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Your 2019 Trustee Candidates

Trustees Buddy Treadway, Mike Freepons and Bob Evans

Benton REA is governed by eight trustees who each represent a district of members. These trustees are elected by you—our members—to serve three-year terms.

In 2019, the three incumbent trustees up for election are Buddy Treadway, District 1; Mike Freepons, District 2; and Bob Evans, District 3. Trustee nominations for these districts closed April 1.

How to Vote

Members who live in Districts 1, 2 and 3 will receive a ballot in June for the current trustee election. Each membership receives one vote.

Members may submit their vote by returning a completed ballot in the envelope provided with the mailing. Ballots are due July 5.

Members may also vote at Benton REA’s 82nd Annual Meeting on July 13 before the start of the business meeting at 12:30 p.m.

For questions regarding the election or how to vote, contact Benton REA at 509-786-8260.

Buddy Treadway – District 1, West Richland

Buddy Treadway
Buddy Treadway

Buddy was elected in 2007 to represent District 1 members. During his time serving the membership, he has attended numerous National Rural Electric Cooperative Association training classes. He earned his Certified Credentialed Director certification and his Board Leadership Certification.

Buddy also represents Benton REA on the Northwest Public Power Administration Governmental Relations Committee and serves as a board member for the Washington Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

“I am proud to serve on the Benton REA Board of Trustees, and I am determined to help keep the electrical service reliable and the cost as low as possible for the membership,” Buddy says.

Buddy served in the U.S. Army from 1957-1960 and in the U.S. Army Reserve for several years after active duty. In 1978, he moved his family to Washington state to work for an engineering firm performing work with the Hanford Reservation (DOE). In 20-plus years, he has performed duties
as project estimator, project coordinator, environmental specialist and maintenance manager at the N-Reactor and D-Area. In 2005, he semi-retired to get more involved with community activities.

In addition to serving as a Benton REA trustee, he has volunteered with the Red Cross in Kennewick, the Tri-Cities Cancer Center and has served on the West Richland Planning Commission.

Mike Freepons – District 2, Prosser Area

Mike Freepons
Mike Freepons

Mike Freepons is a third-generation farmer on the Roza north of Prosser where he grows concord grapes, wine grapes and apples. In 1979, he bought the 160-acre farm less than one mile from the farm where he grew up.

Remaining local throughout his youth, Mike attended Whitstran School and graduated from Prosser High School. He graduated from Washington State University in 1975 with a degree in education.

Mike and his wife, Teresa, have two sons. Mike currently serves on the Benton County Weed District No. 1 Board. In his spare time, he enjoys hunting, fishing and teaching the younger generation about hunting as a hunter education instructor for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Mike has served on the Benton REA Board of Trustees since 2005. He currently is board President.

Bob Evans – District 3, Horse Heaven and East Rosa

Bob Evans
Bob Evans

Bob brings a strong background in agriculture, engineering, administration and public service to the Benton REA board. He previously served on the Prosser School Board, with three years of experience as president. He was appointed to local planning boards in Colorado, Montana and Washington, and is active in several Lions Clubs and church activities.

Bob was raised on a ranch in western Colorado before earning his doctorate in agricultural engineering. He spent his career investigating means to improve profitability of various irrigated and dryland agricultural enterprises. Bob served as the Colorado State irrigation extension specialist
for five years, worked for Washington State University for 20 years as a researcher at its Prosser center and joined the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Sidney, Montana, as an administrator and researcher for 12 years.

Bob retired in October 2012 and lives with his wife, Carrell, on a farm west of Benton City. Their three children all graduated from Prosser High School. He remains professionally active.

Bob was appointed to the Benton REA Board of Trustees to fill an unexpired term in May 2015. He was elected to the District 3 position in 2016.

The Second Cooperative Principle: Democratic Member Control

Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. Trustees are elected from among the membership and are accountable to the membership. In primary cooperatives, members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote); cooperatives at other levels are organized in a democratic manner.

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