Board of Director Candidates

In 2023, the seats for districts 2, 5, and 7 are up for election. If you live in a district that has an election, you are encouraged to vote. Watch your mailbox for a mail ballot, complete it and send it back to WH before April 20. You can also vote online, or in-person at the Annual Meeting.

District 2

There are three candidates for District 2.

Nicole Esposito

Nicole Esposito is a director candidate for District 2. She has been a WH member for a little over a year. She lives in Otsego with her husband, Craig, her son, and her two dogs.

Esposito works as a Senior Regulatory Licensing Analyst for Patterson Companies, Inc. She is responsible for drafting and revising policies and procedures, ensuring all are documented accurately. She maintains approximately five hundred licenses and accreditations, including Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) licenses and National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) accreditations. She is responsible for researching existing and proposed regulatory requirements to determine their impact on the organization’s licensing strategy. Along with her organizational, planning, and communication skills, Esposito has experience working with cross-functional teams to mitigate business risk.

“I look forward to serving my community and the interests of all WH members while contributing to the continued development of the cooperative.”

Duane "Butch" Lindenfelser

Duane “Butch” Lindenfelser is the incumbent director running in District 2. Lindenfelser has served as a board director since 1996. He has been a Wright-Hennepin (WH) member for more than 50 years. He and his wife, Patricia, have four children and seven grandchildren.

Lindenfelser has spent the bulk of his professional career in the food, beverage and entertainment industry. He also worked for the Minnesota Department of Transportation on road research in Monticello, Minn., where he drove Class A commercial vehicles and worked with the University of Minnesota on new technology. He is the secretary/treasurer for WH Holding, and has completed the Certified Cooperative Director course. He served on Minnesota Rural Electric Association’s Board of Directors from 2013 to 2019. Lindenfelser has also been a charter member of the Monticello Knights of Columbus since 1976 and a member of the Monticello Sportsman Club since 1989. He is a lifelong
member of the St. Albert Catholic Church.

“I will continue working to keep our energy costs at an affordable and reliable level for the members of WH. I will also work to implement green technologies, such as solar and battery storage in the immediate future.”

Karen Skepper

Karen Skepper is a director candidate for District 2. She has been a WH member for 32 years and currently resides in Otsego. Skepper has three adult children.

Skepper has worked for Anoka County as the Director of Community and Governmental Relations since 2001. She works closely with a range of housing communities, oversees complex financial reporting, and monitors changes to state and federal laws. She has experience testifying before the legislature and setting legislative priorities for County Board approval. Prior to her current position, she served as the Housing Director for the City of Hopkins for 12 years, where, among other duties, she was responsible for budget preparation and management and overseeing annual capital improvement programs. Skepper is part of several professional associations, including the Economic Development Association of Minnesota and the Minnesota Government Relations Council. Skepper’s volunteer work includes St. John’s Lutheran Church and Alexandra House Women’s Shelter. She is currently the Chair of the Anoka Technical College Foundation Board.

“I feel my experience will enable me to meet the challenges ahead. I am ready to help make the decisions the electric industry is being challenged with.”

District 5

There are two candidates for District 5. 

Chris Lantto

Chris Lantto is the incumbent director running in District 5. Lantto has served as District 5 director since 1987 and was chairman of the Board for 15 years. He and his wife Vicki have nine children and 10 grandchildren.

Lantto owned Lantto’s Store in French Lake for more than 40 years and is a past member of the Annandale and Cokato Chambers of Commerce. His other volunteer efforts include serving on the Riverside Cemetery Association Board and as a past chairman and board member of the First Apostolic Congregation of Cokato.

“I consider it a privilege to be a director of such a progressive organization as WH and to be able to work with talented individuals on the board and management. The last few years have been especially challenging with wholesale rate increases, renewables, natural gas gaining market share and coal playing a lesser role in our power supply mix, and our members using electric vehicles. Keeping our retail rates competitive and reliable for our members is still our number one priority. The years ahead will have more challenges and I am eager to be a part of the process."

Mathew Simmons

Mathew Simmons is a director candidate for District 5. He has been a WH member for over 20 years and lives in Cokato. He and his wife Kristin have two children Birke and Michael, who both attend Dassel-Cokato High School.

