COLUMBUS — Barry DeKay of Niobrara was elected as Nebraska Public Power District’s board chair for 2020 following that body’s annual election of officers Wednesday in Columbus, replacing Gary Thompson of Clatonia who had served the past two years.
Also elected were Bill Johnson of Pilger as first vice chair, Mary Harding of Plattsmouth as second vice chair, and Jerry Chlopek of Columbus as secretary. NPPD Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Traci Bender was elected treasurer.
“I look forward to leading the board in 2020 as we continue to work to keep our electric rates stable, provide strong customer service, and monitor and prepare for future regulations that would impact NPPD and our customers,” he stated. “I also want to thank Director Thompson for his leadership the past two years as Chair of the Board.”
DeKay began his term of office in 2015 when he was first elected to the NPPD Board, filling the seat previously held by Dennis Rasmussen. A native of Knox County, DeKay has been ranching for 43 years with his brother, and they are the fourth generation to work the family land.
He previously served as the board’s first vice chair in 2018 and 2019 and chaired the Nuclear Committee of the Whole between 2017-19.
DeKay served on the board of the Niobrara Valley Electric Membership Corporation between 1999 and 2014, holding the office of vice president in 2002-2003, and president between 2003-14. In addition, he held the titles of treasurer, vice president and president with the Nebraska Rural Electric Association.
He and his wife, Brenda, have two children. He is a member of the Knox County Cattlemen and Nebraska Cattlemen, serves as president of the Niobrara Valley Hospital Foundation, and is a council member of Sacred Heart Parish of Boyd County. He is also a high school and college basketball official.
DeKay represents Subdivision 2, which consists of Keya Paha, Boyd, Holt, Knox, Cedar, Garfield, Wheeler, Valley, Greeley, Sherman, Howard and Boone Counties.
The Board of Directors also re-appointed Donna Starzec assistant treasurer, and Christine Pillen deputy assistant treasurer. Jan Modelski was re-appointed as assistant secretary, and Sandra Keefover as deputy assistant secretary. All are from Columbus.