The Board of Directors and GVEC management are committed to delivering quality services and products that not only meet, but exceed the expectations of GVEC members. The Board, elected by the membership, governs the business of GVEC. The management staff runs day-to-day operations.
The GVEC service area encompasses 3,500 square miles over 13 counties. It’s divided into 11 districts based on population. A Director from each district is elected to sit on the GVEC Board of Directors.
Board of Directors
The GVEC Board of Directors come from diverse backgrounds and all types of industries: banking, ranching, farming, education, oil, food, utilities and business. Just as importantly, they’re your neighbors and members, too, with families, businesses, careers and hobbies in the communities they represent.
Lewis Borgfeld has represented District 2 since 1973 when he was appointed as an Advisory Director. He was then elected to the Board in 1974, and in 1986, he was elected Board President. After 36 years as President, Borgfeld ended his historic tenure in this role in 2022. However, he continues representing District 2 on the Board of Directors and will celebrate 50 years of service to GVEC members in 2023. His continued presence on the Board provides valuable expertise, and his insight and experience helped make the transition to a new Board Executive Committee efficient and smooth. Borgfeld graduated from Schertz/Cibolo High School (now Samuel Clemens High School) and received a Bachelor of Science in Business Education from Southwest Texas State College. He previously served in the U.S. Navy Reserve, and after graduation from college, Borgfeld served as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force. Upon leaving the Air Force, he entered the banking profession and received a graduate banking degree from Louisiana State University (LSU).
He is currently executive vice president of Schertz Bank & Trust and is a past president and charter board member of the Tri-County Chamber of Commerce and past president of the Randolph Metrocom Rotary Club. He has been active in economic development activities in the Schertz and Cibolo communities as well as in the cattle raising business. Borgfeld’s wife Lolly has been a longtime educator in the area and is past president of the SCUCISD Education Foundation.
District 3 is represented by Henry C. Schmidt Jr., who has served GVEC members since 2000. In 2022, Schmidt was elected to the role of Board Vice President after serving as Secretary/Treasurer since 2020.
Schmidt graduated from Gonzales High School and holds an Associate of Applied Science in business management. Schmidt, along with his brother and mother, is an owner of Schmidt and Sons, Inc., a fuel and lubricants distributer. He’s also raises registered Brangus cattle with his wife Debbie on their ranch in northeast Gonzales County.
Schmidt has also served his community as a Gonzales Volunteer Fire Department firefighter and a Gonzales County reserve deputy sheriff. Henry and Debbie are members of the Lutheran Church in Gonzales.
Morris Harvey has served the members in District 5 since 2011. In 2022, he was elected as Secretary/Treasurer. He graduated from Nixon High School and from Texas A&I University in Kingsville in agriculture education.
A lifelong rancher, Morris is also the owner and manager of Mustang Realty in Nixon, and is a broker, real estate professional inspector and licensed appraiser. He has served his community as a member of the Nixon Hospital Board, Nixon Chamber of Commerce and as past director of the Feather Fest. He is also a member of First Baptist Church of Nixon.
Leo York was elected to the Board in 2021 and has more than 38 years of experience in the Texas electric utility industry. In 2019 he retired from American Electric Power as vice president Electric Transmission Texas. He was responsible for the construction, operations, maintenance and regulatory compliance of $3.1 billion of high voltage transmission lines and substation equipment. He earned Bachelor of Science degrees in mechanical engineering and industrial technology from Texas A&M University. A fifth generation Texan, his ancestors immigrated to New Braunfels, Shiner and surrounding areas. Leo and his wife Nancy have been GVEC members since 2008. He serves on the Preserve Lake Dunlap Association’s Advisory Committee as a technical advisor for the Lake Dunlap Dam restoration. Nancy is a trustee on the NBISD School Board. They attend Gruene United Methodist Church. Their two children, spouses and seven grandchildren all reside in New Braunfels.
