In April, the Carroll White REMC Board of Directors appointed Jeff Newell of rural Delphi to fill the board seat in District 2 vacated by the passing of Kevin Bender.
“Word of mouth informed me of my district’s available seat on the Carroll White REMC Board of Directors,” Newell said. “I knew very little about REMC, but I viewed the process of putting my name in the ring as a learning experience.
“Many years ago, I served as an alumni advisor to the social fraternity I joined when I was a Purdue University student,” Newell continued. “I enjoyed that experience and thought I would enjoy the REMC board experience as well. I felt my work experience could be a benefit as a director. Although I thought I could do well as a director, I did not expect to be selected. It was a great honor to be chosen, and I will do my best to make a positive contribution to the members of Carroll White REMC.”
Newell lives “east of Delphi, on one of the family farms,” he explained. “I am the oldest of my siblings. My family consists of my parents, my three siblings and nine irreplaceable nieces and nephews. We are a family of Purdue University graduates. I have a management degree from Purdue and a law degree from Case Western Reserve University.”
He shared that his career began as a lawyer who pitched in on the farm as needed. “Presently, most of my time is spent assisting my father with the management of the family-owned business. My brother is also involved, and we appreciate his expertise in his free time. My legal knowledge is sometimes applicable to a situation at home with our business. I miss the challenge of legal work and the satisfaction of using an education that required much time and effort to earn,” Newell said. “I have contributed to the Talk to a Lawyer program and donated legal services over the years.”
There may be challenges ahead for Newell as a director, but he is ready. “I think the biggest challenge going forward for REMC will be to embrace all available sources of energy without a compromise to the quality of service REMC members expect and deserve,” he said. “This ‘how-to’ debate is beginning to occur in other states, as illustrated in a recent Wall Street Journal article focusing on Texas. I think it is right to assume that our tenured board of directors and REMC executive officers will track these proceedings to learn how they might benefit our cooperative.
“I would like Carroll White REMC members to know that in my limited experience, the board of directors and REMC officers share a strong working relationship. Each board meeting is a well-organized, productive use of time. It requires effort to make that happen.”
When asked about a favorite book, Newell said, “It is difficult to select a favorite, so I will go with the most recent I read, ‘The Passing of the Armies,’ written by Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, a decorated Union officer, about his personal recollection of the conclusion of the Civil War. Chamberlain so impressed his superior officers throughout the war that he was
chosen by General Grant to receive the surrender of Confederate war material from General Lee and his troops. Chamberlain’s impression of that event and all that followed was unique. I chose the book because the author lived an interesting life, and I was curious to learn about him.”
Acting for the higher good and in the interests of others will serve this newest board member well.