The Valley Electric Association Board of Directors will have a new member following the election of Kathleen Keyes in District 4 (Fish Lake Valley).
In Amargosa Valley (District 2), incumbent Dave Hall will serve a second term after winning re-election overwhelmingly over Gerald Nalepa March 19. The margin was 3-1.
Kathleen ran unopposed and will replace John Maurer who served four terms on the Board. John did not seek re-election in 2019.
“I would like to thank all of the Valley Electric Association members in Fish Lake Valley, Lida and Gold Point for electing me as the District 4 Director on VEA’s Board of Directors,” said Kathleen. She has been a Valley Electric Association Co-op member since 1999.
“I appreciate your confidence in me and I look forward to my new responsibilities.
“The role of a Director is an important one, and one that I will take very seriously. Many people, and sometimes their livelihoods, are impacted by our decisions as a Board.
Dave said he is excited about serving a second term. “I feel good about the way it turned out. My feedback has all been positive. I’ve always said that it’s about the members. Let them decide. When you get two-thirds of the vote, that says something.”
Serving on the Board takes a lot of time and effort, Dave said, and he looks forward to having more influence the next three years. “The learning curve is long for a Board member.”
Among the issues Dave is looking forward to tackling during the next three years is net metering. “We have to find a way to encourage solar generation without requiring other members to subsidize the process. It has to be fair.”
As a first-time Director, Kathleen said she has a lot to learn. She plans to take advantage of courses offered by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. “The knowledge I gain by attending these classes will help me make decisions that will take our Co-op forward in a positive direction.”
Each year, Board elections are conducted in two of VEA’s six districts. In 2020, elections will be conducted in District 5 (Sandy Valley) and District 6 (North Pahrump).
Before moving to Nevada 15 years ago, Kathleen lived in Buffalo, N.Y., where she worked for Adelphia Cable Communications, a company that supplied cable TV and pay-per-view, Internet, telephone and pager service to 5 million customers nationwide. Kathleen worked at their national data center as Computer Operations Supervisor for more nine years.
In 1999, she purchased a home in Sarcobatus Flat and moved there in 2004.
Kathleen, 58, and her husband, Ralph, have been married since 2009. They have since moved to Fish Lake Valley, where they farm approximately 1,200 acres of alfalfa hay. Kathleen has two adult step-children.
She recently retired from the Fish Lake Valley Fire Department, where she volunteered as a firefighter, department secretary and as a Nevada licensed Emergency Medical Responder.
Kathleen will begin her three-year term at the first Board meeting following the April 27 annual meeting at Pahrump Valley High School.
Dave, 72, serves as secretary of the Board. His final vote tally was 91 to Nalepa’s 32.
Dave has helped craft VEA’s plans for the future. He emphasizes the importance of member education so everyone in the Co-op understands where VEA is going and why. From his position on the Board of Directors, Dave says he is helping VEA grow, because by growing, VEA will be able to generate the revenues necessary to keep costs down and provide new and better services for members.
Dave and his wife, Pam, have been residents of Amargosa Valley for the past 25 years. He is currently serving on the Nye County Water District Governing Board as Chairman and as a Board member for Amargosa Seniors Inc.
Before moving to Amargosa Valley, Dave worked for General Electric Lighting Division for 27 years in a number of management positions as well as Human Resources and Engineering. Hall also was involved in his community in Northeast Ohio as a volunteer firefighter for 12 years and Chief for the last five.
He was the farm manager for Ponderosa Dairy in Amargosa Valley until his retirement in 2014. With his work on the Amargosa Planning Board and farming, he has had experience in the VEA service area including distribution, service installations and efficiency programs for irrigation.
Gerald of Crystal, Nev., is a retired Marine Corps Reserve Colonel. He spent 16 years on active duty and 14 years in the Reserves. He is originally from the East Coast.
In the Marine Corps, he was an infantry officer, holding numerous command and staff positions. While in the Reserves, he worked in the corporate world as a marketing manager and government affairs representative.