- Member Impact
- Rural Connect
Boards often provide guidance and leadership to an organization. What makes NRTC’s board so effective is that it’s made up of members—leaders of electric and telephone cooperatives and their national organizations. When NRTC needs a sense of how a decision will affect the members we serve, we don’t have to look very far.
Jeff Wilson joined West Carolina Rural Telephone Cooperative in April 2013. Wilson has more than 35 years of experience in the telecom industry. Previously, he was general manager of Dickey Rural Telephone Cooperative, Ellendale, ND, and worked at Qwest in the state of Washington. Wilson serves on the National Exchange Carrier Association Rate Group Task Force, and the NTCA, The Rural Broadband Association’s Broadband Plan Taskforce.
Shannon Clark is the CEO and Manager of Richland Electric Cooperative. Clark and Richland are dedicated to bringing telecommunications solutions to rural members. Through telephone access, satellite services, economic development and electric services, Clark has shown that electrics and telcos can work together and benefit from combining services. Providing service to over 3,500 members, Richland provides services to Richland County and the surrounding areas.
Tim Mergen is the general manager of Meeker Cooperative Light and Power Association, serving 9,000 accounts across six counties in south central Minnesota. Mergen currently serves on the board of STAR Energy LLC, an engineering firm, and Heartland Security Services LLC; Mergen is a former President of the Litchfield Chamber of Commerce. Previously he was President of The Minnesota State Board of Electricity, appointed to the board by Governor Ventura, reappointed by Governor Pawlenty.
James E. (Jim) Mangum is the general manager and CEO of Wake Electric Membership Cooperative. The cooperative, which opened in 1940, serves more than 37,000 members. Mangum's extensive history in the electric industry includes more than 35 years at Wake Electric and involvement in many industry organizations including the North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation, the North Carolina Association of Electric Cooperatives, Triangle Services Group, Inc., and the National Information Solutions Cooperative.
David Pierce has served as Director of Amicalola Electric Membership Corporation since 1991. Amicalola serves members in five counties, with over 5,000 miles of line and more than 37,000 members total. Some of Amicalola’s services include water heating and management, security lights and surge protection.
George Kitchens has served as the general manager and CEO of Joe Wheeler EMC for the past 12 years. During this time, he has been very involved in state and regional associations, serving as board chairman of the Alabama Rural Electric Association and chairman of the Tennessee Valley Public Power Association. He has also been involved with local and regional industrial development associations and most recently, served a one-year term as a director of CoBank, ACB. He has been married to his wife, Joyce for more than 39 years and has three grown children.
Bob Hance is President/CEO of Midwest Energy Cooperative, an electric distribution cooperative serving portions of southwest and southeast Michigan, northern Indiana and Ohio. He has spent his career serving as a tireless advocate for people choosing to call rural America home. Hance was recognized by his peers in 2004 with the NRECA Regional Award for Outstanding Service and in 2010 with the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association Special Recognition Award.
Dale Short has 36 years of professional experience with jobs in marketing, finance and management. He has been with Butler REC since 1989 and has served as general manager and CEO there since 2000. The cooperative serves 7,000 members over 1,800 line miles with a staff of 38 employees. Butler REC recently installed an AMI system and has established itself as major Exede distributor in Kansas. Prior to joining Butler REC, Short operated his own C-band satellite TV wholesale company, MATCOM, in Harper, KS. He holds a bachelors degree in business administration from Friends University.
This seat is vacant following the retirement of the most recent director. The seat will be filled in February 2018 following board elections during NRTC's annual meeting.
Bob Marshall is the general manager of Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative and Plumas-Sierra Telecommunications in Portola, Calif. The cooperative, which opened for business in 1937, is a charter member of NRTC. Marshall also is the cofounder and current chair of the Golden State Power Cooperative, the California rural electric statewide organization.
Bryan Lightfoot has 15 years of experience in the rural electric industry and has spent the last seven years at the helm of Bartlett Electric Cooperative. Prior to joining Bartlett, he held several accounting and management positions for Hamilton County Electric Cooperative in Hamilton, TX. Lightfoot is active in NRECA and is the current chairman of the Rural Friends /ACRE Board and the Texas Electric Cooperatives Communications and Member Services Committee.
Jim Matheson is Chief Executive Officer of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provides service to 42 million people in 47 states. Jim joined NRECA in July 2016 following distinguished careers in both the public and private sectors.
Prior to joining NRECA, Matheson served as Principal, Public Policy Practice for the international law firm Squire Patton Boggs, based in Washington, D.C.
From 2001 to 2015, Matheson was elected to serve as a United States Representative from Utah for seven terms. During his tenure on Capitol Hill, Matheson was known as a legislator who was able to work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle.
He was Chief Deputy Whip for the House Democratic Caucus and served as co-chairman of the Blue Dog Coalition. Matheson was also a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, as well as the Financial Services, Transportation and Infrastructure, and Science Committees.
Prior to entering government service, Matheson worked in the energy industry for several years. Matheson was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Government from Harvard University, and an MBA in Finance and Accounting from UCLA. His wife, Amy, is a pediatrician, and they have two sons, William and Harris.
Sheldon C. Petersen serves as governor and CEO of the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC). CFC is a not-for-profit financing institution organized in 1969 for the purpose of providing capital to the rural electric cooperatives throughout the nation to supplement loan funds from the Rural Utilities Service.
Jason Dandridge has 23 years of professional experience with positions in engineering and executive management. He has been with PRTC since 1997, serving as staff engineer, assistant general manager, and since 2008, its CEO. PRTC serves roughly 1,000 sq. miles, over 10,000 members with 900 miles of fiber, and has 60 employees. PRTC utilizes Telispire’s wireless resale, NeoNova’s product suite, and NRTC’s video programming. Jason holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Clemson University and an MBA from The Citadel.
Raymond Henagan has more than 40 years of telephone industry experience. Prior to joining Rock Port, he served as vice president and general manager of Cameron Communications, Sulphur, LA. He has executive management experience in regulated telephone operations, cable television, Internet, long distance, wireless operations, and data storage and security. Henagan graduated from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, LA, with a BS in Accounting. In addition to his corporate activities, he is active in the community and places a strong emphasis on providing rural communities, schools and hospitals with the latest in telecommunication advancements.
From rural cooperative origins, Nex‐Tech is a highly progressive broadband communications company and provides technology services across multiple states with customers across the nation. Todd is the Board Chairman for Nex‐Tech Wireless. He serves on the NG911 Coordinating Council for Kansas, representing the independent telecom, and he is a founding board member for the Kansas Fiber Network. He is a military veteran with 21 years of service. He received his MBA from the University of Portland in 2004.
Shirley Bloomfield leads NTCA’s efforts to raise the visibility of independent, rural telecommunications companies. Her rural telecom knowledge and ability to build alliances drive NTCA’s staff and nearly 900 member companies. Bloomfield’s background includes positions at Verizon and Qwest, as well as working as a congressional aide. In addition to her work at NTCA, she is active in organizations serving women interested in developing their careers in telecommunications.