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Randy Kleaving

Posted on Apr 26, 2022 in Profile

Randy Kleaving always heard one proverb when he was young: “No matter how good something is, when you’re done with it, you need to leave it better.” That’s something he says he’s always taken to heart: in his vocation as a farmer, and multiple avocations as volunteer firefighter, county commissioner, and director on his local,… Continue reading.

Cooperatives are a special, special place

Posted on Mar 23, 2022 in Profile

Chris Chastain’s first experience with an electric cooperative was as a “fuzzy” — a nickname the linemen and outdoor crews gave to college kids hired as summer interns. “I suppose that probably derived from the peach fuzz still on our faces,” Chastain says. But, what the Rose-Hulman electrical engineering student saw at his hometown electric… Continue reading.

Professional Progression Brittany Sams

Posted on Jan 25, 2022 in Profile

When Brittany Sams was hired as an accountant at LaGrange County REMC, her college degrees and experience prepared her for accounting and business, of course. But no education or previous experience prepared her for the not-for-profit business model and the many accounting differences that come with a consumer-owned utility. The plan was for her to… Continue reading.

One Bad Day … Led to a Wonderful Life

Posted on Dec 26, 2021 in Profile

By Richard Biever Chuck Tiemann recognizes more than most how one bad day at work can change a life. He cites his by the day and hour: Thursday, May 1, 1980 — May Day, appropriately — 1:58 p.m. … Central Time. That’s when Chuck, not three years into his career as a lineman for a… Continue reading.

Helping Others

Posted on Dec 26, 2021 in Profile

Since 2009, Indiana Connection magazine and electric co-ops like yours, have teamed up to honor middle school students in grades 5-8 who are making a difference in their communities through the Youth Power and Hope Awards program. The latest group of winners was honored on Dec. 7 at the Indiana Electric Cooperatives Annual Meeting held… Continue reading.

Better things come to those who wait

Posted on Nov 28, 2021 in Profile

The old saying about good things coming to those who wait is only partially true for Leslie Beard. She already had a good thing, she said; that was being hired not long after college as a customer service representative at WIN Energy REMC in 2000. But she was a marketing graduate, and that’s what she… Continue reading.

A few favorite things

Posted on Oct 27, 2021 in Profile

Danielle Sommerman’s valedictory submission for the Indiana Electric Cooperative student art contest was a tour de force. Her senior work from the contest not only won her grade division — which was her seventh first place award — but also earned her a Best of Show for the second time. The mixed media illustration of… Continue reading.

Professional progression: From both sides now

Posted on Sep 26, 2021 in Profile

Diana Martinez used to be a “face” of Carroll White REMC as the member services representative working closely with consumers who had billing issues and questions. Now, she’s made a 180-degree shift. As operations coordinator, she literally and figuratively has gone from front to back: from the front offices to the back operations; from helping… Continue reading.

A mind-boggling blessing

Posted on Jul 26, 2021 in Profile

When Nick Stainbrook joined JCREMC in 2001, he came in as a 19-year-old local kid waiting his turn to become a lineman. But he had to wait in line for an apprentice position to become available. So, for the first year and a half, his position meant taking care of the JCREMC building, cleaning, mowing… Continue reading.

Monumental tributes

Posted on Jun 26, 2021 in Profile

By Richard G. Biever Danielle Long asked artist Bill Wolfe to hold her 1-year-old son as she stepped onto a riser in Wolfe’s studio. Then, she peered deep and long into the eyes and face of the sculpture Wolfe had conjured from clay. It was the face of her late husband, fallen Terre Haute police… Continue reading.

Professional Progression: Building Trust

Posted on May 25, 2021 in Profile

The day Mary Jo Thomas took the open accounting position at Whitewater Valley REMC in 1996, she began working her way up the career ladder. In 2013, she became president and CEO of the cooperative that provides electricity to consumers in several counties along the Indiana/Ohio state line around Richmond.  “I did not set out… Continue reading.

From Coal Oil to Fiber

Posted on Apr 23, 2021 in Profile

Leona Wright doesn’t remember the exact day electricity came to her family’s White County farm, but she remembers the results: “It sure was nice to get away from the coal oil lamps to do my homework.” Now 95, Wright was just a teenager when her local REMC turned the lights on in the waning days… Continue reading.

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