2021 MEA District Board Seat Elections

Voting and Candidate Information

Update on Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 5:30 p.m.
Members in the Matanuska and Eagle River Districts can now vote online again through their SmartHub Account. The online voting system has been down since last Friday, April 9th.

On Monday afternoon, MEA learned that our electronic voting vendor’s system was down as a precautionary measure following a security threat to its system. Due to the servers being down, online voting was unavailable to our members since the evening of Friday, April 9th. MEA’s IT Department worked with the electronic voting vendor to determine no breach of information had occurred and that none of our members’ information was compromised. The online voting system was enabled today as of  5:15 p.m.

To vote online, please login to your SmartHub account and click the “Vote Now” icon at the top of the page.

Members Can Confirm their Online Vote was Received
If you tried voting online last Friday and did not receive confirmation that your vote was submitted then your vote may have not been received by our Election Overseer. If you would like to confirm that your online vote was received, please contact the Election Overseer’s Help Hotline at (855) 761-9111.
 
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Vote Now

Voting is now open for members in the Matanuska and Eagle River Districts. Members can vote online by logging into their SmartHub account and selecting the "Vote now" icon in the upper corner. Voting members can also mail your printed ballot in the pre-paid postage return envelope that was included in your mailed election packet. Be sure to sign the back of the return envelope for voting signature verification. Voting closes at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, April 26 at 5:00 p.m.

This year’s membership election includes two District Board Seats: the Matanuska and Eagle River Districts. The Matanuska District includes members in the communities of Palmer, Butte, Sutton, Chickaloon and Glacier View, and the elected Director will serve a four-year term from 2021 to 2025. The Eagle River District includes members in the communities of Eagle River, Chugiak and Eklutna. Due to a 2020 Bylaw change that staggered Board seat elections, the Eagle River District Board Seat will serve a one-year term this election. Only members within these districts can vote in the election.  

The candidates and their biographies are presented by district in alphabetical order below. Candidates were reviewed and verified by MEA’s member-led Election Committee to ensure each candidate met all of the minimum Bylaw requirements to serve on the Board of Directors. On Friday, March 26, 2021 the election will open for online voting and election materials, including mail-in ballots, will be sent to members in the voting districts. Ballots must be received (not postmarked) by April 26, 2021 before 5:00 p.m.

Members in the Matanuska and Eagle River Districts can vote using 3 different options: 1) Online with SmartHub 2) Using the SmartHub App  or 3) Mailing your completed ballot using the paid-postage return envelope included in your election materials.

Disqualified Ballots List

If you are an MEA member and your name is on the following list, our records show there was a problem with the signature on the ballot we received. Please contact MEA at 907-761-9300 or 907-689-9300 to resolve this issue.

Matanuska District Candidates (in alphabetical order)

Brandi Burchett

Matanuska District Board Seat
1
 years living in the MEA service area
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Why I Wish to Serve

I wish to serve on the MEA board to contribute in a meaningful and impactful way to my Mat-Su community. To be on a board such as this will best allow me to impact the projects and the direction in the of the ways MEA supports it members to include substation upgrades, power outages, and be a part of the way MEA makes progress towards energy efficiency.

Biography

My name is Brandi Burchett, I currently work at Akeela Inc. as the Chief Clinical Officer for this amazing organization. It is in this role that I help to empower behavioral health wellness for Alaskans. I moved from North Carolina to Alaska in July of 2019. Although I loved the hustle and bustle of Anchorage, I needed to reside in a more rural area where I could still have a sense of the “country girl” inside of me. I received a master's degree in counseling from Webster University in December 2009. I have 11 years of counseling experience and have successfully met the professional counseling standards established by the State of Alaska Board of Professional Counselors. In addition to this I am a Nationally Board-Certified Counselor and Nationally Approved Clinical Supervisor with certifications in Trauma and Addiction.

In my short duration of being an Alaskan resident I have explored Denali, Juneau, Ketchikan, Fairbanks and excited to see more of this great state. I reside in the Mat-Su “valley” with my spouse and son who attends Colony High school. We believe in the vision and long-term betterment of the Matsu area and would be excited to be able to be more connected with my community members.

