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:

Nikki Pfannenstiel, CKAE
Nikki Pfannenstiel, CKAE

Manager, Economic Development
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.

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Diane Stiles

Economic Development Director
Sunflower Electric Power Corporation

Diane brings extensive experience in community relations and economic development to the team. She strong ties to the technical college network and previously served as an economic development director for a rural Kansas community. Diane is experienced in grant writing, talent development, project finance, and facilitation. Diane joined the team in 2023 to support Sunflower’s member cooperatives with load growth and retention opportunities.


Erica Villarreal, MBA, CKAE
Erica Schmidt, 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.


Anne Erbert, CKAE
Anne Erbert, CKAE

Manager, Member Solutions
Sunflower Electric Power Corporation

Anne is a certified key accounts director with more than 10 years of experience in various utility businesses. Her experience includes key accounts, project management, business recruitment, property management and communications.


Jerri Whitley
Jerri Whitley

Communications Coordinator
Sunflower Electric Power Corporation

Jerri is a Certified Cooperative Communicator with more than 14 years of cooperative utility experience. In her external affairs role, she provides support for the development and delivery of Sunflower communications, aids in Sunflower’s rural and economic development activities, and acts as a liaison between Sunflower and outside stakeholders (such as landowners, member-cooperatives, other electric utilities, and state and local agencies) for public-facing projects. Prior to joining the Sunflower Electric team in 2021, Jerri managed marketing and communications for a local electric distribution cooperative. She is well-versed in the electric utility industry with extensive and experience in marketing and communication strategies, branding, consumer engagement techniques, facilitating internal and external communications, media relations, graphic design, publication creation and design, photography, event planning, and the creation, implementation and evaluation of multiple comprehensive marketing, communications, and public relations programs.


Anita Wendt
Anita Wendt

Vice President, Energy Services
Pioneer Electric Cooperative


Jeff Hardiek
Elena Larson

Director of Member Services
Prairie Land Electric Cooperative, Inc.


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

Director of Member Services & Corporate Communications 
Wheatland Electric Cooperative, Inc.

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.