District One Director Election information

Meet the Candidate Questionnaire
Claiborne Electric Cooperative Board of Directors
District One Election
June 8, 2024

In January, two Claiborne Electric members were nominated to represent District One on the Cooperative’s Board of Directors.

Candidates include:

• Incumbent, President Hez Elkins of Farmerville
• Nominee, Tommy Carr of Farmerville

The seat will be filled by a vote of the Cooperative’s membership. The election will take place at the 2024 Annual Membership Meeting. According to Claiborne Electric’s Bylaws, directors shall be elected by a majority vote of all registered members casting ballots at an Annual Meeting. Directors are nominated by district, but elected at large by all registered members attending the Annual Meeting.

Ballots for the election will be attached to the registration card members receive in the mail in mid-May. Members are urged to bring the registration card in its entirety to the Annual Meeting. Ballots will be marked and detached from the registration portion using a perforated line, ensuring a private vote. Ballots will be cast in locked boxes, and the registration portion will be collected separately for the prize drawings.

The following five questions were posed to the two nominees in order to help Claiborne Electric’s members get to know each candidate better. Questions and each candidate’s answers are listed below.

1. What do you believe are your greatest qualifications to serve on Claiborne Electric’s Board of Directors?

Hez Elkins: I’ve served on the Claiborne Electric Board of Directors for roughly 45 years. I’ve been President of the Board for nearly a decade. I’ve been heavily involved in setting the Strategic Plan for the Co-op, along with the other Directors and the Co-op’s management team. I’ve served on many committees, including the Compensation Committee. During my time on the Board, I’ve also been involved in the search for a new General Manager & CEO three times.

Tommy Carr: My willingness and desire to serve. I have over 40 years of leadership experience; building teams, setting goals. I am ready to share that with the Claiborne Electric Cooperative

2. What is your experience managing a business and/or a workforce?

Hez Elkins: I have experience managing multiple businesses and workforces, for large and small corporations. I’ve been involved in these management roles for a bank, for Claiborne Electric, and for my personal family farm.
I’ve owned and run a decent size farming operation in the dairy, beef, and pork business. There, I managed all the business side of the operation, including employee management, buying, selling, and making all decisions to operate the business.
I served on the Board at Community Trust Bank for roughly 25 years. I began there when it was about a $65 Million bank, and now it’s close to a $10 Billion bank as Origin Bank. On the Board, I served on several committees and helped make a wide range of decisions concerning the business of the bank.
At Claiborne Electric, I view my role as a Director as part of the team that manages the Cooperative’s management. Our responsibility is to make strategic plans and lay out the vision of the Co-op’s future, then allow the management team to lead the operation and make that vision a reality through day-to-day decisions. We oversee that process and make sure the management team carries out instructions from the Board and that the Co-op is headed in the right direction. I believe that the primary purpose of a Director is to get the right people in management positions.

Tommy Carr: I have Pastored the Zion Hill Missionary Church for forty years, Organized prison ministry, organized a Gospel radio program, assisted in organizing The Louisiana After School Church Based Tutorial Program, Served on United Way Committees, Black and Gold Facility Committee (Grambling State University), Served as President Gum Spring Missionary Baptist Association (11 years).
Presently I am a member of the Board of Directors for Children’s Coalition for Northeast Louisiana and Director of the Congress of Christian Education for Louisiana Missionary Baptist State Convention.

3. Please describe, in detail, your management or leadership style.

Hez Elkins: I would say my management style is Consultative Management. I believe Directors serve the employee base and the Cooperative’s members the best by choosing the right employees at the Co-op and giving them direction, then allowing them to do their jobs. I don’t believe in micromanagement. I believe my responsibility on the Board is to work together to develop a plan. The primary role of a director is to set policy. Strong policy is necessary to guide the organization. Directors serve by giving employees direction, and then working with the management team and employee base as needed, never becoming a dictator in the process.

Tommy Carr: My management style is one of collaboration with stakeholders, understanding all critical information before making decisions. Team members must understand the goals and mission of the cooperative. I believe in empowering our leaders to make decisions. I believe in developing team members for leadership positions.

4. Please describe your involvement with Claiborne Electric Cooperative in recent years (annual meeting participation, committees, etc.).

Hez Elkins: Obviously, I participate in monthly Board of Directors meetings to take care of business, participate in ongoing management of the Cooperative, and hear departmental reports and updates from the management team.
Every three years, the Board of Directors participates in an intensive three-day Strategic Planning Meeting with the Cooperative’s management team. In that meeting, we work together to set the vision and create a long-term plan for the Cooperative to achieve the goals in that plan.
I participate in Annual Membership Meetings each year, along with our annual Member Advisory Meetings. I also regularly represent the Cooperative at public meetings and in meetings with various elected officials.
I believe we should live our lives in such a way as to always be a good representative of any organization we serve.

Tommy Carr: I am a Claiborne Electric Cooperative member. I am not always aware of Annual meeting dates; however, I believe members should attend Annual meetings.

5. If elected to Claiborne Electric’s Board of Directors, what are your goals for the following three-year term?

Hez Elkins: If re-elected to Claiborne Electric’s Board of Directors, my goal for the next three years is to follow the current Strategic Plan we have in place. I want to keep our Cooperative a strong, viable organization within the community. I think we have a good reputation now, and I want to keep that reputation. My plans also include helping the Cooperative’s new General Manager get oriented in his role and up to speed with all the projects and processes at the Cooperative.

Tommy Carr: I want to fully understand our operations: financials, safety & risk management, growth and development and our workforce. Understand the needs of our members. Support actions that align with member needs and cooperative mission.

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