Board of Directors
Golden Valley Electric Association members are elected by district to serve on GVEA’s board of directors. GVEA’s service area is divided into seven geographical districts. Directors are elected for three-year terms, with no more than three directors elected in any one year. For more information about director elections, visit the GVEA election page.
David Messier, Director for District 1
Phone: (907) 978-1866
David Messier moved to the Interior in 2009 and lives off Farmers Loop in a home that he designed and built. He currently works as the Rural Energy Coordinator for Tanana Chiefs Conference and has been helping rural Alaskan communities and small utilities on projects aimed at addressing and reducing the high cost of energy for over a decade. Dave serves on the Renewable Energy Alaska Project (REAP) Board of Directors and on the Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP) Advisory Committee, as well as other state and federal energy working groups. He enjoys hunting, fishing and skiing. Dave and his wife, Heidi, have two young children. He’s passionate about working to reduce the high cost of energy for residents of Alaska’s interior. Dave began his second term on the board in 2020 and currently serves as Treasurer.
District 1 seat will be next up for election in 2023.
Tom DeLong, Director for District 2
Phone: (907) 347-6215
Tom DeLong currently serves as Chairman of the board and was first elected in 2005. He and his wife, Ann, have two grown daughters. He has worked at ABR, Inc. – Environmental Research & Services for the last 28 years. Tom has also owned and operated Tolovana Hot Springs, a remote natural hot springs, since 1987. Tom is very interested in the study of utility rate design, energy efficiency, conservation and renewable energy. He enjoys the design and building of small wind and solar projects to provide LED lighting off the grid. Hobbies include skiing, hiking, hunting, fishing, table tennis, and flying.
District 2 seat will be next up for election in 2023.
Richard J. “Rick” Solie, Jr., Director for District 3
Phone: (907) 374-8194
Rick Solie is the newest Director on GVEA’s board, having been elected in 2020. He and his wife, Cherie, have three married children and two grandchildren. Rick is a 50-year resident of Fairbanks and is the owner of Solie Consulting, whose clients include Tower HIll Mines, where he serves as Manager of Investor & Community Relations. He has 30+ years of government and public affairs experience throughout Alaska in mining, oil and gas, healthcare, and government sectors. Rick is active in various community and business organizations, including as a Director of Alaska Miners Association, the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce and Radiant Church. He also serves as Chairman of the Alaska Board of the American Heart Association. In his free time, Rick enjoys boating, hiking, hunting and skiing. He’s focused on lowering the cost and improving the reliability of electric service to GVEA members.
District 3 seat will be next up for election in 2023.
Gary Newman, Director for District 4
Phone: (907) 488-2001
Gary Newman currently serves as Secretary of the board and was elected in June 2015 and has lived in Fairbanks since 1972. He and his wife, Chena, a life-long Alaskan, have two grown sons. Gary has had several professions: telecommunications and PBX systems installer; energy auditor; and weatherization, housing and facilities manager for Tanana Chiefs Conference; and computer and network systems administrator at UAF. He has been an active member of GVEA for decades. Gary previously served on the Fairbanks North Star Borough Platting Board and Planning Commission and currently serves on a number of local non-profit boards. Playing Celtic-style music is a hobby of Gary’s. He also assists his wife with the development of Koponen Homestead, a residential and recreational community on Chena Ridge. Gary hopes his efforts on the GVEA board will encourage more member-owner engagement.
District 4 seat will be next up for election in 2021.
Chris Bunch, Director for District 5
Phone: (907) 488-5557
Chris Bunch was elected to the board in July 2013. He has lived in Alaska for 32 years and is a pipefitter superintendent for TCI Construction, Inc. Chris is a member and executive board member for the Local Union 375 Plumbers and Pipefitters. He and his wife, Megan, have two young sons. Chris is involved in youth hockey and enjoys hunting, fishing, and snow machining.
District 5 seat will be next up for election in 2022.
John Sloan, Director for District 6
Phone: (907) 322-4391
John Sloan was elected to the board in June 2007 and is currently the board Vice Chairman. He retired from the Delta/Greely School District in 2002 after teaching for 21 years. John owns/operates the Buffalo Center Drive-In in Delta Junction. John has been active in the Delta community since 1981, when he and his wife, Linda, arrived. They raised four children in Delta, which offered the opportunity to be involved in various youth and community activities. John has served on the Delta Greely Hockey Assoc. board of directors, coached hockey, little league, and girls’ softball. He has also been a member of the Delta Junction City Council, LEPC, Delta Lion’s Club, Delta Chamber of Commerce and Pioneers of Alaska Igloo 35. In 2005, John traveled to Sri Lanka with a small group from Fairbanks to aid in the Tsunami Relief Effort and has since returned two more times. John enjoys reading, kayaking, biking, and snowboarding.
District 6 seat will be next up for election in 2022.
Brad J. Benson, Director for District 7
Phone: (214) 394-4225
Brad Benson was appointed to the board in September 2020 to fill a vacancy created when Bill Nordmark stepped down after 25 years. Before joining the board, Brad served a three-year term on GVEA’s Member Advisory Committee. Brad grew up in Texas and was inspired to join the fire service shortly after Sept. 11, 2001. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Management from Tarleton State University while working in his family’s movie theater business, then became a commercial pilot and flight instructor. He came north in 2008, seeking an adventurous flying job, and fell in love with Alaska. He now resides in Healy where he and his partner operate the tour company Stampede Excursions. Brad has been a Firefighter/EMT with Healy’s Tri-Valley VFD since 2009. In his free time, Brad enjoys movies, hunting, fishing, ATVs, skiing and aviation. One of his primary goals as a GVEA director is to reduce power rates through smart management and efficiency improvements.
District 7 seat will be next up for election in 2021.