The West Oregon Electric Cooperative Board of Directors meet the 4th Tuesday of each month @ 7 pm in the WOEC boardroom at 652 Rose Ave, Vernonia, OR, 97064.
December 2019 Board Meeting has been moved to December 17th, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. The fourth Tuesday in December will fall on Christmas Eve, this change was made for Staff and Directors to spend the holiday with their families.
Brian Baker, District 1 – Serving Elsie, Jewell, & Necanicum
Brian Baker brings the West Oregon Electric Cooperative Board of Directors decades of business experience. Brian served in the US Navy, worked as a Logger, process & systems Technician at development saw mills for Crown Zellerbach and as a Field Representative and Electrical Engineer for the Lamb Grays Harbor Co for 20 years.
Brian wants to use his experience to help optimize the Co-op. He stated, “I believe we can balance a well-funded and well maintained organization with attention paid to a sustainable budget. I feel this is an opportunity to help see WOEC into the future for my children, grandchildren, my neighbors and the members of the Co-op.”
Brian Baker has lived in Jewell since 1968, put his children through Jewell schools, served on the Jewell School Board, and now has a third generation of his family living in Jewell. Brian is currently the Director of Sales & Service for Legacy Automation Inc. and he and his wife, Suzie, own and operate the Bakers General Store in Elsie, Oregon.
Mark Kaminski, District 2, Serving Apiary, Mist, & Birkenfeld
Mark grew up in Virginia before heading west to attend College in Utah. The Utah National Guard college loan repayment programs led to a thirty year, part-time career in the U.S. Military with the National Guard and Reserves. Mark completed a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering then worked with General Dynamics in Michigan before attending graduate school at the University of Utah where he completed his Masters in Electrical Engineering and an MBA. Mark worked with Varian Associates, Medical Systems Division, designing Manufacturing Equipment until promoted to Production Management. In 1997 Mark accepted employment with Intel in Hillsboro, Oregon where he worked until his retirement in 2018.
Upon moving to Birkenfeld in 1997 his family became actively involved in Jewell school, where his two sons attended from preschool to graduation. The Kaminski family has lived on and worked a small farm in Birkenfeld, since moving to Oregon. Mark has a strong commitment toward serving this community and has served on the Jewell School Budget Committee, Clatsop County Rural Law Enforcement Board, Clatsop Country Roads Committee and the Mist-Birkenfeld Rural Fire District Board.
Jim Buxton, District 3 – Serving Vernonia & Keasey
Jim Buxton brings a wide variety of experience that benefits the West Oregon Broad of Directors. He is currently the WOEC Board Vice President. Jim served in the Oregon National Guard and worked in electronics at Tektronix, Inc. for 13 years before resigning to own and operate a sawmill. Later, Jim was the Mechanic at Vernonia Auto Parts Saw Shop, wrote software for and operated computer numeric control machines, was a Purchaser and a Bookkeeper for a steel fabrication company and the Upper Nehalem Watershed Council, as well as Computer Technician for the Vernonia School District.
Jim believes in and supports the cooperative enterprise. He wants lower rates in the future in part by retiring debt now. “Rates are only a part of the equation, service is another.” Since moving to the Vernonia area in 1966, Jim has considered himself a WOEC watcher, attending monthly board meetings, discussing issues with managers and board members and keeping co-op members informed by writing letters to the Editor and articles in the local newspapers. Jim was instrumental in opening board meetings to members and adding bylaws requiring WOEC to create a budget and a savings fund for storm damage.
Jim is currently retired and has four children, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He and his wife Cici live on Keasey Road.
Brett Costley, District 4 – Serving Vernonia
Brett currently serves as the WOEC Board President. Brett was born and raised in Covington, Georgia and graduated with a BBE and MSEE from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He worked as an engineer for Compaq Computer Corporation in Houston, Texas where he met his wife, Penny. Brett and Penny moved to Oregon in 1997 where Brett worked for Intel Corporation in Hillsboro, Oregon for fifteen years. Shortly after moving to Vernonia in 1998, he became involved in community work including serving on the Vernonia City Council for almost ten years and the Vernonia School District board for five. He is currently a teacher in the Vernonia Middle School and Vernonia High School as well as President of the Vernonia Health Center. Brett and Penny are proud parents of two native Vernonians, Grace and Nicholas.
Erika Paleck, District 5 – Serving Buxton & Timber
Erika moved to the Upper Nehalem Valley near Vernonia in 2004 with her husband Bob. Before moving to the area, along with being a proud Navy wife, she was a small business owner and worked as administrative support for different businesses an schools.
Education: UCSD 1973-1976: Visual Arts, BA; General Literature, BA; post graduate studies in education and psychology.
Erika’s time spent as a Navy wife was full of volunteer work. After moving to the area she continued to volunteer. Her volunteer experience since 2004 includes: serving as Vice Chair for the Vernonia Health Center Board, currently Chair of the Vernonia Planning Commission, current member of Hands On Art since 2006; original coordinator of the Jr. Salmon Auction now in its 11th year and current auctioneer. In the past she organized First Friday for five years, as well as various art shows for many years, as well as a member and certified instructor of C.E.R.T.
Erika is presently the WOEC Board Secretary / Treasurer.
Erika’s Goals as a WOEC board director are to improve communications between members and directors; expand flow of information to members; continued responsible stewardship of WOEC to benefit, as much as possible, all members of the cooperative, not just now but for the future of our children and grandchildren, ensure continuing service quality upgrades, and maintenance; continue to explore low cost alternatives for providing electrical service to the membership, monitor the budget to prioritize costs for a reasonable balance of budget, service, and sustainability.
Rosemary Lohrke, District 6 – Serving Scappoose & Chapman
Rosemary brings generations of perspective to the WOEC as Rosemary and her husband, Frank, have been members of West Oregon Electric Cooperative for 35 years, her grandparents were among the original Chapman members, and her parents became members in the early 1950s.
My family has a long history with West Oregon Electric. “From childhood, I’ve understood that the electric cooperative plays a big role in the livability of our little community and others like it. In the early years, after much of the nation had power, homes in Chapman were wired and waiting, but no power came until WOEC included us in their territory. The area was then, and still is, too rural and too rough to be profitable. We need to protect what we have, while being aware of new developments that can be advantageous to the co-op and its members. As a member of the West Oregon Board of Directors, I will work to represent my neighbors and to advocate for all members of WOEC.”
Rosemary presently serves on several committees including the Columbia County Traffic Safety Commission, the Transportation and Road Advisory Committee, the Area Commission on Transportation, and the Citizens Planning Advisory Committee. Although Rosemary is now retired, she continues to volunteer her time at local schools.
Larry Heesacker, District 7 – Serving Manning, Hagg Lake, & Yamhill Co.
Larry brings 35 years of experience in the Timber Industry to WOEC. Owner and President of A-1 Logging, Inc., Larry has managed up to 38 employees directly, employed over 20 subcontractors, truckers and timber fallers. Management towards fully mechanized logging. His goals are to focus on improving WOEC rates and to explore mechanized brush removal around power lines and increasing the miles per year cleared.
Larry and Donna live on Meadows Lake Road out of Carlton and manage multiple tree farms. They have been married for 41 years, have four adult children and now have nine grandchildren. Larry serves on the Communication Committee for AOL (Associated Oregon Loggers). In addition to A-1 Logging, he owns Trask Mountain Transport, a lowboy service and Meadow Lake Land and Development.