Director Election Updates
2017 Board of Directors Election
Districts 2 (Barry and Ionia counties) and 4 (Montcalm County except Bloomer, Crystal, and Evergreen townships) will hold elections in 2017.
Five Members Seek Two Seats on Your Board of Directors
Edith Farrell, Lake Odessa
Edith Farrell is vice president, IT and BSA officer for Union Bank in Lake Odessa. Her family includes her husband, Chuck, and adult children Nathan, Lindsay, and Adam.
A member of HomeWorks since 1997, she holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Northwood University and is a graduate of the Perry School of Banking at Central Michigan University. She has worked for Union Bank for 28 years in various roles.
She has been president of the Lakewood Area Chamber of Commerce for the past six years, after serving as treasurer for three years. She is very involved in all chamber activities as well as other community events in Lake Odessa, Ionia, and Hastings. Farrell is also a member of the Ionia County Broadband Committee, which coordinates the efforts of the Ionia County Economic Alliance and Connect Michigan to improve broadband internet access in Ionia County.
“The combination of my business background and extensive community service positions me to serve both the members of my district, and the Board of Directors of HomeWorks. I enjoy working with others and exploring ways to meet their challenges while making sound business decisions. I would be committed to the long-term success of our co-op, as well as the best interests of my district.”
Larry Lewis, Portland
Larry Lewis J.D. is an attorney and adjunct professor; he retired from the Michigan State Police with the rank of Lieutenant after 25 years of service. He has been married to Glenda for 38 years, and has a son, Andrew.
A member of HomeWorks since 1989, he holds a Bachelor of Science in Sociology, a Masters in Public Administration, and a Juris Doctorate. Lewis is a former Jaycee, served as a substitute teacher for the Ionia County Public Schools, coached youth sports in Portland and Ionia, and is a graduate of the Barry County Leadership Program.
“I believe my background would be an asset to this position. I have been an attorney for over 13 years, dealing with criminal and civil issues. My legal background includes administrative law, which concern regulated industries. With the Michigan State Police, I worked with regulated industries for nine years regarding hazardous materials such as gasoline, oil, propane, and fireworks. I have supervised the construction and inspections of health care and correctional facilities, and for five years supervised fire investigators for the Michigan State Police. I am also a former business owner in Portland.”
Lewis adds his goals are to work to continue a safe environment for both employees and members, while trying to hold down costs for the members. Further, he wants to look for new ways to return profits achieved by the Co-op to its member-owners.
Jim Stebbins, Clarksville (incumbent)
Jim Stebbins of Clarksville was appointed to represent District 2 on the HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative board of directors in February. He will serve the remainder of the current term, left open by the passing of long-time director Wayne Swiler in December, 2016.
A member of the cooperative since 1974, Stebbins graduated from Grand Valley State University in 1971 with a bachelor’s degree in history. Since then he has been an independent dairy farmer; worked for the National Farmers Organization as state livestock coordinator; been a lab technician at Hastings Manufacturing Company in Hastings; and was a line and shipment inspector for the Bradford White Corporation in Middleville.
He was a member of the Campbell Township Board of Review for 10 years; was president of the Woodland Fraternal Order of Eagles for three terms and also serves as treasurer; and as a member of St. Edward’s Church, Lake Odessa, served on the parish building committee. He is divorced with five children and five grandchildren.
“As a member, I enjoy a quality of service and competitive rates at HomeWorks Tri-County Electric that are far superior to investor-owned utilities,” Stebbins says. “I’m excited about the future changes and challenges and want to contribute my own experiences to the cooperative.”
Kimber Hansen, Edmore (incumbent)
Kimber Hansen is a farmer, responsible for the day-to-day running of the family farm near Edmore. He is a member of the Montcalm County Farm Bureau, serving on its board of directors, and has completed the Farm Bureau Leadership Training Program. He has been a member of HomeWorks Tri-County Electric since 1993.
He was elected Secretary-Treasurer of the board of directors in 2016, and represented HomeWorks on the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association board for two years. He has completed both the Credentialed Cooperative Director and Board Leadership education programs through NRECA.
“The business of farming has involved buying power from the electric co-op and investor-owned utilities, and showed us the difference and difficulty of communication versus the ease of dealing with member-owned co-ops like HomeWorks.
“I have served on the Montcalm County Farm Bureau board of directors, a grassroots organization much like a co-op. With my local experience and the additional training for cooperative directors that I’ve taken part in, I can contribute to bringing safe and affordable power to members of HomeWorks Tri-County Electric in the future.
“I would very much like to continue serving my neighbors, the member-owners in District 4, as your representative on the board of directors,” he says.
Cathy Killinger, Lakeview
Cathy Killinger is a “mostly-retired” business woman and farmer. The widow of longtime Winfield Township treasurer Roy Killinger, she has five children and 18 grandchildren.
A member of HomeWorks since 1982, she is a graduate of Lakeview High School and helped operate the family Centennial Farm where she was raised after she and Roy were married. She attended Spring Arbor College and Central Michigan University before earning an Associate’s Degree in Applied Arts and Sciences from Montcalm Community College in 1994. Her career includes working at several area businesses and hospitals as well as at Lakeview Community Schools.
She was Winfield Township’s deputy clerk from 2000-2011 before serving as treasurer in 2011-2012, then as a trustee from 2012-2016. She now is deputy clerk and a member of the planning committee. She has also been a church organist for over 30 years, and a member of several regional bands, including the Rockford Community Band & Orchestra and the Danish Band of Greenville.
“I am a good listener and interested in helping my community be a good place to live, raise a family, and retire. My family has been here since the Civil War so my roots run deep; I love country living.”