Mathew was raised in Howard Lake, graduating from Howard Lake High School. Prior to leaving for flight school in Florida, he served on the Howard Lake Fire Department. He and his wife own Flying Cow Farms, where they raise Angus beef cattle. He is also a partner, with his father Michael Simmons, at Crow River Tax Service in Howard Lake. Family owned for 25 years. Mathew is in his 18th year as a commercial pilot for a major airline. He credits his excellent communication skills and ability to work in a team as reasons he would be a good director for District 5.

“As a WH Director, my top priority will be to represent the members of District 5, by ensuring that they’re getting the best value for their electricity and services provided.”

District 7

There are eight candidates for District 7. The incumbent director is not running for reelction.

Larry Anderson

Larry Anderson is a director candidate for District 7. He has been a WH member for five years and currently lives in Plymouth. He and his wife Judith have three children.

Anderson is a lifelong Minnesotan and prior to retirement, was involved in building a wide variety of architectural wonders around the world as a member of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters. He is a lifetime member of Minneapolis Building Trades. Career highlights include work on the Bloomington REI’s climbing wall, Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, EPCOT Center, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, the Xcel Energy Center, and Minnesota’s Capitol building. He was a baseball coach for 14 years and orchestrated numerous events for his church’s senior citizen ministry. He served as a team leader for the church’s Welcoming Committee and coordinated their food shelf. He enjoys golfing, gardening, outdoor tenting, and home improvement projects.

“I would be honored to be elected to the WH Board to face the challenges to become a more carbon free supplier of future electric needs. This is exciting to myself, I know this has to be done with prudence and compliance, that all affected persons and our land would be treated with respect. Keeping in mind cost-effectiveness to our members."

Audrey Britton

Audrey Britton is a director candidate for District 7. She has been a WH member for 21 years and lives in Plymouth. She and her husband Craig have three children.

Britton has an extensive strategic communications background within global businesses, a government agency and nonprofits, reporting directly to CEOs and executive teams. She has developed plans for mergers and acquisitions, crisis situations, external marketing, internal programs, government relations and more. She has gained accreditation and won numerous awards for her work. Britton describes herself as a people-first team leader, once leading a team to surpass an annual sales goal by 32% after only three months, even while facing large-scale changes and uncertainty during a major merger. Britton is a creative problem solver, a quick study, and a natural relationship builder, skills that will help WH thrive in the face of legislation moving through the Minnesota state government. She is the founder of the 650-member Plymouth Diversity, Equity and Inclusion group, and previously Chair of Plymouth Advisory Committee on Transit.

“As a WH board member, I am excited to represent District 7 members, to bring their voices forward and ensure WH meets its long-term objectives while ensuring rates remain stable.”

Terrence Diaferio

Terry Diaferio is a director candidate for District 7. He has been a WH member for 29 years and currently lives in Plymouth. He and his wife Kim have five children and four grandchildren. All but one daughter resides here in the Minneapolis area, with most also being served by WH.

Terry enjoyed a 40-plus year career working for large global companies, and one start-up, always focused on building and growing after-market Service businesses. Currently, Terry is the owner of Service Consulting, which he founded in 2020, and selectively works with leaders in his network to assess and help their companies grow their respective Service businesses. His experience is both here in North America as well as throughout the Europe and Asia Pacific areas. Terry is an active Forum Member of the Coleman Research Group, and has worked previously with the Boards of both Dunwoody and Benilde-St. Margaret’s.

“I believe my 40-plus years of experience, focused on creating positive customer experiences for owners who invested in our goods, positions me well to be a good mouthpiece for the constituents of District 7. I’m honored and flattered to even be considered to work for you.”

Bob Moberg

Bob Moberg is a director candidate for District 7. He has been a WH member for 26 years and lives in Plymouth.

Moberg’s career as a civil engineer has allowed him to focus his efforts on assisting communities with development and management of their critical infrastructure. Bob has spent nearly half of his 30-plus year career working in the public sector and he is well-versed in matters of public policy, local governance, and service delivery. He has owned his own engineering consultant business for just over a year, working with municipalities in the Twin Cities area. In a previous position, he worked with the city of Maple Grove to develop a long-term capital reinvestment plan for their water utility and assisted in calculating rates to fund those needs into the future. He has developed growth projection forecasts, monitored financials for a $102.3 million wastewater treatment facility project, managed investments to fund capital improvements, and worked closely with a range of departments in multiple cities.

“As a long-standing member, I am impressed by the culture, reliability, and efficiency of the WH enterprise and, if elected, I look forward to using my talents to assure its continued success.”

Christopher Nelson

Chris Nelson is a director candidate for District 7. He has been a WH member for 5 years and lives in Plymouth. He and his wife Andrea have two children.

Nelson is an attorney and Vice President of Development and Donor Engagement for Catholic Community Foundation of Minnesota, stewarding relationships with hundreds of individuals and faith-based entities to support philanthropy. The Foundation manages approximately $550 million in charitable assets. Nelson previously practiced law in Greater Minnesota, working with non-profit organizations, credit unions, cooperatives, and small businesses. He is a member of the Tax Committee at the Minnesota Council on Foundations, and a Board member at Sterling State Bank and Holy Family Catholic High School. He previously served as chair of First Alliance Credit Union and United Way of Olmsted County.

“I am dedicated to serving and empowering our members by providing reliable, safe, and clean energy at the lowest possible price. I grew up on a farm and have been a member of electrical cooperatives nearly my entire life and grateful for the co-op experience. By embracing renewable energy sources and promoting energy efficiency, electrical cooperatives have the power to create a more sustainable future for both our communities and the environment.”

Thuong Pham

Thuong Pham is a director candidate for District 7. He has been a WH member for 16 years and lives in Plymouth with his wife Tatiana.

Thuong is currently a self-employed Management Consultant with an IT focus. Daily responsibilities include creating best practice IT solutions to fit a business’ needs. His skills include data analysis, budget forecasting, and project planning and management. He is a SAFe Agile member, enabling him to deliver solutions to businesses more quickly and efficiently through work and organizational practices. Thuong has expertise across Finance, Accounting, HR, Sales, Marketing, IT and other corporate functions. Over 25+ years, he has worked for a wide range of companies from startups to Fortune 100 companies including jobs at Cap Gemini and Deloitte. Thuong is a member of Open Cities Health Clinic’s Board of Directors, and holds an MBA from University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. He is a former USA Volleyball player and in his free time, enjoys golfing.

“If elected, I will use my extensive consulting experience with board members and WH management to provide reliable clean power at a competitive rate.”

Dale Raymakers

Dale Raymakers is a director candidate for District 7. He has been a WH member for 22 years and lives in Plymouth with his wife Beth. He is recently retired.

Raymakers is a highly accomplished sales professional, working for DTN for over 23 years as an Aviation Industry Manager. He was responsible for sales of global aviation weather data and alerting technology, which was then redistributed in software systems that form the backbone of the aviation industry. With a strong background in strategic partnership building, negotiation, and work plan efficiencies, Raymakers was directly responsible for growing DTN’s aviation business to over $10 million in annual revenue during his career. He provided monthly revenue reports to the senior management team, and played a role in improving DTN’s Flight Hazards model, used for predicting turbulence and thunderstorms. He believes his experience in forecasting, market analytics, product development and solutions, and customer relationship building will serve him well as a District 7 director.

“I look forward to the challenges and opportunity of serving on the WH Board of Directors. My goal is to provide cost effective power through progressive strategic direction and technological advances best serving the WH community.”

Kyle Stotz

Kyle Stotz is a director candidate for District 7. He has been a WH member for 35 years and lives in Plymouth. He and his wife Kristiann have two children.

Stotz is a recently retired software engineer. As an entrepreneur and owner of CustomSoft Inc., he worked with a wide variety of businesses, industries, and people, helping solve their problems through the application of technology. Projects he has worked on have ranged from management of trains to medical patient records. He has worked under tight timelines, and enabled clients to enter a market ahead of competitors, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in sales. He holds five patents with the U.S. Patent Office.

“As a board member, I will work with the Board to provide responsible oversight helping to maintain a low-cost and reliable electric supply for Wright-Hennepin Cooperative Electric Association members. I will also be mindful of how Minnesota’s recent law mandating 100% clean energy by 2040 might impact these goals.”