Directors are Neighbors Serving Neighbors
SEMO Electric Cooperative’s Board of Directors are member-owners who are elected to three-year terms at the Cooperative’s annual meeting, which is open to all member-owners in May. Directors include: President Rick Faulkner (District 1), Vice President John Bledsoe (District 2), Secretary/Treasurer Tim Coppage (District 1), Assistant Secretary/Treasurer James Deneke (District 5), Hamil Corse (District 2 - replaced by Field LaPlant on May 12, 2022), Butch Dirnberger (District 4 - replaced by Von Priggel on May 12, 2022), Carl Eftink (District 4), Dennis Fowler (District 3), Dicky Hanor (District 2), Myron Hawes (District 1), Keith Haynes (District 3) and Carla Moore (District 3). The Board meets at least 12 times (normally on the third Monday of each month) per year for official business. Sean Vanslyke is the CEO/GM of SEMO Electric Cooperative. (Note: New board photo pending).
About the Board
SEMO Electric is a democratically-controlled business. It doesn’t have stockholders, so the Board isn’t made up of the people who own the most shares and are looking for big returns on their investment. SEMO Electric is governed by local people with your best interest and the cooperative’s best interest at heart. These individuals are active community leaders representing the needs of their local constituents. The Board is responsible for establishing policies, seeing initiatives through and approving items such as work plans and the financial budget. The cooperative’s Bylaws contain exact details about director qualifications and the nomination process. Directors serve three-year terms, which are staggered to provide continuity. It is the Board’s duty to maintain SEMO Electric’s strategic direction of a not-for-profit operation with cost-of-service-based rates to provide safe and reliable electricity and fiber to thousands of homes, farms and businesses in southeast Missouri.
SEMO Electric’s Board of Directors is composed of 12 member-owners, each representing members-owners of their specific district. There are five districts - 1 New Madrid County, 2 Mississippi County, 3 Bollinger and Stoddard Counties, 4 Scott County and 5 Cape Girardeau County. A board member serves a three-year term. An election is held every year in May for the board members whose term has expired. Each board member is elected by members who attend and vote at the annual meeting. A married couple or household, as a member, is entitled to one vote. The notice of election is published each year in April's Rural Missouri magazine, which provided to all members. The Official Notice for the Annual Meeting in published each year in May's Rural Missouri.
Board Elections and Voting at the Annual Meeting
Serving on SEMO Electric's Board is an important and time-consuming task. A board of directors in a cooperative functions as a policy-making body when it comes to big-picture issues such as financial responsibility, equal employment opportunity issues, compliance with applicable legal guidelines and the co-op's business dealings with its own members. Board members are elected by the membership to oversee the cooperatives activities and to safeguard the member’s investments. Because of this expectation, and their role as the top level governing body, serving on the Board of Directors comes with legal responsibilities.
When an election is to be held, the current Board of Directors will appoint a Nominating Committee consisting of your neighbors to accept applications and may interview possible candidates for the Board. The nominating committee is to nominate qualified people to run in the election. If you are not nominated by the committee, you can still run for the Board by obtaining a Nomination Petition, available at SEMO Electric's offices in Bloomfield and Sikeston, and getting the signature of 50 members (one signature per household) residing in your district. A valid petition must arrive and be time stamped by 5 p.m., 30 days before the Annual Meeting, at SEMO Electric’s offices in Bloomfield or Sikeston. Once received by SEMO Electric, 1) all signees will be verified as members; 2) a felony background check will be conducted; and 3) the candidate must submit, with the petition, a passport headshot and an autobiography (150 words or less) for publication in Rural Missouri.
All nominated people, whether by committee or petition, appear on the ballot by district in order of nomination, by district, followed by time stamp on petitions. Voting will take on the day of the Annual Meeting. An election contractor will oversee the election. Voting will take place on the contractor's iPads at the Annual Meeting. The results will be shared during the Business Meeting at the Annual Meeting. A candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared the officially elected director of the district. Should two or more candidates tie in the largest number of votes received for an available term of director from a district, the tie shall be resolved by a coin flip. Elected board members begin their term at the conclusion of the Annual Meeting's Business Meeting. There is no waiting period. You are now accountable to the cooperative's members.
For questions, please call CEO Sean Vanslyke at (573) 703-7694.
Check out this video with director interviews at our 2022 Annual Meeting: