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Trustees and Elections

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The role of a Trustee

The Hancock-Wood Board of Trustees typically meets once per month to establish basic business policies and rates. The board employs a President and CEO responsible for day-to-day business operations and employee issues.

Hancock-Wood members vote for these 10 trustees, each of whom represent a district.

Some cooperatives use the term director instead of trustee as "one who guides the course of action." This is key, because the role of a trustee is not to be involved in daily decision-making, but to guide, point and direct. This is why trustees normally come to the Cooperative office only once per month. Trustees are entrusted to focus on the financial well-being of Hancock-Wood.

Trustees are not involved in specific employee or service, precise departmental or staffing plans or issues. They look at the business from a macro point of view, so, the daily decision-making is left to the President and CEO and employees.

A trustee should have the best interest of the cooperative at heart, without placing his or her own interest or agenda first or serve on the board solely to assist the cooperative or for any personal gain. They should have the capability to guide the President and CEO through the formulation of sound policies, which protect the financial and operating integrity of the cooperative as well as protect the rights of the membership.

Member-owners of Hancock-Wood have a voice in the service they receive. Trustees represent the member voice. One way a member can exercise that ownership is by expressing opinions and concerns to your own trustee representative.


Trustee Certification and Training

In order to fulfill duties, HWE trustees who have varying levels of certification through the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association receive higher fees than those who do not. HWE encourages all of its trustees to earn these certifications because the coursework required dramatically broadens a trustee’s knowledge of the electric cooperative industry, thereby enhancing his or her value to all of HWE’s member-consumers. All electric cooperatives in the U.S. utilize similar training. 

The fist required certificate is the Credentialed Cooperative Director Certificate (CCD), which covers director duties, board operation, strategic planning and more. After receiving the CCD, the trustee then goes on to the Board Leadership Certificate (BLC) which specializes in power supply, the cooperative business model, technology and more. The final certification is the Director Gold Credential, which is required to be completed every two years. The graphic below shows each of the certifications and requirements. 

Director Education Graphic


HWE Board Compensation

Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative’s trustees receive compensation for serving on the board. Why? Trustees are responsible for providing strategic direction to management of HWE, setting policies, and approving budgets. HWE has more than 11,200 member-consumers and operates 1800 miles of electric line and highly technical equipment in portions of 10 counties. The responsibility of governing the cooperative is a serious one, and it requires industry-specific training certifications, in addition to extensive knowledge of electric industry and political issues including knowledge of legislation at the federal and state level.

The breakdown of trustee fees are depicted in the chart below. 


Service Rendered

Base Fee

Certified Cooperative Director (5 courses)

Board Leadership Certificate (10 courses)

Director Gold (3 courses)

Attendance at meetings: official board, special, national, and training





Committee member attendance





Annual meeting – retiring trustee





Chairperson – official meeting (per visit)





Secretary – review invoices at official meeting (per visit)






If you’re interested in running to become an HWE trustee, or you have questions about board compensation, please call HWE at 800-445-4840. 

Consider running for trustee

Any member can become a trustee.  As mentioned, seats on the board are designated by geographic area.  To run, a position must be available in your area, and to qualify, you must basically:

  1. Have been a member for at least three (3) years.
  2. Have not been an employee for three (3) years prior.
  3. Not be closely related to an employee.
  4. Not be employed by a financially interested competing enterprise, or a business selling electric power or supplies to the cooperative.

Basic timeline of the election process: (dates subject to change)

  • February - Members are notified of districts up for election via company publications.
  • March - Members in each district up for election are mailed election nominations, where they can submit names for their trustee position.  Members then mail back nomination forms, which are then counted.  President & CEO then contacts the top voted nominees for interviews.
  • Mid-May - Election ballots are mailed to each district.
  • Late May - Ballots are returned, and then counted. 
  • June - Election results are announced at the Annual Meeting.

For more information on the election process, simply contact us.

District map
A map to determine in which district you reside.

Contact your trustee
Information is listed here for contacting your trustee.

We demonstrate our Concern for Community by volunteering and donating to local charitable causes. Nearly $500,000 in grants have been distributed in the last decade through grants and Operation Round Up funds to individuals and organizations in need. We also provide assistance to Habitat for Humanity, schools, churches and community events. To learn more, click on Community Involvement above. learn more

Members benefit from electric service reliability, competitive rates, money after co-op bills are paid in the form of patronage/capital credits, discounts, informative co-op publications, easy-to-access payment plans, rebates, scholarships, family-friendly Member-only events and a vote in the direction of Hancock-Wood Electric Co-op. To learn more, click on Member Benefits above. learn more

Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative has granted more than $100,000 in scholarships within the last decade. An additional Power Systems Engineer (PSE) Scholarship has been added to the program. The winner of this scholarship is eligible for paid internship(s) in the co-op’s engineering department. learn more