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Head Line Two New Members Join CRC’s Board of Directors at 27th Annual Meeting

Austin, Minn. – The results of Cooperative Response Center, Inc.’s (CRC’s) recent board of directors election were announced at its June 17, 2020, annual membership meeting revealing its two newest board members. CRC is pleased to welcome Bill Buchanan, president/CEO at Northwestern RECA, Inc. in Cambridge Springs, Penn., and Chris Spears, executive vice president/CEO at South River EMC in Dunn, N.C., to its board.

Buchanan has worked in the cooperative industry since 1992. New to electric cooperatives beginning in 2019, Buchanan previously worked at cooperatives specializing in telecommunications and broadband in Illinois and Colorado. Buchanan is filling one of CRC’s district 2 board seats that was vacated by a former board member who retired in January 2020. He will serve a three-year term.

Spears has worked in the cooperative industry since 1993, serving electric cooperatives in Illinois, Iowa, and North Carolina. He’s spent the past six years leading South River EMC. Spears was elected to a board seat that was vacated by the previous director in January 2020 who resigned to lead a major project at his cooperative. Spears was elected to one of CRC’s district 3 seats for a one-year term.

In addition to CRC’s two newest board members, three other directors were re-elected to their board seats: Kelly Hovel, general manager at Goodhue County Cooperative Electric Association in Zumbrota, Minn., was re-elected to his district 1 board seat for a three-year term; Neil Hesse, general manager of PenTex Energy in Muenster, Texas, was re-elected to his at-large board seat for a three-year term; and Shannon Thom, CEO at Henry County REMC at New Castle, Ind., was re-elected to his at-large board seat for a one-year term.

In addition to the board of directors election, CRC’s membership also approved a change to its current bylaws regarding the calculation of the patronage equity balance in CRC’s financials.

After the annual meeting, the board’s directors met and selected the following officers to serve on its executive committee:

Chairman – Neil Hesse, general manager of PenTex Energy in Muenster, Texas, leads a 16,500-meter electric cooperative that operates in five counties in northeastern Texas. Hesse has served chairman since 2019.

Vice Chairman – Randy Crenshaw, president/CEO at Irwin EMC in Ocilla, Ga., and general manager at Middle Georgia EMC in Vienna, Ga., leads both cooperatives that serve south-central and central Georgia counties. Combined, the two organizations serve 14 counties and over 21,000 meters. Crenshaw has served on CRC’s board since 2015 and as vice chairman since March 2020.

Secretary/Treasurer – Larry Fenbers, general manager/CEO of Carroll Electric Cooperative, Inc., in Carrollton, Ohio, leads a 12,000-meter electric cooperative that operates in six eastern Ohio counties. Fenbers has served as board secretary since 2014 and took on the additional role as treasurer in January 2020.

About CRC
CRC is a nationwide, cooperatively owned, 24/7 contact center and alarm monitoring center. Founded in 1992, CRC has steadily increased the size and scope of its operation with offices in Austin, Minn., Dunlap, Tenn., and Abilene, Texas. CRC serves nearly 500 members and associate members in 45 states, representing 10.5 million consumers. Visit CRC on the web at

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