Spotlight on Board Member Robert Maertens
Posted on October 30th, 2020
It is an honor to serve as chairman of your board with eight directors who are committed to our cooperative. We are vested in our communities. Many of us are life-long residents with careers that range from farming to teaching to accounting and business owners. You may run into us at the grocery store, athletic events, feed store or local businesses. We call our communities home and work to help you – our members – improve quality of life.
Small business owners are the backbone of our communities. Nobody understands that better than our board member Robert (Bob) Maertens. Bob and his wife, Tamara, previously owned and operated a retail business in Benton that his father, August Maertens, opened in 1921. He retired from the business and turned the reins over to his son.
Since 1974, Bob has served as a director of First Electric Cooperative, and from July 2009 to June 2019 he served as Secretary-Treasurer. While running a successful business, Bob took continuing education classes. He is a Director Gold Credential, a Credentialed Cooperative Director, and received his Board Leadership Certificate. He continues to expand his knowledge through trainings and leadership opportunities offered through our national organization.
In 2009, Mr. Maertens received the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas Pioneer Wall of Fame Award as recognition of his more than 35 years of service to First Electric.
Bob enjoys being a director for First Electric and feels the board members are family. He believes in the importance of the cooperative form of business and its commitment to local communities. Serving on the board of First Electric allows him to give back to the community.
He and Tamara have been married for 57 years and have two children and seven grandchildren and one great grandchild. The Maertens attend Zion Lutheran Church, where Bob’s grandfather was a founding member in 1882.
If you see Bob, give him a fist or elbow bump (COVID required) and tell him “thank you” for serving on the board and being a trusted member in your community!
Rick Love, Chairman