If You Wish To Vote But Can't Attend Your District Meeting...
Interested in Seeking a Board Seat? (February 2017)
If you're interested in running for a HomeWorks board seat yourself, Article VII, Section 2 of the cooperative's bylaws states you must be an individual member of the cooperative in good standing, at least 21 years old, residing in the district which you are to represent, and a U.S. citizen.
To become or remain a director, the bylaws continue, the candidate must have the capacity to enter into legally binding contracts; comply with standards of conduct as laid out in the bylaws; and meet all reasonable conflict of interest qualifications found in Article VII, Section 3.
Also, within the 10 years immediately prior to becoming a director, a candidate shall not have been convicted of or pled guilty to a felony or misdemeanor crime involving issues of moral character.
If you meet these qualifications and would like to be nominated, contact your district nominating committee, listed on this page, or call HomeWorks Tri-County Electric at 517-647-1211 for a nominating petition.
Each committee is required by the co-op's bylaws to nominate at least one candidate on or before March 15. Candidates may also be nominated with a petition signed by at least 25 members from within the district. Petitions must be turned in by April 5.
Names of all nominees will be posted at the cooperative's offices by April 10.
Information about all candidates and district meeting dates, along with an absentee ballot request form, will be published in the May issue of Country Lines.
Who Makes Up the District Nominating Committees?
Nominating committees are comprised of the district officers, elected by members at the previous year's district meeting.
District 2: Barry and Ionia counties
Wilma Bailey, Chair; 12431 Shilton Rd, Lake Odessa, MI 48849; phone: 517-316-6991; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
William Nichols (Portland), Vice Chair; Kristine Ceasar (Portland), Secretary
District 4: Montcalm County, except for Bloomer, Crystal, and Evergreen townships
Lisa Johnson, Chair' 12423 Cutler Rd.; Lakeview, MI 48850; phone: 989-352-7593; email: email@example.com
Glenn Kebler (Six Lakes), Vice Chair; Elaine Rossman (Lakeview), Secretary
For more information, please read these board policies:
Board Policy 106 - Director Replacement (including Appendix A - Suggested Statement of Qualifications for a Director of HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative)
Meet Your New Directors - 2016 Board Election Results (August 2016)
District 1 - John Lord, Leslie
John Lord, now retired, sold furniture to schools and universities for over 10 years. Previously, he worked at AT&T as an account service administrator and project manager for General Motors and the State of Michigan. His family includes his wife, Ellen, three children, 10 grandchildren, and 21 great-grandchildren (and two more on the way).
A member of the co-op since 1989, John’s involvement with Tri-County Electric started in 1948 when his parents, Dr. George and Caryle Lord, bought the Speedway Fruit Farm on M-50 between Charlotte and Eaton Rapids.
He and his brothers attended the one-room Perkey School through 8th grade. John graduated from Charlotte High School in 1965, then earned a BS in Psychology from MSU in 1969.
John’s community activities include membership in Mason First United Methodist Church and serving as a sixth-grade grandparent-mentor at Mason Middle School since 2000.
John has been a member of the Dimondale Lions Club for nearly 30 years, and is currently serving his third term as president. In 2007 he was honored by the club after 17 years of coordinating their blood drives. As a donor to the American Red Cross himself, he has given over 300 pints of blood and platelets.
“My involvement in industry with large customers; volunteering with Girl Scouts and the Lions, and at the middle school; as well as attending district meetings and serving as district chairman for several years, have all prepared me for the duties and responsibilities of the board. I've had a lot of experience in business and non-profits and can promise I'll do the very best job I know how.”
District 5 - Corinna Batora, Elsie
Corinna A. Batora is a policy and training analyst for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. She and her husband, Tom, have been married 23 years and they have a 14 year-old-son.
A member of HomeWorks since 1998, Corinna says the Batora family has been members of the cooperative since power came to the Bannister area. She holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts degrees from Michigan State, and is a 2012 graduate of the Michigan Department of Human Services Leadership Academy.
Corinna has been active in both the community and local schools for many years, including as a Family Farm and Home volunteer, a former board member for the Paine Gillam Scott Museum, on the St. Johns Downtown Management Board, and the school parent teacher organization.
While owning and operating The Classic Bed and Breakfast in St. Johns for eight years, she also served on the board of the Lake to Lake Bed and Breakfast Association. She was also a board member for the Michigan Family Support Council.
“This is my fourth year as the Secretary for District 5. In my current role as secretary I have participated in both board and district meetings; and encouraged Tri-County to implement texting and other electronic communications for our members. I am committed to the continued success of our cooperative, and will diligently work with the board and our great staff to meet our future challenges!”
District 7 - Shirley Sprague, Barryton
Shirley Sprague has owned and operated the Perennial Patch nursery in Barryton for the past 31 years. She has been Sheridan Township treasurer for 14 years. Her family includes her husband, Eldon, and their four sons.
A member of HomeWorks since 1979, she is a graduate of Chippewa Hills High School, and has participated in educational courses for various township board positions, including board of review, election boards, and treasurer.
Shirley has served Sheridan Township since 1994, on the board of review and election boards, before becoming treasurer. In addition to serving the community through her township work, her community activities include years of volunteer work for the Chippewa Hills School District. Duties at the school ranged from tutoring to managing Reading Is Fundamental and other programs. She has been a community program volunteer, done fundraising work, and income tax preparation for the AARP program.
“My life experiences have prepared me to be an effective public official. I feel a responsibility to those I serve to be informed, dependable and accountable. Throughout my career, I have worked diligently to see projects through and provide meaningful solutions.”