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Bair, Clark to Retire from Board After 21 Years

Ron Bair of Casstown and Ron Clark of Urbana will retire from the Pioneer board of trustees on March 28 at Pioneer’s 84th annual meeting of members. They have reached their term limits, each serving the cooperative for 21 years as a board trustee.

Ron Bair became aware of the Pioneer board when he was 23 years old. His father, Paul Bair, was elected to the Miami County board (1972–73) and served 24 years on the board of trustees — that was before term limits were put in place.

“My dad would often talk about what it was like to be on the board, of course, never sharing any of the details,” says Bair. “I thought it sounded like something I might have interest in doing.”

In 1993, Bair was elected to the Miami County board before being elected to the board of trustees in 1999. He held the board treasurer position for the past 12 years.

“It’s been a pleasure working with the board and management staff, and while we don’t often interact with the other employees, every time I have, it’s been a pleasure,” says Bair.

Bair says throughout his 21 years of service, board trainings, conferences, and meetings became part of his routine.

“I never felt like being on the board infringed on my time, I just rearranged things to accommodate it,” says Bair.

Bair will miss the inside information necessary for decision-making and the relationships built with the co-op family — local, statewide, regional, and national.

“Ron [Bair] has been a steady hand in his duties on the board,” says President and CEO Ron Salyer. “Mr. Bair always had the unique ability to pick the right moment to make a comment to help the board. I will miss his presence on the board as we transition to the future.”

Ron Clark’s involvement with the co-op began as a Champaign County board member in 989. He held that position for a decade before being elected to the board of trustees in 1999. He held the board chair position for the past 16 years.

“Ron [Clark] has been a great leader transitioning Pioneer through a time of board turnover the last several years. Knowing he was reaching his term limit, he embraced the challenge to ensure Pioneer, the management staff, and board thrived through this healthy process of change,” says Salyer. “I am thankful for his leadership and dedication to Pioneer from his time on the county board to his seven terms on the Pioneer Board of Trustees.”

Clark will admit that when he was first approached to join the county board 31 years ago, he didn’t know much about the responsibilities associated with the board. “After I learned more about it, I thought it might be something I’d be interested in,” says Clark. He encourages anyone with an interest to get involved with one of the boards and learn more about it.

Clark will miss the board, management staff, and employees at Pioneer. He looks forward to focusing some of his free time on his new role as bowling coach at Urbana High School.

He says that although his time on the board is ending, he will continue to follow what’s going on at the co-op closely.

“I’m glad to have been a part of it,” says Clark. “I’ve learned a lot and there’s a lot of camaraderie among the board.”

Clark also hopes to enhance the connection between Pioneer’s trustees emeriti and spouses by planning regular outings following his retirement.

“I know both Ron Bair and Ron Clark will continue to support us as Pioneer continues to strive to provide the best services possible to our members,” says Salyer. “I can’t thank them enough for a job well done!”

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