Director Election Updates
HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative
2019 Board of Director Elections - Nominees
District 1 - Election to take place on May 21
District Meeting: St. Mary Parish Life Center, 807 St. Mary Boulevard, Charlotte
Anne Hudgins 3460 Plains Road Mason, Michigan 48854
John Lord 2276 Plains Road Leslie, Michigan 49251
Greg Perry 4300 Plains Road Mason, Michigan 48854
District 5 - Election to take place on May 13
District Meeting: Fulton Elementary School Gym, 8060 S. Ely Highway, Middleton
Corinna Batora 7655 N. Watson Road Elsie, Michigan 48831
Steve Sopocy 6996 E. Wilson Road Bannister, Michigan 48807
District 7 - Election to take place on May 16
District Meeting: St. Michael Parish Center, 8929 50th Avenue, Remus
Mark Klumpp 7350 Holiday Drive Stanwood, Michigan 49346
Shirley Sprague 15563 45th Avenue Barryton, Michigan 49305
This is a final list of nominees submitted through the nominating committees in each district. There were no nominees submitted through the petition process. All nominees have met the qualifications to run for office as required by the cooperative bylaws. Candidate biographies and statements are posted below. They will also be included in each district's ballot in the April issue of Michigan Country Lines magazine.
District 1 Nominees:
Anne Hudgins, of Mason, is a seventh-grade English teacher at Mason Middle School. She has worked in education for 27 years, and was awarded as a Mason Area Excellence in Education winner in 2014. She previously served as president of the Mason District Michigan Education Association. She is also currently a private tutor for adult students and an independent contractor research librarian. She and her husband, Jim, have two daughters and one son.
A lifelong resident of Mason, Anne has been a HomeWorks member since 2004. She holds a master’s degree in educational technology and bachelor’s degrees in English and Spanish from Grand Valley State University. She serves on the Aurelius Township Planning Commission and volunteers as a translator for Spanish-speaking migrant workers in Ingham County seeking to access medical and dental services and other community resources. She is a member of Mason First United Methodist Church, where she has served as a youth fellowship leader, among other roles.
"I would be proud to serve as the District 1 representative on the HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative Board of Directors because I believe it is important to make a personal investment to maintain our Cooperative’s guiding principles,” she says. “I am a responsible and dedicated member of my community with a strong interest in education, cooperative decision-making, and participation in the democratic process. If elected to serve on the board, I would undertake my responsibilities seriously by listening to concerns from my fellow members and by setting a positive example through my active participation in our Co-op.”
John Lord, of Leslie, retired in 2010 from Great Lakes Furniture Supply, where he worked for 11 years as a salesman. Prior to that, he worked for many years in project management for AT&T. He and his wife, Ellen, have three children, ten grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren.
John has been a HomeWorks member since 1989, and joined the board in 2016. He completed board training to earn the Credentialed Cooperative Director and Board Leadership certificates through the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, and is currently working towards Director Gold certification.
He is a graduate of Michigan State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a teacher certification. He is a longtime member of the Dimondale Lions Club, and received the Melvin Jones Fellow award from the Lions Club International Foundation in 2008. John is also active in his church, Mason First United Methodist, where he is is a member of the choir. He previously served as president of the Board of Directors of the Girl Scouts of Michigan Capital Council. He has also made over 400 platelet donations to cancer patients through the American Red Cross, and was honored with their 2006 Charles Elstein Award for outstanding service.
“There are many changes coming for cooperatives, and I feel my experience in business and community affairs suits me well for the challenges and opportunities ahead,” he says.
Gregory A. Perry, of Mason, is a professional civil engineer for the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), where he currently serves as a project manager for road and bridge construction projects. He has worked for MDOT for 27 years. He is also a licensed general contractor/builder and owner of GP Construction, LLC, a company specializing in conducting home inspections and providing consulting, remodeling, and custom homebuilding services.
Gregory has been a HomeWorks member since 2014. He is a 1999 graduate of Michigan State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He currently serves on the Aurelius Township Planning Commission and previously served on the City of Potterville Planning Commission.
