In 1998, CAMERON SMALLWOOD began his already distinguished career with United.
His responsibilities include the oversight of planning for distribution plant requirements (four year and longer range work plans), coordination of substation and transmission requirements with Brazos Electric Power Cooperative, testing and grading of electric plant facilities and the implementation of new technologies for distribution plant, telecommunications and computer applications. Mr. Smallwood has the responsibility of making long-range decisions while dealing with moving targets and changing technologies.
The future of the transmission and distribution grids for the electric industry has many challenges and opportunities but Mr. Smallwood will use his expertise to coordinate, plan and investigate the many options presented to the co-op. He is aware of the balance that is required between technology and the personal attention United members have grown to expect.
Mr. Smallwood earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Bioengineering from Texas A&M University with Electrical Engineering emphasis, a Master of Science Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Georgia Tech University and is licensed to practice as a Professional Engineer in the State of Texas. He also is a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), a past chairman of the IEEE Rural Electric Power Committee and past president of the Texas Engineers Cooperative Association. Mr. Smallwood has published numerous papers on utility technologies and has served on several national technology committees. He and his family are members of Bethel Temple Assembly of God in Cleburne and he serves on several civic boards in the community.
For nearly two decades, MARTY HAUGHT has worked for various sectors of the electric utility industry. Having spent time with municipal, investor-owned, and ultimately electric cooperative utilities, Mr. Haught discovered his principles aligned perfectly with those of member-owned electric co-ops.
Mr. Haught joined United Cooperative Services in December 2006 after spending the previous four years directing communications, member education and media/public relations efforts for the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives national headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.
Unlike their for-profit counterparts, electric cooperatives demonstrate how they’re different by seeking out ways to connect with and better serve their members. Mr. Haught and United’s employees continually look for ways to operate at an optimal level to provide the membership with exceptional service and value every day. It’s that commitment to the cooperative’s purpose that demonstrates the advantage of being a member of United Cooperative Services. Mr. Haught is a native Virginian where he earned a Bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech University. He and his family are members of Pathway Church in Burleson.
LYNN GODFREY joined the management staff of United Cooperative Services in 1989 with seven years of previous electric cooperative industry experience. Mr. Godfrey’s responsibilities include oversight of accounting, billing, work order processing and related computer applications.
By nature, electric cooperatives are “capital intensive,” i.e. major expenditures are made to construct distribution plant and it takes many years to recover the initial cost of the investment. Therefore, Mr. Godfrey must perform the long-term planning for cost controls, rate analysis and financing to ensure consistent funding of operations and construction.
Mr. Godfrey grew up in Baird, Texas and earned a B.B.A. from Abilene Christian University with an accounting major. He and his wife are members of the Southside Church of Christ, Fort Worth. Mr. Godfrey has served Treasurer for the Burleson Rotary Club and was a founding board member of CASA of Johnson County.
QUENTIN HOWARD began his career with United in 1992. He now oversees and directs the field engineering department that is responsible for the cooperative’s distribution system field staking and design, supervision of line construction contractors, delinquent collections and the cooperative’s expansive vegetation management program. These duties require a great deal of scheduling and coordination to ensure that the many diverse projects that are undertaken by the cooperative are performed with high degree of workmanship and expertise, and completed in a timely and professional manner.
Mr. Howard grew up in the Houston area and graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering. He is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and past president of the Texas Electric Cooperatives Engineering Association. He and his family currently reside in Stephenville, Texas where they attend the Cowboy Church of Erath County, and where Howard has been actively involved in various civic organizations and activities during his 24- year residency in Stephenville, including the Stephenville Optimist Club (past president).
LANDY BENNETT began working for United in April 1989. Before coming to the cooperative, he was an assistant vice president and lending officer at the First National Bank in Cleburne.
Mr. Bennett’s many years of experience with customer service provides him with the expertise and methods to help United members with their electric service needs. Marketing for the co-op not only means the overall communication of United’s service offerings and philosophies, but also involves the implementation of specific services for specific customers. As the supervisor of customer service, member programs and industrial client contracts, Mr. Bennett’s goal is to add a personal touch and knowledge base that assists, rather than frustrates. He also leads his staff in coordinating United’s Operation RoundUp program with non-profit organizations such as Texas Neighborhood Services, which provide financial assistance to United customers, as well as meeting other needs of the members.
One of the main concepts that separate electric cooperatives from other electric utilities is the belief that we each have the responsibility and privilege of giving back to the communities in which we serve. This has been evident in Mr. Bennett’s personal involvement with leadership roles in various civic groups, United Way, Cleburne Jaycees (past president), Cleburne’s Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors (treasurer and chairman), Tuesday Forum, Johnson County Junior Livestock Show committee, as well as, basketball, baseball and soccer programs for area youth. His accomplishments and involvement was recognized by the Cleburne community when he was honored as a past recipient of the Cleburne Citizen of the Year award. Mr. Bennett earned a bachelor’s degree in agri-business from Tarleton State University.
MAURI MONTGOMERY joined United in 2006 after accumulating more than 20 years of experience in a newspaper career that included appointments as a writer, photographer, advertising director and publisher. He is responsible for the design, development and production of United’s internal and external print media communications, regional print advertising and for the continuing development of community and media relations within the cooperative’s service territory, specifically in the Granbury/Hood County area.
Central to his role in United’s overall communications program is promoting the cooperative’s credibility, transparency and innovation in all its operational initiatives, in addition to reporting and engaging cooperative members and the general public in present and future industry issues that are relevant to all electric consumers. He edits and produces the cooperative’s award-winning local member newsletter PowerTalk, which is inserted and published monthly inside Texas Co-op Power magazine.
Mr. Montgomery earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism from Texas Tech University and grew up in the Texas Panhandle. He and his wife attend Acton Baptist Church in Granbury.
JARED WENNERMARK came on board at United in 2007 from Brazos Electric Power Cooperative and has over 20 years of experience in the electric cooperative industry. Mr. Wennermark is responsible for short and long term planning of the electrical system infrastructure and oversight of engineering and technical services for the Cooperative. He also directs the activities of the procurement and facilities departments. With an impressive record implementing technology solutions for electric utilities, Mr. Wennermark ensures that United is able to provide service to its members that is second to none.
Growing up in a rural community himself, Mr. Wennermark was attracted to a career serving electric cooperatives. While the availability of electricity is now almost universal due to the efforts of the rural cooperative movement, there are still challenges to bringing newer technologies and services to United’s members. With the ever increasing demand for electricity across this nation, and the resulting technical, regulatory and industry changes that may result, Mr. Wennermark sees numerous opportunities to use the cooperative model and its principles to ensure that no one is left behind.
Mr. Wennermark is originally from the San Antonio area and received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from The University of Texas in Austin. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Texas, is an advisory member of and has published technical papers for the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), and serves on a technical advisory council for the National Rural Cooperative Association (NRECA). He and his family are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Burleson.
RUSSELL YOUNG began his career at United in 2009. Prior to that, he completed an internship with United amidst a brief stint in the Cleveland Indians’ minor league system. Through this internship, Mr. Young developed a passion for the member-focused nature of the electric cooperative model.
Mr. Young is responsible for the preparation and reporting of United’s financial statements, budgets and financial forecasts, securing financing for distribution system growth, and oversight of the work order system and payroll. United’s purpose is to serve the membership, and a critical component of that service is to ensure the cooperative is financially strong. United believes this can be done while also striving to keep overall costs down through industry-leading efficiency and productivity.
Mr. Young is a graduate of Cleburne High School. He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics from Dartmouth College and completed post-baccalaureate studies in Accounting through Tarleton State University. He and his wife are members of The Village Church in Fort Worth.
ROBERT BERNHOFT became a full time employee at United in 1991 after serving as a part-time employee for the cooperative while attending Tarleton State University. Since then, he has played an integral role in developing and expanding the cooperative’s key information and telecommunications systems, all of which are essential to United’s everyday productivity and operational efficiency.
He leads a team of degreed and experienced technology professionals who have designed and today manage the cooperative’s integrated data processing systems in billing, accounting and mobile account management, as well as United’s telecommunications network and its entire suite of internet technology systems.
His peers suggest one of Mr. Bernhoft’s greatest talents is his ability to visualize and assess end user requirements and then design and deploy technology platforms that will help support those requisites. The cooperative’s efficiency, productivity and member accessibility that United has achieved through technology is largely owed to the accomplishments of Mr. Bernhoft and his IS&T team.
BLAKE BEAVERS joined United’s executive staff in late 2016, but he has worked in the electric cooperative industry since 2009—having served in various capacities that range from his start as an intern to a manager of renewable and distributed generation and energy services. Mr. Beavers brings a wealth of experience to bear in the areas of renewable and distributed generation facilities and systems, power supply, Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) policy and procedures, program development and emerging technologies for United Cooperative Services.
He has grown up in the cooperative culture and has a firm understanding of the principles that guide the cooperative in its mission of service to its membership, and he is a proven advocate of the cooperative business model. As an employee of an electric cooperative, he believes in the ideal of making every decision with the best interest of the membership in mind—an underlying purpose that he feels separates electric cooperatives from other electric utilities. Along with his association with the co-op, Mr. Beavers is excited about the prospect of serving the United membership, which include many of his own family members.
Mr. Beavers is a graduate of Cleburne High School. He received a Bachelor’s Degree from Harvard on the Plains (Oklahoma State University). He and his family are members at Pathway Church in Burleson.