Our Team

The Sunflower Electric Economic Development team is comprised of representatives from Sunflower Electric Power Corporation and the six member rural electric cooperatives that own Sunflower. The team brings years of experience in rural economic development, utility operations, and customer service management skills. Collectively, we can meet your needs, no matter the scope of your project.


Meet our Team:

Clare Gustin, MBA, EDFP
Clare Gustin, MBA, EDFP

VP Member Services, External Affairs
Sunflower Electric Power Corporation

With more than 35 years of community and economic development experience, Clare’s expertise includes business finance, business development, economic development planning and group facilitation. Clare was recognized as the Rural Developer of the Year by the National Rural Economic Developers Association and as a Women in Business Advocate by the Small Business Administration.


Nikki Pfannenstiel, CKAE
Nikki Pfannenstiel, CKAE

Manager, Member Services
Sunflower Electric Power Corporation

Nikki has more than 23 years of community and economic development experience. She is a certified key account director and has experience in project management, business development and group facilitation. Nikki was recognized nationally by Touchstone Energy as a Brand Champion and Citizen of the Year in her home community of Hays, Kansas.


Erica Villarreal, MBA, CKAE
Erica Villarreal, MBA, CKAE

Manager, Power Contracts
Sunflower Electric Power Corporation

Erica develops wholesale power supply proposals used by Sunflower’s member cooperatives for new and expanding load. Her experience includes supply chain, contract management, and financial analysis.


Abby Hinman
Abby Hinman

External Affairs Specialist
Sunflower Electric Power Corporation

Abby is responsible for maintaining listings for sites and buildings for Sunflower’s profile on LocationOne. In addition to her experience with social media, corporate communications, and website administration, Abby also serves as the public outreach coordinator for utility transmission projects.


Anne Erbert, CKAE
Anne Erbert, CKAE

Key Accounts Director
Sunflower Electric Power Corporation

Anne is a certified key accounts director with more than 5 years of experience in various utility businesses. Her experience includes key accounts, project management, business recruitment, property management and communications.


Josh Schmidt, CKAE
Josh Schmidt, CKAE

Key Accounts Director
Sunflower Electric Power Corporation

Josh is a certified key accounts director with more than 20 years of experience. Josh worked as a distribution cooperative lineman for 10 years and served in the local government of his hometown in Kinsley, Kansas, for 12 years. His experience includes utility operations, local government, key accounts, and project management.


Anita Wendt
Anita Wendt

Vice President, Energy Services
Pioneer Electric Cooperative


Anne Marie Jennings
Anne Marie Jennings

Member Services Coordinator
Lane-Scott Electric Cooperative

Ann Marie joined Lane-Scott Electric in 2018 as the member services coordinator. Ann Marie works to build cooperative relations with communities across Lane-Scott’s service territory and addresses member needs. Her experience includes member services, communications, and community programs. As a western Kansas resident, Ann Marie is passionate about supporting rural communities.


Jeff Hardiek
Jeff Hardiek

Manager, Member Services
Prairie Land Electric Cooperative, Inc.

Jeff has more than 30 years of experience in the operations and maintenance of Prairie Land’s distribution system. More recently, he was named the manager of member services and is responsible for member relations and community outreach. Jeff uses his diverse utility experience and customer service skills to assist communities with opportunities. As a native of western Kansas, Jeff has a passion for growing communities.


Kyndell Penick
Kyndell Penick

Manager of Key Accounts
The Victory Electric Cooperative Association

Kyndell is a certified key accounts director with more than 10 years of cooperative utility experience. Kyndell served as a journeyman lineman before filling the Manager of Key Accounts position in the summer of 2018. Kyndell currently sits on the management committee for the Ford County Economic Development Board. His experience includes utility operations, economic development, key accounts, and project management.


Thomas (Tom) Ruth, PE
 
Nolan Numrich

Manager of Member Services
Western Cooperative Electric Association, Inc.

Nolan has recently joined Western after two years as member services representative and key accounts manager for Wheatland Electric Cooperative. Nolan received his Certified Key Account Executive credentials through the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.Numrich is experienced in internal and external communications, and member relations.


Ron Aschenbrenner
Ron Aschenbrenner

Line Superintendent
Western Cooperative Electric Association, Inc.

Ron has more than 20 years of experience with operations and maintenance of Western’s distribution system. As line superintendent, he is responsible for reliability and infrastructure improvements for grid stability. As a native of western Kansas, Ron is very involved with his community.


Allie Conine
Alli Conine

As a Certified Key Account Executive, Alli has experience working with a variety of industries throughout Wheatland’s territory. She also coordinates all community & school programs and membership meetings for the 16 counties in Wheatland’s service territory. In addition to key accounts, Alli is responsible for all internal and external communications at Wheatland.