By Kenneth Derschan
The Valley Electric Association Board of Directors has elected a new Board President, Kenneth “Ken” Derschan, who represents Sandy Valley, District 5.
Ken replaces John Maurer of Fish Lake Valley District 4, who held the position for the past six years.
In accordance with the VEA Bylaws, the Board of Directors elect officers after the annual meeting.
John said it was time for a change. “This year, at our annual board reorganization, I asked my fellow board members to not consider me again for the position of president,” he said. “The position requires a lot of time. The reality is that my family and my business need more of my time now, so it was only logical to step aside and let someone else take the reins. It’s been my honor and privilege to serve as Board President for the last six years.”
Ken welcomed the new challenge. “As Vice President, I have been called upon to assist John with his leadership duties throughout the year,” he said. “I have been studying all year on the leadership role. I have the utmost respect for every board member, and will strive to do my best and lead the Co-op into the future.
“John has been a great President, and he has decided it was time for a change, as his family’s needs are changing,” said Ken. “John is still on the board, and I look forward to working with John.”
As President, Ken said the immediate priority of the board will be hiring a permanent CEO.
“The day-to-day operation is being handled by Angela Evans, our interim CEO, while the Board and I focus on the CEO search. The energy business is a changing industry. We must stay ahead of the change and continue to lead the way.” Angela was named interim CEO in May following the retirement of Thomas Husted.
The other VEA Board of Directors officers are as follows: The Vice President is Richard Johnson of Beatty, the Secretary is Dave Hall of Amargosa Valley, the Assistant Secretary is Peter Gazsy of South Pahrump and the Treasurer is David Dawson of North Pahrump.
Ken was born in Orange, Calif., and raised in Las Vegas. He is a graduate of Southern Nevada Vocational Technical Center.
A Clark County resident for more than 52 years, Ken and his wife have owned and operated Trails End General Store located in Sandy Valley since 2004. He possesses a Nevada State Liquor License along with a Nevada State Gaming License. Ken has lived and work in the area his entire life. He has been a licensed Realtor, worked as a school bus driver, commercial driver and worked in the mining industry.
Ken earned his emergency medical technician certification (EMT) from Clark County Community College and EMT-ID from Clark County Fire Department. Ken also received extensive training in High Angel Rescue, Confine Space Rescue, and Hazmat Rescue from Molycorp Minerals.
Ken and His wife, Debbie, have been married for over 33 years. The Derschans have two sons, a daughter and four grandchildren. Active in community affairs, Ken serves on several boards of directors including Citizen Development Advisory Committee for Clark County, The Keystone Enrichment Foundation, Sandy Mesquite Valley Development Association, Sandy Valley Schools Booster Club and the School Organizational Team (SOT) for the Clark County School District.
Ken was appointed to the Board of Directors in August of 2015 and was later elected by members in Sandy Valley to the Board of Directors. Ken has since earned his Cooperative Credential Director (CCD), Board Leadership Credential (BLC), and Director Gold certificate of education through the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA).