Meet your board candidates

Posted on Jun 04 2020 in Decatur County REMC

Matthew Boersma | DISTRICT 3 

Matthew Boersma; his wife, Dr. Nicole Boersma; and their children reside on Mill Creek Road in Greensburg. He holds undergraduate degrees in religion and computer science from Manchester University and a master’s degree in philosophy. He is a PhD candidate, completing his dissertation in Hebrew Bible and early interpretation. Boersma is an adjunct professor in Biblical studies. He also serves as the technology director for a non-profit organization, Who’s Yer Gamers, which is committed to providing free/low cost tabletop gaming opportunities in Indiana. Boersma teaches Taekwondo at the Decatur County Family YMCA and trains with Grandmaster Dan Coblentz in Westport. He is an active member of the Northview Church of the Brethren where he serves as the stewards chairperson. 

He views the REMC board as an opportunity to give back to his community. Boersma has an interest in energy and the environment. “I feel that by serving on the board, I might be able to learn how the REMC is working toward sustainable energy practices and how to do so in the future,” Boersma said.

Jeff Lawrence | DISTRICT 3

Jeff Lawrence and his wife, Connie, reside on East Base Road in Greensburg.  He is a veteran of the U.S. Navy. As a director, Lawrence wants to see an environment of transparency and accountability at both DCREMC and Hoosier Energy. He believes DCREMC should provide reliable service and fair rates to ALL members at the lowest possible cost with open and honest communication. Lawrence voted against the 2018, ‘19 and ‘20 budgets. He believes that implementing the business practice of formalizing major projects prior to determining a budget, requiring competitive bids, then using those bids to complete the budget, would facilitate major cost savings. Lawrence also voted against the most recent rate increase because subsidies exist between and within rate classes. 

He is an advocate for equitable treatment of ALL members. During the past three years, Lawrence has helped numerous members reduce their energy consumption and combine meters (when possible) to reduce the cost of facility charges. He has aided commercial members with the reduction of demand charges, assisted members with eliminating intermittent and repetitive outages, and has educated members on the advantages of solar energy.

When elected in 2017, Lawrence made a commitment to represent the interests of the members of the cooperative and if re-elected, he plans to continue his commitment to serve as an advocate for the members of Decatur County REMC. 

Steve AmRhein | DISTRICT 4

Steve AmRhein and his wife, Diane, reside on State Road 3 south of Greensburg. He is a graduate of the University of Indianapolis with a degree in mathematics. AmRhein spent the early part of his career working in the information technology field for Batesville Casket Company before becoming a high school math teacher. He recently retired from teaching and continues to enjoy working on the family farm on which he was raised.

AmRhein is a member of the Immaculate Conception Church in Millhousen where he serves on various ministries. He is also a member of the Greensburg Knights of Columbus and serves on the board of trustees for Decatur County Community Schools. 

AmRhein was elected to the DCREMC board of directors in 2011 and is currently serving as chairman of the board. He also serves as the Indiana Electric Cooperatives board delegate, representing DCREMC. By participating in education and training courses, he has completed his Credentialed Cooperative Director (CCD) certificate from NRECA.  

AmRhein is dedicated to serving the members of DCREMC and looks forward to continuing to meet our changing power needs while developing new opportunities to deliver excellence to the members. He believes it is important for members to be aware of energy solutions and services supported by DCREMC. AmRhein welcomes the opportunity to continue serving the community and representing the members of DCREMC. 

Gary Cunningham | DISTRICT 4

Gary Cunningham and his wife, Joane, reside on Southwest 60 in Greensburg. He is a certified insurance agent and has owned and operated Cunningham Racing and Repair Service for 25 years. The company designs, engineers, and repairs all types of equipment. 

Cunningham currently serves as vice president of Decatur County Farmers Mutual. He has managed a successful business which has helped customers solve problems with equipment for many years. Cunningham feels this will be an asset to strengthen the Decatur County REMC moving forward in its development. “I am honest and straight forward and willing to work hard,” Cunningham said.  

Steve Stagge | DISTRICT 4

Steve Stagge; his wife, Heidi; and their two daughters reside on 240 Northwest in Greensburg. He wants to be on the DCREMC board of directors to serve the members of the cooperative. Stagge has concerns with how rates are determined and how monthly bills are calculated. “As a member who has both residential and commercial bills, I believe there are opportunities for DCREMC to educate members on how to reduce our usage while reducing REMC cost, and then pass along the savings to the member,” Stagge said. 

He also believes there should be more financial information shared with the members and that no financial information should be considered confidential. Stagge feels controlling cost should be priority. He says he supports the focus on transparency but does not support DCREMC management spending any of our cooperative’s money to influence the election of the board of directors. He looks forward to working with the REMC board of directors to find solutions to his issues and the issues of other members.

Jason Barnhorst | DISTRICT 7

Jason Barnhorst is a fifth generation Decatur County farmer with a bachelor’s degree in public health from  Indiana University. He is a lifelong member of Smyrna Lutheran Church, serves on the USDA Farm Service Agency county committee, and represents Decatur County REMC on the board of directors at Hoosier Energy.

Barnhorst is scheduled to earn the first two levels of accreditation from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association for director education. Upon completion, he will be the only director in the history of DCREMC to have earned both accreditations in his first term. His training is imperative to understanding the cooperative business model and making informed decisions for our membership, community, and cooperative moving forward in this rapidly changing business. Barnhorst believes that, now more than ever, DCREMC needs informed, objective, and motivated leadership, which he has demonstrated in the following ways:

Supported policies to encourage transparency, published minutes and financials on website and open board meetings

Voted in favor of policies to keep DCREMC rates fair and equitable for members

Voted in support of Construction Work Plan that will maintain DCREMC infrastructure to provide safe and reliable service with fewer outages

As Hoosier Energy director, adopted a long-term resource plan that will provide $700 million in savings and reduce carbon footprint by 80% over the next 20 years

For more information, Barnhorst invites members to find him at  “My commitment to the members, employees, and communities of DCREMC is unwavering and I look forward to serving them for another three-year term,” said Barnhorst.

Mark Ertel | DISTRICT 7

Mark Ertel; his wife, Katie; and their three daughters reside on 600 South in Greensburg. He is a 2003 graduate of North Decatur High School and established his own construction company, Ertel Construction, Inc., in 2007. His business specializes in construction of commercial properties and residential homes. Ertel is a member of the Home Builders Association of Southeast Indiana and St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Greensburg. 

He says he is ready to take on the challenge of being more straightforward about the “true-up” estimates on work being done and finding a more efficient tree service to serve our members. “I would like our members to have a better explanation of their billings and where those member funds are being spent,” Ertel said. He is also interested in gaining knowledge of current expenses, budgeting involvement and reducing the amount of future debt by controlling current costs.