch their video speeches by clicking on the link by their bio below! If you would prefer to listen to the speeches over the phone, you can call 1-800-781-0157 (starting May 1) and follow the prompt to access the Board candidate speeches.

STEP 2

Go to www.comoconnectvotes.com (starting May 1)! To access a ballot, you will need to provide:

– Your Member ID number (where to find it on your bill)
– Your last name or the name of the business you are representing
– Your zip code

You can find the needed information listed above by looking at your previous bill, or by
accessing your account on SmartHub.

STEP 3

Once you have provided the needed information, you will have access to view the Board
candidate bios, watch their video speeches, and vote!

Remember, you can only vote for ONE candidate for each district.

Online voting will be open May 1 – May 24 at 5 PM
You can request a mail in ballot starting May 1
The last day to request a mail in ballot will be May 16

If you would like to vote using a mail in ballot, you can request a ballot at www.comoconnectvotes.com, or you can call in to 1-573-746-2182 and follow the voice prompt. Your ballot should arrive within about a week and will have a business reply envelope enclosed so you can mail the ballot back after casting your vote.

You can also vote in person during the Annual Meeting on May 26. If you would like to vote in person, stop by the registration booth near the entrance to confirm you still need to cast a ballot and to receive instructions on how to vote during the event.

MEET THE 2022 BOARD CANDIDATES!

Board candidates are listed below in alphabetical order per district. Information was written and provided by the candidates. To watch their speeches, click on the video for each candidate.

DISTRICT 1

William (Bill) Betteridge

Bill Betteridge is seeking a third term representing District 1 on the Co-Mo Connect Powered by Co-Mo Electric Cooperative board of directors.  Bill and his wife Diane are life-long residents of Cooper County.  They have two daughters Lucy Betteridge of Kansas City and Mary Cassil of Jamestown. Bill currently serves as the Vice-President of Comm, the Internet company of the cooperative. Bill spent thirty-six years in area schools as a teacher and administrator. He was named Central District Principal of the year in 2012. He currently drives a school bus for the Pilot Grove C-4 School District and serves as a mentor to elementary students at risk in the district. Bill is involved with the Cooper County Historical Society. He continues to distribute the book Discover Cooper County to all Fourth Graders in the county. Bill is currently operating the family farm, Crestmead, located south of Pilot Grove. In 2019 he was named Conservation Farmer of the Year by the Cooper County Soil and Conservation District.  He has served on the Missouri Shorthorn Association board, representing Missouri numerous times at the National meeting.  Bill was honored as the 2021 Shorthorn breeder of the year in Missouri.  He is currently serving as the treasurer for the Cooper County Ambulance District. Bill is a member of the Mt. Nebo Baptist Church. He is excited to explore policies that will continue to provide our cooperative members with reliable, reasonable, and sound financial practices. Bill has received his Credentialed Cooperative Director credentials from the NRECA. Bill has been a member of Co-Mo Connect for over forty years, and the Betteridge family have been members of the cooperative since its formation in 1939.

Katherine (Kathy) Lynn Page

My name is Kathy Page and I am running for Co-Mo Electric Cooperative’s Board of Directors in District 1. 

My husband and I have been members of Co-Mo Electric since we married and moved to the family farm in 1974.  During that time, I have learned that the main responsibility of any electric cooperative is to provide reliable, affordable electricity to its member/owners.  I have also realized that the member/owners have a return responsibility by understanding how a cooperative works.

I worked for 24 years at Central Missouri Electric in Sedalia where I started out taking payments at the front counter. I worked in billing, was in charge of Public Relations for several years which included organizing the Annual Meeting, recording radio spots, and promoting scholarships and the Youth Tour.  I helped with outage reporting, worked with staking sheets and various other jobs in engineering and was in charge of inventory—ordering and keeping track of all the material our linemen needed to build and maintain our lines. Those 24 years are the basis for understanding how a cooperative works.

I have also had previous experience as a board member.  I was on the Restless Leg Syndrome Foundation Board of Directors for six years and co-founded and was board chair of the Alliance of Sleep Apnea Partners for two years.  Both were national organizations.

I appreciate all the hard work of past and current board members in making Co-Mo Electric the outstanding cooperative it is today.  I especially appreciate the forward thinking involved with the Co -Mo Connect broadband and am excited to work on future advancements in that area.  However, a truly great board should have diversity among its members.  I believe I can provide diversity to the board by bringing new perspectives or insights with my time on other boards and because of my coop experience.

I promise to work hard to be an asset to this board and would truly appreciate your vote.  Thank you.

DISTRICT 2

Howard Lee Draffen

Hello, my name is Howard Draffen. I am a resident of Cooper County, in the rural area east of Bunceton. I was born and raised in this area. I am a graduate of Cooper County R4 school, at Bunceton. I later graduated from Central Missouri State College.

My wife, Dorothy, and I have been members of the Co-Mo Electric Cooperative for 48 years. We have a son, Christopher, who is a supervisor of MoDot.  We also have one granddaughter, Emma.

My career has been in farm and construction equipment, in the central Missouri area. I have worked for businesses in the area. The final 25 years was with Sydenstricker Implement Co., first in the Rocheport location, then retiring from the Tipton store.

