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Media Statement from the UDWI Board of Directors

August 11, 2017

The Utilities District of Western Indiana REMC is seeking member input through an online survey to assist in the search for a new chief executive officer.

Survey questions address qualities, experience and competencies desired in a CEO candidate.  Upon conclusion, results will be compiled and considered by the Board of Directors as it progresses with its interview and decision-making processes.

“We encourage all members to let their voices be heard by taking part in the survey.  We hope to receive as many survey responses as possible.  The cooperative wants to hear our members’ ideas, concerns and comments,” said UDWI REMC Board President Ronald Thompson.

As a member-owned electric cooperative, UDWI REMC adheres to the principle of “democratic member control” to provide part of the framework for the way the cooperative, its members, and the community to work together.  This principle exists to ensure all members have a voice in their local cooperative, and completing the survey is one way to allow members to provide input and offer new ideas.

Members can find the survey link on the UDWI website at and need to have their account number on hand to complete the survey.  The survey period will close on August 22, 2017.  A written copy of the survey is also available from the UDWI office in Bloomfield.


August 2, 2017

As the Utilities District of Western Indiana REMC moves forward in the process of selecting a full-time CEO, UDWI members have the opportunity to take an active role in the process by providing their input in an online survey.

“UDWI REMC is an electric cooperative, and the UDWI Board of Directors believes members should have a voice in how their cooperative is run and who runs it,” explained UDWI Board President Ronald Thompson. “As we prepare to select a CEO who will lead us into the future, we value our members’ input.”

The survey link is now available on the UDWI REMC website at Members who do not have internet access may complete the survey at the cooperative or contact the UDWI REMC office for additional assistance. The survey will remain open until Aug. 22, 2017.   

Prior to interviewing candidates, the electric cooperative will implement a two-prong information-gathering process, a behavioral assessment combined with a targeted selection aspect. The UDWI Board will use a behavioral assessment tool to measure a candidate’s performance against the needs of the cooperative. Targeted selection will gather input directly from the members by means of the online survey. Survey questions address qualities, experience and competencies desired in a candidate. Upon conclusion, results will be compiled and considered by the Board of Directors as it progresses with its interview and decision-making processes. 

 “We are forging ahead into the future with a continued commitment to serving our members by ensuring that we understand their needs,” Thompson said. “We want to keep the lines of communication open, and we encourage our members to take an active role in their cooperative.”


July 19, 2017

The UDWI Board of Directors has named Dan Arnold to serve as interim CEO. 

Arnold is a veteran REMC employee with 42 years of experience. He served in a number of management positions and eventually as CEO during his 18 years with Johnson County, and then as CEO of Orange County REMC for 24 years before retiring in 2015.

Under Board direction, Arnold will run day-to-day operations for UDWI, and provide leadership, advice and assistance to the employees while the Board conducts the search for a permanent CEO. 

The Board is working to identify possible candidates to serve as the new CEO, and will work with a facilitator to assist in the selection process during the next few months. 

The Board also wants to hear from the members during the search for the future CEO. Beginning in August, members can complete a survey that will provide input to the Board about which qualities and career experiences are most important for the new CEO. We will notify members when the survey period begins and how they can participate.


June 30, 2017

The UDWI REMC Board of Directors met Thursday and voted to terminate the employment of Chief Executive Officer Brian Sparks.

Upon our review of the information from the internal audit, and after much thoughtful deliberation, we determined that Mr. Sparks did not fulfill management expectations for UDWI. Mr. Sparks is relieved of all duties and responsibilities effective immediately.  A search for a new CEO will begin immediately.

In the coming weeks, our members will receive a summary report from the audit, which will be followed by actions the Board will take to strengthen our cooperative. The findings of the audit did not reveal any specific problems or incorrect information on our members’ accounts or bills. Information from the audit pertaining to individual staff members will not be released based on UDWI employment policies.

We will continue to provide updates to our members as they become available, but at this time, the Board will provide no additional comments on the audit or the termination of Mr. Sparks.


June 20, 2017

The UDWI Board of Directors remains committed to keeping our members informed on the activities taking place at UDWI. Since our last update, the staff have been working diligently to provide the auditors with all necessary information for the thorough evaluation of the financial records of the organization.

The independent accounting firm, Blue & Co., has informed us that the audit is progressing as planned, and that we can expect them to provide information to the Board in the coming weeks.

When the audit has been completed our members will receive a report on the findings and recommendations, which we will make available on our website. After the results have been evaluated, we will also share how UDWI will incorporate the audit’s recommendations into the operations of the cooperative.

As we reported last month, a separate federal investigation is also underway. The Board and leadership continue to cooperate fully with this investigation. We understand that our members have questions about the investigation, but should any information on the findings be released it would be through agencies leading the investigation and not UDWI. 

UDWI Executive Officer Brian Sparks remains on a paid leave of absence. Michael Chapman and Shane Smith continue to serve as interim CEOs.

We also want to thank our members, and the community, for their continued support and interest in UDWI. We will provide additional information to you as it becomes available. 


Scheduled meter maintenance

During the month of August, UDWI contractors will be performing meter replacements in the Buena Vista substation area.

1666 W. State Road 54, Bloomfield, IN 47424

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