Vote for Board Members
Vote for Board Members at the 80th Annual Meeting
Blaine Bruner has been a Verendrye board member since 2001. He is currently the chairman of the board, a position he has held since 2012. Blaine has also served on the Operation Round Up board and was previously Verendrye Electric’s representative on the board of North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives (NDAREC). Blaine and his wife Kimberly have 3 adult sons, Travis, Trenton and Ty. Blaine and his wife live near Drake where all family members are quite involved in the Bruner Angus Ranch, a fourth-generation family farm. Blaine has been an organizer of the annual Drake Breeder’s Classic since the event began. The event supports the cattle industry and helps bring people into the community. He is also a member of the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association. He is a former board member of the McHenry County Farmers Union, a position he held for 30 years, and he currently serves on the Strege Township Board of Supervisors.
Clint Gjellstad grew up on a family farm just north of Velva, where he currently farms with his wife Jamie and two children, Odin (6) and Isabelle (3). Clint and Jamie also operate two local businesses in Velva. Gjellstad graduated from Velva High and from NDSU with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting. He played defense for the Bison football team, starting every game in his 4-year career. Utilizing the skills he learned at home from his folks on the family farm, Gjellstad’s leadership, hard work, and determination helped him in his career on and off the field. Before returning to ND, Gjellstad spent 10 years in mortgage banking in Minneapolis, honing his financial skills. When asked why he would like to serve, Gjellstad said, “I have family ties that go back to when Verendrye Electric was formed, and Verendrye has been in my vocabulary since I can remember. My dad served the membership well for many years as a director for Verendrye Electric, Central Power, and Basin Electric.”
“When I flip a light switch at home or at work, I want the light to turn on. Rural energy is critical to the success of our family farm and my life on the prairie. I want this for my family today and I want this for my kids when they grow up as we work to keep our rural communities vibrant. I support our system of clean coal-fired power plants with our mix of hydroelectric, natural gas, and wind power. My priorities as a Director will be to work to maintain the most inexpensive and reliable power for our members.” When Gjellstad isn’t working on the farm or as an entrepreneur in town, he can be found spending time with family and friends, enjoying the outdoors in all seasons.
Sue L. Hamilton grew up on a family farm near the Kramer/ Bottineau area, giving her a strong work ethic. She and her husband committed to stay in North Dakota to establish family and business roots after she graduated from Minot
State University. Her career of 30 years has involved direct sales, management, business development, and professional speaking. She spent 13 years of her career at SRT Communications, Inc. in customer service management, striving for excellent service to the co-op members to resolve situations with integrity while maintaining a high level of satisfaction. She brings a wealth of business and co-op work experience which includes overseeing employees, creating operational and capital budgets, contract negotiating, strategic planning, and quality assurance measurements. She is skilled in conflict resolution, and developing policies and procedures. She is a dynamic woman who is an eternal optimist, full of energy and life who has an abundance of creative ideas which have made her successful in many areas of life. She is known for her hard work and dedication when she is involved with any project, may it be as a board member at the Lord’s Cupboard Food Pantry, to community leadership roles, or in her current profession as a motivational speaker and author. On the personal side, she has been married for over 30 years, lives on 4 acres in rural Minot and has two grown sons and one daughter-in-law. She loves antique cars, gardening, writing, cooking, and sewing.
Karen Hennessy was first elected to the board in 2010. She lives in Des Lacs with her husband Jay and their six children. Jay operates Hennessy Builders and the family raises Simmental and Commercial cattle. Karen graduated from Lansford
High School and Minot State University with an associate’s of applied science degree in 1993. She served on the Verendrye Electric Member Advisory Committee from 2001 to 2007 and was elected to serve two terms on the Operation Round Up Board. Karen is a stay-at-home mother who volunteers as a 4-H leader and is also a substitute bus driver for the Lewis and Clark School District.