IREA concluded its most recent election of members to fill three seats on the rural electric cooperative’s Board of Directors. IREA’s board is comprised of seven members, elected from among its member-owners to represent the interests of all members in guiding the direction of the co-op. Each board member serves a four-year term, with staggered elections every two years. This year, seats in districts 3, 5 and 7 were up for election.

In District 3, Mike Sperry was elected as a new representative to the board to fill the seat vacated by the retirement of Gene Sperry, who served on IREA’s Board of Directors for 32 years. Mike Sperry faced Kevin Bierbaum in the election to fill the open seat.

“During his tenure, Gene Sperry has been a steadfast advocate for IREA’s members in and beyond his director district,” said Board President Tim White. “We appreciate Gene for his years of service and welcome Mike to the board.”

In District 5, Bruff Shea was re-elected, defeating challenger Scott Graber. Shea is the Vice President of IREA’s board and has served the cooperative since he was first elected in 2003.

Finally, Jim Anest was reelected to serve another term in District 7. Anest had two challengers, Valerie Holden and Michael Edwards. This will be Jim’s third full term on IREA’s Board of Directors after being appointed to fill a vacant seat in 2011 and being elected to his first term in 2013. He serves as Secretary/Treasurer of the board.

“One of the greatest features of the cooperative model is that our members elect our leadership from the membership,” said Chief Executive Officer Jeff Baudier. “We are grateful to all the candidates who ran to serve on the board, to our members who voted for them, and to all those who attended our annual meeting to make their voices heard regarding the future of our association. All of these collective efforts make our electric cooperative better.”