Our Board of Directors
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.
CEO and General Manager, Meeker Cooperative Light & Power Association, Litchfield, MN
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.
CEO and General Manager, Nex‐Tech, Lenora, KS
Jimmy Todd is the CEO/General Manager for Nex-Tech. Nex-Tech provides broadband service across 10,000 square miles in Kansas serving over 35,000 customers, and the company has Business IT customers across the Midwest as well as Carrier services customers across the nation and internationally. Jimmy has been appointed to and participated on committees related to NG-911, Precision Agriculture and Economic Development. Jimmy is proud to be a 21-year military veteran.
CEO and General Manager, Ralls County Electric Cooperative, New London, MO
Lynn Hodges joined Ralls County Electric in 2003 as manager of Economic Development and held various other management positions before becoming manager and CEO in 2015. During his years with Ralls, he has participated in operation of satellite and fixed wireless internet services and the cooperative’s launch of a fiber-to-the-home network in 2010. Hodges is a 1998 graduate of Hannibal LaGrange College, and holds an MBA from William Woods University.
President and CEO, Choptank Electric Cooperative, Denton, MD
Mike Malandro has worked in the electric distribution business since 1999. He has been a licensed professional engineer since 2009 and is a current director of Old Dominion Electric Cooperative and the Virginia Maryland Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives. Malandro is a 2002 graduate of West Virginia University. He led Prince George Electric Cooperative for several years before joining Choptank in 2019.
CEO, Aiken Electric Cooperative, Aiken, SC
Gary Stooksbury has been CEO of Aiken Electric, serving about 47,000 consumers in rural South Carolina, since 1995. He has more than 40 years of experience with management and finance/administration positions in the electric utility business since 1978. AEConnect, Aiken Electric’s broadband provider, is planning to build fiber optic connections throughout its service area have obtaining funding through the 2020 Rural Digital Opportunity Fund auction. He is a past chairman of NRECA’s Community and conomic Development Committee, among other rural electric industry positions.
General Manager, Joe Wheeler Electric Membership Corp., Trinity, AL
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.
Robert L. (Bob) Hance
President and CEO, Midwest Energy Cooperative, Cassopolis, MI
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.
President and CEO, Shelby Electric Cooperative, Shelbyville, IL
Josh Shallenberger first joined Shelby Electric in 1992 as a Class A Groundman, working on maintenance and construction tasks. He left the utility to take positions in finance and banking in rural Illinois before rejoining Shelby Electric as VP, Finance and Administration in 2007. He was named president and CEO in 2015. Shallenberger is a CPA and is currently a director of Peoples Bank & Trust, which has 10 locations in central Illinois. He also serves as secretary of Prairie Power Inc., a Springfield, IL-based G&T co-op.
District 7 – Vacant
Director, Lane Electric Cooperative, Eugene, OR
Chris Seubert has served on the board of Lane Electric Cooperative for 18 years. He also served on the board of the Oregon Rural Electric Cooperative Association and was chairman of ORECA’s Technology Committee. In 2010, Seubert retired after a 33-year career with Pacific Northwest Bell/U.S. West Communications/Qwest Communications (now CenturyTel) in various operations and network technician positions.
CEO, Bartlett Electric Cooperative, Bartlett, TX
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.
CEO, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Arlington, VA
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. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Government from Harvard University, and an MBA in Finance and Accounting from UCLA.
J. Andrew Don
CEO, National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC), Dulles, VA
Andrew Don became CEO in May 2021 after serving in many positions at CFC since 1999, including treasurer, vice president of capital market relations, director of loan syndications and chief financial officer. Prior to joining CFC, Don worked with the Bank of Tokyo–Mitsubishi (now Mitsubishi United Financial Group), The Bank of New York and the Bank of Montreal. He has a bachelor’s degree from Dickinson College and an M.B.A. from Fordham University.
CEO, Palmetto Rural Telephone Cooperative, Inc., Walterboro, SC
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.
General Manager and Executive Vice President, Pineland Telephone Cooperative, Metter, GA
Dustin Durden began at Pineland Telephone in 2009, previously serving as customer service manager, subsidiary manager, and chief operating officer. Earlier he spent seven years in the rural electric industry as a member services representative at Excelsior EMC also based in Metter. He has a BBA in Finance and an MBA from Georgia Southern University. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife of 18 years, Sherrie, and their three children, Daniel, Abigail and Samuel.
CEO, Duo County Telephone Cooperative, Columbia, KY
Thomas Preston has worked more than 20 years in rural Kentucky, including 10 years with Duo County. He has experience managing a wireless company and has been involved in building broadband to remote areas. Duo County recently won an $18.7 million ReConnect grant from the USDA to continue that effort. Preston is a two-time president of the Kentucky Telecom Association and has worked with other industry organizations including NTCA, the National Exchange Carriers Association and organizations involved in finance and insurance to benefit rural telcos.
CEO, NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association, Arlington, VA
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.