Mark Masteller

Matanuska District Board Seat
30
 years living in the MEA service area
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Why I Wish to Serve

MEA is charged with providing safe, reliable, affordable electrical energy. The board’s job is to represent our member-owners and community, ensure the financial health of the organization and help shape decisions that impact ratepayers over the long term. In my time on the Board I’ve learned a lot about the many issues and opportunities facing MEA – including how MEA works with other “railbelt” utilities, system upgrades to improve reliability, challenges related to the Valley’s growth, integrating renewable energy, and the constant challenge to keep rates low.

While providing reliable power is always our top concern, recent surveys demonstrate more than 80% of our member-owners would like to a larger share of our power come from renewable sources. It’s a positive sign that MEA is home to the state’s largest solar farm, with even larger projects in development. We are also increasing our share of hydropower. These projects save MEA money, because natural gas is one of our largest expenses. The board is developing strategic planning goals that I believe can work to reduce emissions and integrate more renewables, while maintaining our high reliability standards and affordable electric rates. I’d appreciate your continued support as we move forward.

Biography

I came to Alaska in 1981, and work with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game brought me to Palmer in 1990. For the past 20 years my work has been related to building science, energy efficiency and renewable energy systems. I now teach for the University of Alaska Fairbanks Bristol Bay Campus, where I am director of the Sustainable Energy program. In my work I have learned from electric utility managers across the state, as well as from energy project developers, community leaders and state and federal policymakers. I have been active in our community, including serving on the borough’s Energy Policy Review Commission, the borough Planning Commission, and on our local community council.

I was elected to the MEA board in 2017, and I believe our board has a done a very good job working together to ensure the fiscal health of the cooperative while keeping electric rates as low as possible. My experience in community service and energy issues around the state will continue to ensure good discussion among the board as we consider the numerous issues facing the cooperative. When not teaching or sitting in meetings I enjoy hunting, dipnetting, hockey, skating, biking and my seemingly never-ending home construction projects (including an all-electric “zero energy ready” apartment project with both solar electric and solar thermal systems). I met my partner Judy here in Alaska; she’s a veterinarian at a local clinic and we share our home with several rescue pets.

Eagle River District Candidates (in alphabetical order)

Jackie Endsley

Eagle River District Board Seat
40
 years living in the MEA service area
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Why I Wish to Serve

I enjoy giving back to my community and as a retiree, have ample time to dedicate to MEA issues. For 40 years I have been an MEA ratepayer and have watched what’s happening in the power industry. As a personal philosophy, I look at the big picture, and am dedicated to researching issues thoroughly before making decisions. I will work to keep your rates low, and your service reliable.

I am knowledgeable of how an electric cooperative is run from my prior MEA employment experience. I learned more about the electrical industry based on my attendance to Alaska Power Association (APA) annual meetings, where I expanded my base of knowledge about the entire energy industry, including methods of generation, distribution and rates.

I believe in cooperatives. A person is a member-owner—not just a customer. Cooperatives are service focused and community focused. Cooperatives are accountable to their members.

The current MEA board has been doing a great job. I believe my previous experience makes me a good fit, and I look forward to joining them to assure reliable service and affordable rates for the future. I am committed to supporting their effort, and respectfully ask for your vote.

Biography

My name is Jackie Endsley. I am a happily retired professional with newfound time and energy, and a great desire to give back to my community.

I have worked in and around the electrical industry most of my life. I moved to Alaska in 1981 and felt extremely lucky to land a job at Matanuska Electric Association. For 15 years, I worked my way through the ranks: at a desk in the Billing Department; in front of a radio in dispatch; in an office as the head of the Eagle River District Office; and behind the wheel of a truck as a meter reader. The opportunity to work in so many parts of the company gave me a very well-rounded education and great insight and perspective into the inner workings of an electric cooperative, how everything connects and how the electrical industry works in the state of Alaska.

After MEA, I attended the University of Alaska Anchorage, where I earned a dual degree in Journalism and Psychology. I graduated with honors and was awarded the Outstanding Journalism Student of the Year Award in 2000.

Beginning in 2001, I had the opportunity to attend the Alaska Power Association’s (APA’s) annual conferences. APA represents most of the electric co-ops in the state of Alaska, including MEA, and assists them in their efforts to deliver energy to their members. My attendance afforded me the chance to hear about the latest plans, information and legislative activity regarding energy in Alaska. I had the pleasure of meeting key players in Alaska’s energy industry, including legislators and experts from Alaska and the Lower 48 who spoke on all aspects of electricity, including hydro, wind , and solar powers; coal-fired plants and diesel generators; and sessions on rates and the cost of getting power to the residents of Alaska.

I have been a director on other boards in the past, including the original board of directors for the Valley Community for Recycling Solutions, and the board of directors for the Greater Palmer Chamber of Commerce, where I served as secretary for two years.

I have lived in Alaska for 40 years—in Eagle River for 38. Both my husband and I are enjoying our retirement. We travelled (until Covid) and like to take our motorhome to different campgrounds around Alaska. We have fun dipnetting, but are still trying to perfect our smoked salmon recipe.

Dan Flodin

Eagle River District Board Seat
19
 years living in the MEA service area
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Why I Wish to Serve

I have been an MEA service district member for 19 years across two homes in Chugiak. I grew up in an MEA powered home. I remember having multiple day outages as a child and appreciate that’s no longer the case. I’d like to continue the direction set by the current MEA board, leadership and employees. The 7-year vegetation management plan is a great example of success and has reduced tree-caused outages in recent years.

My daughter earned one of MEA’s 2018 scholarships. My family, local grandparents, and I all agreed, we were proud of Noelle, but also impressed by the professional warm atmosphere the board and employees created. The scholarship process was well-managed, and I learned then that I’d enjoy giving back to the MEA community and serving on the board.

From working in Alaska’s commercial fishing fleet at 16, changing careers into higher education, and then working in support of Alaska’s economic heart beat the Trans Alaska Pipeline across 30+ years, I understand learning the needs of new organizations and integrating into new teams. My passion for working with community leaders and stakeholders, bringing a sense of humor, honesty, and results-orientation are factors I considered in applying.

Thank you!

Biography

Dan Flodin is the Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) for Alyeska Pipeline Service Company. He leads a department responsible for reshaping procurement, driving positive outcomes, and ensuring integrity, accountability and safety for the company. He has worked with key Alyeska business partners to achieve the top quartile safety and environmental performance in Alaska industry. Dan’s functional accountabilities include sourcing and supplier management, contracts, purchasing, risk and supplier diversity.

Dan is a senior financial leader with an MBA and BBA from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). He has been leading, influencing and driving positive change for 30+ years. Dan’s leadership experience covers a broad spectrum of functions including operations, strategic planning, finance, transportation, logistics, human resources, senior level presentation, and union & non-union labor negotiation. He has directed optimization efforts to secure investment, contain costs, enhance revenue, and improve productivity.

Dan understands the unique challenges and risks of delivering operational excellence in Alaska. He brings experience in not-for-profit, business, industry, and education settings. Dan enjoys building new business partnerships across Alaska, articulating needs, and engaging Alaska leaders, executives, and owners/boards.

Dan’s career has spanned 20+ years at Alyeska Pipeline as CPO, supply chain director, and business planning lead. He enjoyed 10 years at UAF working as a student, staff and adjunct faculty member. Dan spent 10 summers commercial fishing in Bristol Bay, Kodiak, and Prince William Sound.

Dan is passionate about talent development, building connections, and serving our communities. He shows his commitment by serving his 13th year as board member and founding chair on UAF’s School of Management business advisory committee. He serves on a local high school football boosters board and is the varsity game announcer. Dan was elected and served 6 years on the UAF Alumni Board, volunteered for several years on the Alaska USA Federal Credit Union supervisory committee, and 3 years on a local church finance council. In 2012 Dan was recognized with a UAF Alumni Achievement Award for university support.

The second of three children, Dan is a lifelong Alaskan and grew up in Chugiak/Eagle River. He received his K-12 education in Alaska’s public schools. Dan met his wife Debbie of 27 years at UAF and they have raised 3 children (21, 18, 16) in Chugiak, Alaska.

Mark Hamm

Eagle River District Board Seat
8
 years living in the MEA service area
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Why I Wish to Serve

Dependable electricity is fundamental to our modern lives.  As a lifelong Alaskan, I want to ensure that our families, community, and local businesses continue to have access to reliable, affordable and sustainable electric service.  

MEA is a well-run organization that is innovative in how they approach local problems. Yet, additional work needs to be done at the board level to explore ways to reduce cost and increase the reliability of our electrical system through initiatives such as participation in the Railbelt Reliability Council. MEA should focus on the continued repayment of capital credits back to all members, as well as ensuring that renewable energy sources are added to our system in a responsible manner.

Leadership sets the tone for an entire organization. Eagle River / Chugiak needs a committed member on the board to ensure that our local needs are represented and understood. My professional experience as a CFO, experience working with boards of directors, and certification as a CPA, give me the financial experience and strategic focus that will ensure that we can continue to protect one of the backbones of our community:  safe, affordable, reliable, and sustainable power.

I would be honored to have your vote.

Biography

Things that describe me include: life-long Alaskan, dedicated husband, father of four boys, CFO, CPA, and avid outdoorsman.  Having been born and raised in Alaska, I have seen how the state has grown throughout the years.

I have a skill set that lets me understand both the financial and operational intricacies of an organization, while also looking at the big picture and strategic implications of governance decisions. As a CPA with a master’s degree in Accounting, I have worked for the past 9 years as the CFO for a regional not-for profit native corporation. I understand exactly what it takes to ensure an organization thrives and grows. Previous to my current employment, I worked as a financial auditor and traveled around Alaska auditing public utilities (like MEA), local governments, not-for profit organizations, and school districts.

As a CFO, I have been able to work with our board of directors at the corporate and subsidiary levels to implement their strategic vision. Notable outcomes have been a consistent year over year increase in our organization’s cash flow and net assets, a significant increase in the number of grant programs we operate, and an increase in revenues derived from our joint ventures and subsidiaries.  

These positive outcomes were achieved by empowering our employees and taking a team based approach to improvement. These experiences will allow me to be a contributing member of the Matanuska Electric Association’s board of directors without a lengthy orientation process.

I am ready to engage on the many things MEA will continue addressing in the coming years:

• Maintaining low rates for members

• Repayment of Capital Credits to members

• Studying Integration of Railbelt Utilities

• Eklutna Hydro / Eklutna River restoration

• Wildland Fire and Safety Protocols

• Carbon Reduction initiatives

The Eagle River / Chugiak Area needs someone like me on the MEA board to ensure that our community continues to have safe, affordable, reliable, and sustainable power.  As your representative on the MEA board, I will make sure that our community is represented and our needs are heard.

During my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family, taking my boys hunting, fishing, and exploring Alaska in our small plane. I have been a volunteer coach in the Eagle River Junior Nordic cross-country skiing program for five years and served as a volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America for ten years.

Stephany Jeffers

Eagle River District Board Seat
23
 years living in the MEA service area
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Why I Wish to Serve

I wish to serve on the MEA Board of Directors not just to give back to my community but also to be able to help shape what our energy future looks like. As renewable energy options increase in efficiency and decrease in price, I would like to see MEA transition to more renewable energy sources. Communities across Alaska have found that investing in renewable energy not only saves their pocketbook, but also helps them become more self-reliant and less dependent on the ever-fluctuating oil and gas market. By diversifying our energy resources, we provide a cushion that helps protect co-op members during times of market instability. Investing in renewables also means the dollars that MEA invests in infrastructure and jobs that investment creates stay right here in the community that MEA serves.

I love being part of a co-op for my electricity where the choices are made by the people and leadership comes from the community that is served. I wish to serve on the MEA Board of Directors to ensure that we are meeting the challenges of today while looking forward to tomorrow. I would appreciate your vote.

Biography

My family moved to Chugiak in 1986, and I have called this place “home” ever since. I graduated as valedictorian of Grace Christian School’s class of 2003, and with the help of an MEA scholarship attended Whitworth University in Spokane where I received my B.S. in Biology in 2007. I continued my education at UAF where I received my M.S. in Biological Sciences in 2015. During my graduate studies I served as the Biology Grad Student Association president, Rural Honors Alaska Institute mentor, and CASE (Changing Alaska Science Education) GK-12 Fellow. I also served as a representative of UAF to Hokkaido University’s CENSUS program where I received my Certificate of Sustainability Science. The program brought together an international coalition of scientists to discuss sustainable solutions for rebuilding Japan’s energy infrastructure after the Fukushima nuclear meltdown. It also served as an opportunity to talk about related environmental policies as well as responsible resource and wildlife management.  

After finishing my graduate degree, Vijay (the man I love) and I moved back to my hometown with our dog, Cali (the dog I love). I’ve spent the last 5 years running my own small business (Cirque Boreal) in Eagle River and working to build an aerial arts community in the Muni. I currently serve on the board of the Alaska Moving Arts Center, a non-profit organization in Eagle River.

My family has seen incredible benefits from being members of MEA over the years. Three out of four Jeffers children were recipients of MEA scholarships. I have scored great deals on items for home and work at MEA’s surplus sale. And now that I have moved back to Chugiak, Vijay and I have the benefit of being able to walk, ride, and ski to the new trails put in by the Chugach Mountain Bike Riders at Mirror Lake (recent recipients of a grant made possible by MEA’s Operation Round-Up). MEA has served me and my family well for years. I look forward to the opportunity to serve other members of our community and give something back by serving on MEA’s Board of Directors.

Donn Liston

Eagle River District Board Seat
11
 years living in the MEA service area
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Why I Wish to Serve

Alaskans of the Mat-Su Valley and Eagle River/Chugiak are fortunate to have a well-run Cooperative like MEA serving our electrical needs. As members of the cooperative we have the opportunity to oversee operational integrity and technical quality while assuring accountability for the benefit of consumers. This has been a long and treasured tradition of MEA.

My late father was an electrical worker in Anchorage, where two companies have provided electrical service over decades, delivered to customers according to what neighborhood lived in. I learned dependability and professional responsibility as core values from my father. The municipality-owned ML&P was sold to Chugach Electric Association, Inc., effective October 30, 2020, and the co-op model will now prevail there.

As a retired teacher and working journalist I believe in transparency in government and public enterprise. Service to Eagle River from MEA is exemplary although our community is politically hostage to the Municipality of Anchorage. As a member of the MEA Board representing this service area, I pledge to serve the best interests of all electrical consumers of MEA honorably and assertively from the mountains beyond the mudflats. Additionally, I will always be accessible. My direct email address: donn@donnliston.com

Biography

I have lived 58 consecutive years in Alaska after my father brought his family to join him as he left New Mexico to take a job as an electrical worker on the White Alice System during the Cold War with the USSR. I graduated from East Anchorage High School and gained my Bachelor Degree from Alaska Methodist University (Now APU). I worked as a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News during construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. I left ADN to start my own publishing and public relations company, which I sold in 1983, to take a position as an aide to Anchorage midtown legislator, Dr. John Lindauer.

I lived 20 years in Juneau and worked for non-profit corporations, sometimes attempting to influence the legislature. During that time I earned a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Alaska Southeast (1989) and an Alaska Teaching Certificate (2003) before returning to Anchorage. I returned to Southeast to teach 6th grade in the Haines Borough School District (2006-07). In 2007 I began teaching High School Completion and Adult Basic Education (ABE) with Nine Star Enterprises. Four of those years were served in downtown/Mt. View, where I was nominated by my students and selected in 2013 as a BP Teacher of Excellence. I then taught ABE at the Wasilla Job Center until retirement in 2017.

I have lived in Eagle River since 2010, and my wife Waneta Borden-Liston and I own a home in Willow, also served by MEA.

I worked again in the Alaska Legislature during the 2018 session as an aide to Eagle River Rep. Lora Reinbold. There I discovered more about how much our state has changed since the early days of Prudhoe Production, with added insight from having taught Alaska History.

My love of Alaska causes me to seek self-sufficiency for those of us who choose to live here long-term. Electrical infrastructure is critical to our lifestyle and achievement. I write stories about Alaska in my blog: donnliston.com

I am a member of the Susitna Rotary. Gov. Dunleavy has appointed me as a commissioner to the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (ACPE), the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE), and the Alaska Student Loan Corporation (ASLC).

Get to know our District Board Seat Candidates

Hear from the candidates running for the MEA Matanuska District Board Seat Election. Each candidate was provided up to :90 for their video, and candidates are shown in alphabetical order.

Matanuska District Board Seat Candidates

Eagle River District Board Seat Candidates