Meet the Candidates

Posted on Jun 09 2016 in General


District 1 Candidate

Chris Birky-District 1Chris Birky and his wife, Melissa, reside in Pleasant Township with their children. The couple have been Kankakee Valley REMC members for 22 years. The Birkys own Birky Family Farms Country Gourmet in Kouts, where they operate a country market and bakery. They also run two seasonal restaurants called Piggies & Cream which provide catering, concessions and hog roasts. In addition, Birky operates a small manufacturing company providing products to pork and poultry producers. He also operates the not-for-profit organization called South County Love Your Neighbor. Birky is involved in farming with his brother in Morgan and Pleasant townships where they raise corn, soybeans and operate a small farrow-to-finish hog operation. He, alongside with his children, enjoys raising pigs, goats, sheep, rabbits, chickens and turkeys for the fair and the family store. The Birkys are members of Hopewell Mennonite Church. Birky was elected to the Kankakee Valley REMC board in 2004 and received his Credentialed Cooperative Director certificate in 2006 and his Board Leadership Certificate in 2011 from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). In his spare time, he enjoys helping others and projects.


District 2 Candidates

Andy BlastickAndy Blastick and his daughter, Eliza, live in Morgan Township. He has been a Kankakee Valley REMC member since 2009. After graduating from Morgan Township High School, Blastick went on to receive his bachelor’s degree in education from Indiana University. He currently is employed with the City of Valparaiso. Blastick is active in the community, serving on the advisory board for Morgan Township and as a volunteer for the Porter County Fair. He was elected to the Kankakee Valley REMC board in 2010 and has a Credentialed Cooperative Director certificate from NRECA. Blastick is currently taking classes toward his Board Leadership Certificate. He would like to continue to serve the membership in a director capacity to learn more about the electric industry to provide the best service to the membership.


David Janney District 2David Janney and his wife, Kim, have been Kankakee Valley REMC members since 2012. The couple currently resides in the Valparaiso/Morgan Township area with their four children. Janney received a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University and is currently a LEED-certified professional electrical engineer. He is affiliated with the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and Whiting Masonic Lodge #613 F & AM. In his free time, Janney enjoys reading, fishing and spending time with family. He hopes to utilize his background and knowledge from decades of electrical engineering experience to assist the cooperative in providing safe, reliable electricity at the best price; improving the cybersecurity of the electronic data; and implementing solutions to ensure cost-effective power remains available for KVREMC members.


Richard Clifford District 2
Richard Clifford
and his wife, Nancy, live in Valparaiso and have been Kankakee Valley REMC members since 1993. The couple has one daughter and two grandsons. In his free time, Clifford enjoys golf and is an avid fan of the Bears, Cubs and IU basketball and football. He has a degree in accounting and business management from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and recently retired after more than 35 years in the energy business. During a 15-year career at NIPSCO, Clifford served as manager of rate and regulatory affairs and was involved in state and federal rate proceedings for all electric and natural gas filings. He was also involved in the acquisition of natural gas for system supply and un-regulated sales to large industrial transportation customers. Over the past 20 years, he has held regional sales positions with several of the country’s largest energy companies. With decades of experience in the industry, Clifford believes he offers a unique perspective for expanding new ideas and opportunities for the future benefit of the REMC and all of its members.