A major portion of my life has been involved in support and service to my community. I was a volunteer firefighter for 20 years. I started with the Boonslick Rural Fire Department. I was pleased to be a part of the establishment of the Cooper County Fire Protection District. I served as assistant chief with this Department for 12 years. I am at this time serving on their board of directors.

I was also an adjunct instructor with the MU Fire and Rescue Institute for 13 years. This allowed me to work with many fire departments, bringing fire and hazardous materials classes to their locations.

I have also serviced on the Bunceton Rural Fire Department board of directors.

I spent 9 years as a school board member of the Cooper County R4 school at Bunceton. I served 6 years as the President of this board. During this time we were able to bring interactive online high school and college level classes to our students. This was done in a joint venture with Pilot Grove  and New Franklin schools and Central Methodist College. This was a rewarding effort.

My wife and I are members of the Zion Lutheran Church at Lone Elm. I have serviced in various offices in the church. At present I am serving as a church trustee.

One additional duty is as a board member of the Pisgah Cemetery Association.

I am honored to be accepted as a candidate for the board of this cooperative. I have been pleased through the years to have been provided service by them and to see strides they have made. I have seen them make our cooperative a strong and vital part of this area, continually building and improving. The addition of the fiber optic internet system to the area was a big step for them to take. This effort has shown how much this forward thinking has helped our communities during this pandemic. Our students have been able to continue their class work and local workers were able to do their jobs while working from home. I look forward to seeing this cooperative continue to grow and make more strides in the future. 

If elected I will be pleased to help this board see that this cooperative continue to thrive and grow.  

Jason Bradley Martin

Blessings to you, all my fellow Co-Mo members! My name is Jason Martin, and I am seeking a Board of Directors seat representing District 2. My wife Katie and I were born and raised in Tipton and that is where we have decided to raise our three children, Grady (11), Levi (9), and Cora (7). Rural Missouri is what has made us who we are today, and the values we place in raising our kids and building their futures. In small communities such as Tipton, if you want to know who someone is you just ask, “Who are their parents”? Bob and Mary Martin raised their three boys just east of Tipton. Bob is a Retired Highway Patrolman, and Mary retired after 30 years with Co-Mo Electric. Richard and Kathryn Williams raised their 3 girls just South of Tipton. Richard and Kate have a successful Cow/Calf operation, owning Heart of Missouri Red Angus Farms. After we were married in 2004, Katie and I purchased a small plot of land in Cooper County. 9 years later we moved south to Tipton where we built our home on 18 acres of my family farm. We spend our days off tending to our “hobby” farm. From Grapes and wine making to our fruit trees and home-made peach pies. The kids are not far away, either running with our Red Poodle Ginger or tearing up the yard on their Go-Karts. We are members at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in California.

After graduating from Tipton High School, I achieved an AAS and BS degree in Culinary Arts/ Food Service Management at Johnson and Wales University, Charleston SC. After spending a brief period on the East Coast, I was quick to return home to the Midwest. In 2004 I began work at the Isle of Capri Casino Hotel Boonville as a Chef. During my time at the Casino, I held the role of Sous Chef, Chef De’ Cuisine, Executive Chef, and Food and Beverage Manager. In 2015 I accepted the role of Director of Dining Services with Lutheran Senior Services- Lenoir Woods, Columbia. My oversight is for 75 employees and over 550 residents living in a Continuing Care Residential Community. Older Adults, and ensuring their care and rights are met, has quickly become a passion of mine. I have gained my Nursing Home Administrator License and enjoy doing my part to make sure Older Adults live life to the fullest.

As I stated before, my mother retired after 30 years with this company, so Co-Mo has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Growing up I remember stories of Co-Mo and the men and woman my mom worked with. The leadership and direction of Vernon Gage… brilliant unique mind of Chuck Teagarden… Love and compassion of Mary June Hecht…  Shenanigans and jokes of Kenny Long and Bud Robertson… oh and I cannot forget Mary Martin herself, or the “Lil General” as I think she was called. These are the individuals who help make Co-Mo what it is today. These are the individuals I have looked up to. This is what drives me to be part of such an organization.

As your Board of Director for District 2, I will do all I can to fulfill our members needs for superior electric and related services while adhering to our Core Values and Principles. I would appreciate your vote on May 26th!        

    

David Muntzel

Dave Muntzel is a candidate to represent District 2 on the Co-Mo Electric Cooperative Board of Directors.

He is a 4th generation grain farmer from Cooper County Missouri, has been married 49 years to Ann (retired school teacher), has 2 children, 5 grandchildren, and is a member of the United Church Of Christ-Billingsville.

Dave graduated from Bunceton High School and was V.P. of his Senior Class.

He received a B.S. Business Administration/Marketing degree from the University of Central Missouri, was Treasurer of the Student Government Association, and a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.

Dave’s business career includes;

23 years in the Livestock Nutrition Industry as District Manager, Ralston Purina Co. and Regional Sales Manager, Akey, Inc., 12 years as District Sales Manager, Missouri Farm Bureau Insurance Services, 8 years as State Representative, 48th District in the Missouri House of Representatives. (Met term Limits). Has served the past 12 years as Treasurer, Wallace Masonic Lodge #456, Bunceton, MO.