“With my experience and background, I understand the importance of sustainability, reliability, accountability, and quality,” he says. “With my responsibility of managing MDOT construction project budgets and owning my own business, I understand the many challenges the Co-op faces with budgets and rising cost in labor and materials. This pushes innovation and efficiencies to do more with less and yet still get a quality and reliable product. I feel with my background and my desire to serve my local and statewide community, I am the right candidate to bring experience, dedication, and diversity to the Co-op’s Board of Directors.”
District 5 Nominees:
Corinna Batora, of Elsie, is the manager for Procurement Professional Development for the State of Michigan. She was previously the divisional inventory manager for General Motors, Lansing Automotive Division, and also owned and operated a local bed and breakfast for eight years. She holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Michigan State University. She and her husband, Tom, have one son.
Corinna is active in community and civic activities, having served and volunteered with the Michigan Family Support Council board, Family Fun on the Farm, the Paine-Gilliam-Scott Museum board, St. Johns Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors, and more.
She has been a member of HomeWorks Tri-County Electric since 1997, and joined the board in 2016. She is currently vice-chair of the Board of Directors for both HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative and its subsidiary, Tri-Co Services, Inc. She also serves as the Cooperative’s representative to the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association board. She has successfully completed board training to earn the Credentialed Cooperative Director, Board Leadership, and Director Gold certificates through the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Prior to her work on the Co-op’s board of directors, she served for four years as District 5 secretary.
“As District 5’s elected board member, I have served the members of my district faithfully, with a focus on reliable and affordable electricity, propane, and now fiber internet,” she says. “I am proud to have played a part in approving the decision to bring fiber internet to our members, as it will provide new opportunities for our children, families, and businesses. I would appreciate the support of the members of District 5 to continue to serve on the board and ensure that HomeWorks fulfills their mission to ‘provide our members and customers with the energy, comfort, and communication solutions that will enhance their quality of life’ now and in the future.”
Steve Sopocy, of Bannister, is a deputy sheriff lieutenant with the Ingham County Sheriff’s Office, where he has worked for 25 years. He also owns and operates a 225-acre family cash crop farm and seed sales business in Bannister. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University, where he double-majored in criminal justice and environmental science. He and his wife, Theresa, have four daughters.
Steve has been a HomeWorks member since 1996. He served on the Ovid-Elsie Area Schools Board of Education from 2010-2018, and has volunteered as club leader for the Busy Green 4-H Club for the past 15 years. He is an active lifelong member of St. Cyril Catholic Church, in Bannister, where he serves as a Eucharistic Minister and usher. He also serves as the Deputy Grand Knight with the St. Cyril & Methodius Knights of Columbus Council.
“As a member of the HomeWorks Board of Directors, I would work to serve the purpose of providing direction and guidance to the Cooperative and to assure that we continue to provide affordable, reliable, responsible, and renewable energy to all of our members, not only today, but in the future,” he says. “Access to high-speed internet is essential in the modern world of businesses, homeowners, and students throughout our communities, and I would be excited for the opportunity to help provide fiber-to-the-home service to the Co-op’s members.”
District 7 Nominees:
Mark Klumpp, of Stanwood, is assistant superintendent of the Mecosta-Osceola Intermediate School District, a position he has held since 2009. He has worked in education for 23 years. He holds a master’s degree in K-12 educational leadership from Michigan State University and a Bachelor of Science in accountancy from Ferris State University. He and his fiance, Janika, will be married in January, 2020.
Mark has been a HomeWorks member since 2017. He currently serves on the executive board of the Michigan Negotiators Association, of which he is past president. He also sits on the board of the Northern Michigan Transportation Consortium and the Northern Michigan Beverage Consortium. He previously served as vice president of the Canadian Lakes Property Owners Corporation board. He is an active volunteer with several other organizations, including the Mecosta-Osceola County United Way, the Remus Bowling Association, the Canadian Lakes Golf League, and St. Michael Catholic Church, in Remus.
“I am a lifelong resident of District 7 who knows the people of this district and the issues they face,” he says. “I want to utilize my broad experience and skills to give back to the community I am from. I can’t think of a better way to give back than to be the voice of the people of District 7 while representing them as their HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative board member.”
Shirley Sprague, of Barryton, is owner and operator of the Perennial Patch nursery, which she opened 34 years ago. She also serves as treasurer of Sheridan Township, a position she has held since 2002. She is a longtime resident of Mecosta County and a graduate of Chippewa Hills. She and her husband, Eldon, have four sons.