Melvin E. Strey has served District 7 since 1977 and was elected Board Vice President in 1992. In 2022, after 30 years as Vice President, Strey stepped down and ended his distinguished tenure in this role. However, he remains on the Board of Directors representing members in District 7 and will celebrate 46 years of GVEC leadership in 2023. Strey was a high school mathematics teacher in the Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD, 1959 to 1989, and owner of Strey Insurance Agency in La Vernia, 1989 to 2007. Besides serving on GVEC’s Board, Strey is also president of the Board of Directors of East Central Special Utility District and former president of Canyon Regional Water Authority. He graduated LaVernia High School, earned a bachelor’s from Texas Lutheran University and a master’s from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University). He’s active in the New Berlin VFD and the New Berlin Community Club. Although officially retired, Director Strey remains involved with raising cattle and associated activities.
Mark Roberts of District 8 has been a Board Director since November 2009. He grew up in Schertz and graduated from Samuel Clemens High School. He received an Associate degree of Applied Sciences from Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service in San Antonio and an accredited Automotive Management degree from the Automotive Management Institute (AMI) in Bedford, Texas.
Roberts owns multiple businesses, including Total True Automotive Investments, Schertz Auto Service and Roberts Properties, Inc. He is an active member of the community and has served as a volunteer for many causes in and around the cities of Schertz, Cibolo and Marion.
Gary E. Birdwell was elected in 2018 to represent District 9. In 2022, he was elected to serve as Board President.
Birdwell holds an MBA in marketing from the University of the Incarnate Word as well as a BBA in human resources from Stephen F. Austin State University. With over 39 years of insurance and leadership experience, Mr. Birdwell is currently a risk advisor with GBMB Insurance Agency, LLC.
In addition to his extensive professional experience, Birdwell is a US Army veteran and is also involved in the community. He has served in leadership roles with various boards and organizations, including the UIW Development Board, Northeast YMCA Board of Management and Christ Our King Anglican Church vestry.
Gary Birdwell and his wife Diane currently reside in Schertz and they have three grown daughters.
David Warzecha, representing District 11, has served as a GVEC Board Director since 1993. Previously, he served as a director for DeWitt Electric Cooperative for eight years and held the office of secretary/treasurer. A businessman and rancher, Warzecha has lived in Dewitt County more than 60 years. He attended Lindenau and Westhoff schools, graduated from Cuero High School, attended Texas A&M University and received an associate degree from Victoria College.
Darren Schauer is the General Manager and Chief Executive Officer of GVEC. He held several positions at the Cooperative prior to being named CEO in 2003. Mr. Schauer is a graduate of Texas A&M University, holding a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural economics and is a graduate of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association management intern program. He is a Board Member of the National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC), Texas Broadband Now, Board Chairman of the Gonzales Housing Authority and Board Treasurer of the Gonzales County Health Foundation. He was the past Board Chairman of the Association of Texas Electric Cooperatives and a past Board Member of both Texas Public Power Association and Power Across Texas.
Sean Alvarez began his career at GVEC with a two-and-a-half-year management internship, which gave him extensive working knowledge in each area of the Cooperative. Since then, he has held several positions at GVEC and currently serves as Chief Operating Officer, responsible for GVEC’s seven divisions as well as the development and implementation of the strategic vision of the Electric and Internet businesses. Additionally, Sean is involved in GVEC’s strategic planning process along with working with the General Manager on wholesale power supply issues. Alvarez, who played baseball on scholarship from Texas A&M University, holds a Bachelor of Science in kinesiology. He is a graduate of the Robert I. Kabat Management Internship Program, sponsored by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. He is a past member of the executive committee for the Education Foundation Board for the Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD, the Gonzales Rotary Club and Randolph Metrocom Rotary Club. Alvarez and his family live in New Braunfels, where he has coached youth baseball for the past 8 years.
Ashley Coburn began her career at GVEC in 2008 as a Customer Service Representative and now serves as Chief People Officer. Prior to her current role, Coburn served in several roles across the organization and spent time with each area of the Cooperative to better understand organizational business and cultural strategy. In her role as Chief People Officer, Coburn is responsible for driving a culture that maximizes the potential of employees and the organization while overseeing human resources and employee development efforts at GVEC. Coburn has a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Texas A&M University, holds a Senior Certified Professional status with the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM), serves on the Advisory Board for the Mini MBA Program with the Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston and is a member of the Bennie HR Advisory Board. Coburn enjoys volunteering for ministry work in her spare time, and she currently resides with her family in Shiner.