Dave was a 26-year member of Central Missouri Electric Co-op. and has been a 16-year member of Co-Mo Electric Co-op.

As State Representative, he served with current executive vice president and CEO of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives, Caleb Jones, supporting to bring Broadband Internet to rural Missouri. Dave feels he has a clear understanding of what Co-Mo Electric Cooperative can do to offer profitable competitive electric rates and internet service to its rural, small towns & Lake area members.

Dave indicates he would appreciate your support and vote to become a Director of Co-Mo Electric Cooperative, and represent the members with a common sense friendly attitude.

DISTRICT 3

Keith Eugene (Gene) Eulinger, Jr.

Gene Eulinger is a candidate seeking re-election to represent district 3 on the Co-Mo Electric Cooperative board of directors. He has been a member of Co-Mo Electric Cooperative for over thirty-seven years.  He is currently serving as president of the board. By taking courses through NRECA he has earned the Credentialed Cooperative Director, Board Leadership and Director Gold certificates. This was accomplished through completing a minimum of 22 days of training. He states, “Co-Mo has great staff with a good reputation locally, in the state and nationally. Being retired, I have the time necessary to serve on this board and to see that we continue to provide excellent service to our customers.”  Gene has been asked to serve on a panel at the NRECA Annual Meeting and NRECA Director’s Conference three different years. Through these panels he was able to share with other directors and managers how Co-Mo has become a leader in the nation in providing broadband to its members (2017, 2018) and cybersecurity (2019). One of the major objectives he and the other board members share is to continue to provide safe, reliable, and economical electric service to our member-owners. 

Gene is a retired educator.  He taught vocational agriculture for 19 ½ years. He then become a district supervisor of agricultural education for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for 14 years.  He was the registrar at Linn State Technical College and Missouri Western State University for 9 years prior to his retirement.  He is an active member of 1st Baptist Church in California where he has served as a deacon, Sunday School teacher, director of adult ministries and church moderator.  He has participated in mission trips to the Olympics in Salt Lake City, Vancouver, and London, several of which he served as team leader.    He has also participated in mission trips to Puerto Rico and Ukraine.  As a member of Gideons International he has been a member of the state leadership team for 9 years and has participated in scripture blitzes to Mexico, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.  He is a member of California Young Farmers and Missouri Farm Bureau.

Board members have long been expected to maintain the qualities of loyalty, obedience, care and attention.  More recently it has been emphasized that board members also need to exercise diligence.  One of our major objectives is to continue to provide safe, reliable and economical service to our customer/owners.  I feel that I have exhibited those qualities during my term on the Co-Mo board and I ask that you give me the opportunity to continue representing you on the board. 


Lawrence Paul Stegeman

I am a lifelong resident of mid-Missouri.  I live in Jamestown with my wife, Sheryl, of over 33 years.  We have two adult sons: Cameron and Tyler; and two grandchildren: Ryland (3) and Reese (1).

I served over 37 years with the Missouri Army National Guard, achieving the rank of Colonel.  Simultaneously, I was appointed as a full-time federal technician with the National Guard, assigned to various positions of increasing responsibilities including financial operations, logistics, facility management, operations management, training, combat engineer, and personnel management.

As Battalion Commander during Operation Iraqi Freedom, I directed operations for seven companies comprised of over 1,000 Army Soldiers. The battalion consisted of active duty, National Guard, and Reserve units.  I assumed full accountability for missions, resources, and equipment.  I managed the preparation for deployment, training, and redeployment of the units.  The battalion was responsible for providing logistics, resupply, long haul transportation, and maintenance for units and Soldiers throughout the country. Other key positions include Deputy Director of Property and Fiscal Officer and Director of Construction Management and Facilities operations.

Notable Military Awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Combat Action Badge, Global War on Terrorism, among others.

I have earned a Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College, Master of Public of Administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and a Bachelor of Business Management, Tarkio College.

Prepare for the increasing demands on the grid!  I feel a key responsibility of the Board of Directors and CO-MO is to not only maintain the quality and dependable services we enjoy now but to continue to look forward for improvement.  Continually asking how services can be improved or if new services can or should be added to enhance our subscribers’ experiences.  Subscribers deserve dependable services. There is never a convenient time for a loss of power or internet service. 

CO-MO Connect service is integral for everyone that uses the internet.  Reliable internet has changed the way we work, attend school, and communicate.  CO-MO Connect provides the high-speed internet necessary for our daily lives.  Rural subscribers depend on fiber optics to provide reliable connectivity that could only be imagined in previous decades. 

The demands of electrical and fiber service have increased since the inception of CO-MO.  The farmers of the 1930’s knew that electricity would be necessary for production.  Homes now have more electrical demand and CO-MO has kept pace.  The increased demand for electricity will be a strain without proper vision and planning. 

I look forward to serving as a member of the Board of Directors to keep CO-MO on pace to provide dependable services for future needs.  I will work to ensure the future needs of consumers are met by providing common sense views and values.

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