Shirley grew up on HomeWorks Tri-County Electric lines and has been a member of the Cooperative at her current home since 1979. She joined the board in 2016, and has since successfully completed board training to earn the Credentialed Cooperative Director, Board Leadership, and Director Gold certificates through the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. She is currently serving her second term representing the Cooperative on the board of its power supplier, Wolverine Power Cooperative.
Shirley has long been active in community and civic activities. She volunteered for several years as a tutor and program manager for the Chippewa Hills School District, and has worked as a volunteer with the AARP Income Tax Preparation Program, among other organizations. She has also served on various Sheridan Township boards since 1994.
“I value the opportunity to be involved with providing reliable, affordable, and renewable electricity to our members,” she says. “I am excited to be a part of the Cooperative as we deliver life-changing fiber internet service to revitalize our communities, and I look forward to seeing the project through. It is a privilege to serve our members, and I would appreciate their support to continue to serve on the HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative Board of Directors.”
Members in district 1, 5 and 7 will be mailed ballots included in the April issue of Michigan Country Lines magazine. Those ballots must be postmarked by April 30. Members attending the district meeting shall be issued a ballot if they have not voted by mail. Election results will be announced as soon as possible after the district meeting.
Lord, Batora, Sprague Seek Re-Election To Co-op Board
(from the January 2019 issue of Michigan Country Lines magazine)
John Lord of Leslie (District 1), Corinna Batora of Elsie (District 5), and Shirley Sprague of Barryton (District 7) have announced they will seek re-election to HomeWorks Tri-County Electric's board of directors this year.
Each of the three directors was first elected in May 2016. District 1 includes members in Eaton, Ingham and Jackson counties. District 5 includes members in Gratiot and Saginaw counties, along with Bingham, Duplain and Greenbush townships in Clinton County, and Bloomer, Crystal and Evergreen townships in Montcalm County. District 7 comprises members in Mecosta and Osceola counties.
The nominating committee in each district consists of the district's officers (listed on this page), elected by members at the district meeting held in the previous May. Each committee is required by the co-op's bylaws to nominate at least one candidate on or before Feb. 5. Candidates may also be nominated with a petition signed by at least 25 members from within the district. Petitions must be turned in by Feb. 20.
Names of nominees will be posted at the cooperative's offices by Feb. 28.
Interested in Seeking a Board Seat?
If you're interested in running for a HomeWorks board seat yourself, Article VII, Section 2 of the cooperative's bylaws (available at homeworks.org) 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 517-647-1272 for a nominating petition.
- Nominating Committee submits candidate names to Co-op - Feb. 5
- Candidate credentials reviewed, names posted at Co-op - Feb. 15
- Nominations by petition (25 signatures) due at Co-op - Feb. 20
- Final candidate list posted at Co-op - Feb. 28
- Ballots mailed in Michigan Country Lines magazine to members in election districts - April 15
- Members may vote instead at district meeting – May (dates to be announced)
Who Makes Up the District Nominating Committees?
District 1: Eaton, Ingham and Jackson counties
Patricia Zimmerman, Chair
1885 Flanders Rd, Charlotte MI 48813
517-543-6736; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Miner Roth (Grand Ledge), Vice Chair
Drouscella Halsey (Charlotte), Secretary
District 5: Gratiot and Saginaw counties, plus Bingham, Duplain and Greenbush townships in Clinton County, and Bloomer, Crystal and Evergreen townships in Montcalm County
Carl Bornemann, Chair
7560 Woodbridge Rd, Ashley MI 48806
517-881-4467 (cell); no email
Reginald Stevens (Saint Johns), Vice Chair
Nichole Klekotka (Bannister), Secretary
District 7: Mecosta and Osceola counties
Jean Chapin, Chair
6235 5 Mile Rd, Blanchard MI 49310
231-972-8623; no email
Don Passolt (Hersey), Vice Chair
Connie Gibson (Evart), Secretary
Additional Helpful Information:
Here are two board policies, and the appendix to a third, which contain helpful information for anyone interested in becoming a board member.
Board Policy 106 Appendix - Suggested Statement of Qualifications
2018 was the first year to include mail balloting, with the ballot mailed as part of the April issue of Michigan Country Lines magazine, as well as voting in person at the district meetings. The number of members participating in the election increased significantly over 2015, when both seats were also uncontested: