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2019 Board Nominees

Nominees are asked to write a bio, in 300 words or less, that introduces them to the WRVEC membership and explains what assets they would bring to the table as a board member.

In their own words, here are your 2019 Nominees…

District A - Stone County

Jenny Whorton

My name is Jenny Whorton. My husband, daughter and I live in Stone County and have been members of White River for over 10 years. Some of our family have been members since the co-op first came to the area.

I grew up in Mansfield, MO where I was a member of the rural co-op. Following high school, I attended MSU, then completed St. John’s School of Radiologic Technology. I worked for Mercy hospital for over 10 years. Currently I own and operate a business in Reeds Spring, and for the last 3 years have had the privilege of serving on the White River board.

My husband Zach grew up in Kirbyville. He has worked in the power generation industry the past 12 years, and works as the Senior Mechanic in the power house at Table Rock Dam. My amazing daughter attends public school at Reeds Spring.

While serving on the board, I have learned so much about the workings of the cooperative. I received my Certified Credentialed Director designation and should finish the Board Leadership Program in August. This training keeps me current with laws and changes so I can make informed decisions.

I am committed to provide safe, reliable and affordable power to our members. I also strive to be available and to truly listen to our members and employees. I feel being involved with the community is important; I am a member of the Table Rock Chamber of Commerce and recently attended Stone County’s First-Ever Economic Development Summit.

I consider it an honor to represent WRVEC members, and would like to continue to serve, as there is more to accomplish. I am committed to keep listening to all members and will continue to dedicate all the time it takes to stay current in a continually changing time.

Peggy Vangorder

Hello, my name is Peggy Vangorder, I grew up in St Louis and moved here 23 years ago with my former husband, who was stationed at College of the Ozarks. I have two sons. As a Veteran of the Air Force and a then dependent spouse, I have traveled and lived here and abroad, but I call the Ozarks my home.

I enjoyed holding a position at Silver Dollar City for 13 years; with my final title of POS/Inventory Control Analyst. I worked closely with management. This position allowed me to build my accounting skills and prompted me to get my Master’s in Accounting. I enjoyed that position; after all I got to test food during the winters and raise my boys.

I moved on to work for Mercy Hospital as a Senior Financial Analyst. I soon realized I wanted more challenges and hoped to run my own company. I had gotten the bug during an internship with Kaplan Radio. Kaplan Radio needed a finance department, and I oversaw the building that department. We were a first of a kind virtual internship. We worked via video meetings, chat, and email. This virtual teamwork reminded me of the teamwork while I was in the Air Force. Working as a team energized me to make a huge move in my life.

Today, I am the owner of Meer’s Accounting and Consulting and a partner of the startup, Pole Star Experiential Learning. Meer’s Accounting and Consulting is blooming. I work with entrepreneurs understanding the language of business and focus on their futures. Pole Star Experiential Learning is a virtual internship and workforce development company. We are “Navigating Future Professionals Through Real-World Practices.”

My goal if elected is to ensure the Co-Op financial practices are sounds and is a great place for all involved.

Larry estal

My name is Larry Estal, and I have lived in Stone County District A for 21 years. I was born and raised on a farm in northern Iowa and realized the advantage of rural America at an early age. It was a way of life!

After returning home from the Air Force, I attended college and was hired by NISC in St. Louis, to create software for use by electric cooperatives. As NISC grew, I was promoted to sales & marketing manager, in charge of visiting coops nationwide. This gave me the opportunity to work with cooperatives, helping them to advance from manual to automated services in every facet of the business side of the cooperative, as well as leadership, mentorship, & guidance, enhancing their ability to effectively serve their members. This provided, not only business acquaintances, but long-lasting friendships that I still enjoy today.

A few years ago, White River Valley became a member of NISC. Everyone at White River was, and still is, awesome to work with. They still are one of the best rural cooperatives in the nation. This alone, is a great reason to want to be part of their board of directors. I have found they look out for their members far and above many other businesses.

After living and working in St. Louis for 30 years, I was offered the opportunity to relocate. We chose a home near Table Rock Lake with electric service from White River Valley EC. What a win, win. My work with over 600 cooperatives has given me the experience I feel is needed for the board of directors. I ask for your support and look forward to serving our community in this position.

Ross summers

Born in West Plain, Missouri but moved to Branson at an early age. Graduated from Branson High School, 1970. Married to Janice with two grown sons. Graduate of the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Journalism degree. Graduate course work at Drury University. After college I began my career in media at KOLR-TV in Springfield as sports director and news reporter.

In 1980 I joined TeleCable Corporation, operator of the cable television franchise in Springfield, in charge of public access and studio production. In 1983 I was offered the job as General Manager of the TeleCable system in Auburn, Alabama and in my 12 years there we doubled the subscriber base and installed the first fiber optic cable of any system in Alabama. In 1995, upon the retirement of the GM in Springfield, I returned there as General Manager.

Upon returning to Springfield, I had made a small investment in a local start-up web site, which was one of the first internet travel websites to allow real-time booking of hotels. In 1999 I was invited to join as General Manger. One of my duties was to secure a listing on the AmEx Stock Exchange and went public in mid-2000. In January, 2001, by then employing 130 people, was sold to and ultimately became a division of Expedia.

After I was hired as President & CEO of the Branson Chamber of Commerce & CVB. The CVB is a marketing organization and we were able to increase our budget from $2.5MM to over $11MM. I continue to serve as a volunteer on the Sports Development Committee and for the last five years I have acted as Managing Partner for Trophy Run Resort on Lake Taneycomo. Hobbies include boating, gold, reading and travel.

District B - Taney County

russell jackson

My name is Russell Jackson. I am a lifelong resident of Taney County, and a lifelong resident of White River district B in Taney County. My family was an original member of the Co-op in the 1940’s. For the past nine years, I have had the privilege of serving the White River Members as a Director.

My qualification for a director is that I fought as a Director for open elections, board and management financial responsibility and accountability while increasing transparency. The members and employees are being heard. I have also encouraged term limits for the directors as I believe they are important for maintaining the integrity of the Co-op.

I see no need for a rate increase. I will work to expand voting to ALL members. Currently, members can only vote if they attend the annual meeting. I will continue to work for the members and accountability of the board. I have great pride in the Co-op.

I support Employees at White River Electric Co-op. They are hardworking, good of heart and realize the value of electricity and what it means to our members. WRVC employees often work long hours to make sure you have power. I support these men and women and will continue to work for a safe work environment and supply needed tools and equipment for an efficient work force.

My wife and I have been married for 47 years. We have two children and two grandchildren who all reside in Taney County. I worked 31 years for the local phone company. I have served and continue to serve on various boards in Taney County over the last three decades. I am familiar with utilities and the leadership role it takes to serve our members. Look for me on Facebook, I would appreciate your vote.

stan barker

I am Stan Barker and I am a 60+ years resident of Taney County. After high school I married my wife, Gayla, and we have been married for 43 years. We are blessed with two children, and two grandchildren. I retired from WRVEC after 40 years of service in February of 2019. I began my career with White River in 1978 as a lineman then became a staking engineer, and spent the last 20 years as the Manager of Safety and Training.

Along with countless hours of training, I became a Certified Loss Control Professional and a graduate of NRECA’s Management Internship Program. I am an active member of Victor Baptist Church. Additionally, I have served as a Branson Board of Alderman, the Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Branson Park Board. Currently, I am a member of the Taney County Airport Board and the Adoration Parade Committee. I am a member of Rotary, through which I support CAM, the Salvation Army, Taney County Women’s Shelter, and Options Pregnancy Clinic.

The Cooperative of 1978 is not the Cooperative of today. Through the leadership of past boards, we have grown into a safe, reliable and modern utility. Today our Cooperative still faces the challenge of delivering safe, reliable and affordable electricity as well as dealing with government regulations and balancing affordable electricity with environmental responsibility. This needs to be done while also providing an environment of trust between members, employees, management and the board.

If selected as your representative to the board for Taney County, I am not only willing to face these challenges, but also work to improve the communities we serve through educational scholarships and grow business and employment opportunities through economic development. I would be honored to serve as your board member.

Lyle RowlanD

Lyle is a graduate of Forsyth High School, and attended College of the Ozarks, earned his B.S. and M.Ed. in agriculture education from the University of Missouri-Columbia and his specialist in educational administration from Missouri State University. He resides in Cedarcreek with his wife Glenda and has two daughters, Holly and Laura, and seven grandchildren and one great grandson.

He is a beef cattle farmer, taught agriculture for 10 years at Forsyth High School, was superintendent at Taneyville R-II, and retired after 31 years in education. He is the recipient of FFA Blue and Gold Award, Outstanding Rural Administrator, Missouri K-8 School Superintendent of the Year and MASA Outstanding Emeritus Educator.

Lyle is a member of NRA, Missouri Farm Bureau, Missouri Cattleman Association and the New Beginnings Church. He also served as State Representative of the 155th district for eight years (2011-2018).

Cathy Dalton

I am Cathy Dalton. I was raised in Taney County on a Century Farm, homesteaded in the 1800’s by my dad’s family, Hiram Henson. I graduated from Forsyth High School. After graduation, I married Bill Dalton, also a Taney County native. We have 2 grown sons a wonderful daughter in law and 5 grandchildren and one great grandson.

Bill and I have been WRVEC members for 43 years.

I have owned and operated several business’s including an event venue specializing in weddings and family and church outings. I am a director in a travel company, and have worked hand in hand with my husband on Dalton Ranch which included a large indoor horse arena and stables, organizing and holding horse shows and events drawing contestants from other states as well as local riders. We also raise registered cattle, Quarter horses, sheep, goats, and border collie’s.

I have held several management positions in various business’s, real estate, resorts, and a job placement business hiring for Emerson Electric Plant in Ava. I have served on the county extension board, school board, and served as President of school PTO and booster club.

The ideal candidate for a board director will assure consistent and fair treatment for members and employees, and care about our communities and the challenges they face. I will bring financial understanding, business management and organizational skills to the board. I will do my best to see that every decision made benefits our members and employees. I am proud of our Co-Op and I will be your voice so you can be proud too.

I would appreciate you vote and your confidence in me as your elected board member for Taney County. Look for me on Facebook- Cathy Dalton for White River Electric Board of Directors.

District E - Ozark County

David Freeman















Paul Wade

It’s an honor to receive a nomination to be on the White River Valley Co-op board of directors. Born and raised in Ozark county, I graduated from Gainesville High School in 1973. I received my accounting degree from Harding University and worked in public accounting for several years before returning home to establish an accounting firm. My firm was established in 1982 and currently has offices in Gainesville (Ozark county) and Ava (Douglas county). Paul Wade and Associates, P.C. is a full-service CPA firm which specializes in tax and audits of local schools and non-profits. I currently serve on the Baxter Regional Medical Center hospital board as well as the board of directors for the Gainesville Industrial and Community Development and the Gainesville Lions Club.

At home, my wife Beth and I raised three children and currently have five grandchildren. We are active in various community projects as well as our local church fellowship. I own a farm with a cow-calf operation raising purebred Gelbvieh and Balancer cattle.

An effective board consists of a cross section of individuals who have various backgrounds, experiences, knowledge and ideas. These individuals come together to pool their skills into a board that has vision and sets policy for the good of the organization. I believe I have qualifications that would allow me to be effective in this framework. I respectfully ask for your consideration in this election.

Anita Scott

I live in Thornfield, MO with my husband, dog, cat and several types of poultry. We bought our property in the Ozarks in 2010 and retired in September 2014. No matter where in the world we have traveled, there is no place like home.

I spent my time taking care of the poultry and garden. We do our part to help share the load of electric by conserving and using solar panels which I designed the layout and helped to install.

During my career, I have been a restaurant manager, accounting assistant and a programmer/manager of a website developing company, where I assisted my boss who was the head of a political party in our county. I studied accounting at South Florida State College in Avon Park, FL and graduated the top of the class, received Accounting Student of the Year award. I tutored in the computer lab while in college. I had no idea how many students and teachers I had helped until my graduation where I received a standing ovation. I spent a few years working at Olive Garden and ended my career at the University of Wyoming.

Since retirement, we have traveled and bow hunted in South Africa, Alaska and many states in the US. I am an accomplished archer, winning several 3D shoots. My husband is on the Thornfield VFD board and retired from the elevator trade in 2014.

We have 3 children and 3 grandchildren living in Kansas and Florida. I was a successful Girl Scout Leader for my daughter’s troop where we raised money and went on an overseas trip, in addition to earning many awards and badges. I believe in reaching for your goals and working hard to accomplish them. I fight for what I believe in.