District 2 Candidates
Nelson Smith (Incumbent)
Smith was elected to the board in 2003 and is presently the Chairman of the Board. Through extensive training, he has received the Credentialed Cooperative Director (CCD), Board Leadership (BL), and Director Gold certificates from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Smith represents cooperatives from OH, IN, WV, and MI on the board of Federated Insurance, a national cooperative that insures about 90% of electric cooperatives across the country. He serves as a Washington Township Trustee and volunteers on the board responsible for restoring the Historic Licking County Jail. Smith is a 1966 graduate of Newark HS, attended OSU and served four years in the Navy. He is the retired publisher of the Utica Herald, The Heath News, the Pataskala Post and On Target. Smith is former part-owner of Chapel Hill Golf Course in Mount Vernon. He is married to Kim and between them have four children and nine grandchildren.
Bev is a lifelong resident of Licking County and has resided in McKean Township for 34 years. She is presently employed part-time as the evergreen seedling sales representative for the Canaan Fir Tree Company a division of Timbuk Farms, Inc. Bev is currently serving on the McKean Township Board of Zoning Appeals where she has served as a Board Member/Secretary for the past 26 years. Previously, she was a member of the committee that developed the Twenty-Year Comprehensive Plan for McKean Township in conjunction with Licking County Planning and Development. She also served as the Poll Location Manager for McKean and Liberty Townships through the Licking County Board of Elections for over 25 years. Bev and her family are long standing supporters and volunteers of both the Licking County 4-H program and the Hartford Independent Fair. Bev is a member of the Highwater Congregational United Church of Christ and has served on the mission’s ministry. She is a graduate of Northridge High School and has been married to her husband, David, for almost forty years. They have two grown daughters, Ashley and Kelsey, and have seven grandchildren.
John has worked in the utility industry for 30+ years in electrical transmission operations, power plant management and coal and natural gas procurement. He is skilled in human resource management, having managed 1,400 employees over a five-state territory, negotiating regularly with three national trade unions while at American Electric Power. John is considered a technical subject matter expert, called upon regularly to speak with public representatives in Washington, D.C. John now provides consulting services for clients in the energy sector and is an ad hoc professor for Stark State College. He serves on the board of trustees at Moundbuilders Country Club and volunteers his time as its general manager. He holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from West Virginia University, is a graduate of the Executive Management Program from the Ohio State University and the Leadership in Changing Times Program from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and is certified by the Senn Delaney leadership and employee cultural transformation program. He and his wife Lori have lived in Newark for more than 35 years; they have four children.
District 5 Candidate
Zollars is the CEO and president of Smithhisler Meats, Inc., a retail, and wholesale company located in Knox County that has served residents, businesses, and organizations for the past 40 years. He is a member of the Knox County Farm Bureau, Ohio Grocers Association, Knox County Cattlemen's Association, and is a Monroe Township Trustee. Zollars is also involved with the Blue-Ribbon Livestock 4-H Club. He is married to Kim and they have two boys, Justin, and Ryan.
District 9 Candidates
Tom Graham (Incumbent)
Graham was elected to the board in 2009. He currently serves as Vice Chairman of the NGO Cooperative and NGO Transmission Boards. He has received the Credentialed Cooperative Director (CCD), Board Leadership (BL) and Director Gold certificates from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Graham is a 36-year member and purchases electricity, natural gas, and propane from The Energy Cooperative. Graham lives in Muskingum County where he farms in a family partnership raising crops, cattle and operate a contract swine feeding facility. He has an associate degree in Construction Management from Texas State Technical College. He has served on the Muskingum SWCD Board, Ohio Federation of SWCD’s Board, Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Ag Professional Committee, Muskingum County Fair Board and Livestock Committee. He serves as Jackson Township Fiscal Officer and is a 24 year 4H Advisor. Graham is married to Sue and they have three children and four grandchildren. They attend More Life Church in Newark where Graham serves on the Media Team.
Wasson grew up in Frazeysburg Ohio. He currently drives a school bus for Licking Valley School District. Wasson is retired from AT&T as a construction manager over southeastern Ohio. He is a retired Master Sargent from the US Air Force/Ohio Air National Guard. He and his wife operate a small cow/calf operation in Nashport and raise polled Hereford cattle. Wasson is the past president of the Frazeysburg Lions Club, Past Master of F&AM Frazeysburg 490, a former 4H advisor and the current President of the Wakatomica Veterans Club. Wasson is also active in his church in Frazeysburg. He and his wife, Dawn, have four children, Matthew, Ethan, Rachel, and Benton and eight grandchildren, with one on the way.