Director Spotlight:
Barbara JohnsonBarbara holding camera

Barbara is the District Two Director, representing the North-Central region of REA’s service territory. Barbara is more than just a director; she’s an avid traveler who has visited 6 of the 7 continents! Read more about Barbara below:

How many years have you been on the board?
I have been on the REA board for 11 years, serving as the board president since 2016.

Where do you live?
I live in Leaf Valley Township on the west end of Lake Miltona.

Where is your hometown/high school?
I was born in Austin, TX while my dad was in the Army. When he went overseas, my mother and I came to Alexandria to live with my grandfather until my father returned. We then moved to Glenwood where I started school. We moved around several times and I finished high school in Enderlin, ND. I went on to college at University of North Dakota – Grand Forks for mathematics. After getting married, my husband and I lived in several different places before moving back to
this area 19 years ago.

Tell us about your family.
LeRoy and I have been married over 50 years and have three adult children and seven awesome grandkids.

What is your passion as a board member?
I love serving on the board and I’m always learning something new about this ever-changing industry, but probably the most important thing for me is providing our members with affordable and reliable electricity in a safe manor for our members and employees.

What keeps you busy outside of being a director for REA?
My passions are genealogy, photography and travel.

Three words that best describe you:
Honest, caring, interested (I love to learn new things)

What is the best advice you’ve either given or received?
Someone once told me, you were given two ears and one mouth, use them proportionately.

Barbara holding photo

What is something others might not know about you?
I was a really shy child and my first grade teacher thought I couldn’t read because I was so quiet.

What is your favorite REA program?
It’s hard to choose just one, but three of my favorites are Operation Round Up, the Member Advisory Council and National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s (NRECA) International electrification program. NRECA’s International Program is near and dear to my heart. I love to travel. On a trip to Tanzania I saw firsthand how important electricity is. The school we visited used solar panels tied into car batteries. This was their only source of power to try to run their computer lab. The headmaster told us it was hard to get instructors to come to their school because the instructors wanted to stay where there was electricity.

BONUS! Fun Questions:

Tractors – Red or Green?
I plead neutral – I’m not a farm girl!

Lefsa – Sugar or No Sugar?
Butter and sugar

Do you say Wash or Worsh?

Check out the video: