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800-338-6425 or 254-687-2331
Touchstone Energy Cooperative
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General Manager/CEO


Debra Cole has over 35 years in the utility business. In 1978, Ms. Cole began her utility career with Texas Electric Service Company in the Fort Worth office, as a Customer Service Clerk. After 2 years, she was transferred into the Credit Department, as a lead representative. After relocating to Itasca in 1983 Ms. Cole left her position with TESCO after a year of commuting in hopes of obtaining employment with HILCO. Ms. Cole began work for HILCO, then Hill County Electric Cooperative, in 1984. 

Ms. Cole previously served as Assistant General Manager, Office Manager, Coordinator of Operation Department, Collection Supervisor, Customer Service Clerk and Cashier. 

Ms. Cole has her Bachelor Degree from West Texas A & M University, Associate in Applied Science in Management, Certificate of Technology in Management and Certificate of Basic Management Skills, from Hill College. 

She is married to Gary Cole, where, together, they have raised a daughter Melony and son Cory.  After Mr. Cole’s service in the Air Force they returned to the rural community they had grown up in to allow their children to attend a smaller school system and to also grow up in a rural environment. Ms. Cole served many years as president of the FFA Community Support Committee, president of the girls District Softball League, president of the Ex-Student Association and served as Youth Director at Christ Lutheran Church for 10 years.






Assistant General Manager of Operations

Thomas Cheek began his utility career, with the Cooperative, in 1997 as an Engineering Technician.  While at HILCO Electric, Thomas has held the positions of Economic Development Manager, in 2003, the Assistant Director of Engineering, in 2007 and the Director of Operations/Engineering, in 2010.  In 2014, he was promoted to his current position as the Assistant General Manager of Operations where he oversees HILCO’s lineman and engineering staff along with overhead, underground and right-of-way contractors.

Thomas has completed the requirements and received a Management Certification along with his Associate Degree, from Hill College.  He has also obtained several certifications from NRECA and TEC.  Thomas is active in his community, has served as a commissioner on the Planning and Zoning Board in Hillsboro and has served as an advisory committee member for TSTC workforce education programs.

Thomas and his wife, Amie, live in Hillsboro, have three children and are members of the First Baptist Church.  He enjoys spending time with his family, camping, fishing, hunting and boating.



Assistant General Manager of Administration


Paula is a life-long resident of Hill County.  She is a graduate of Itasca High School and of Hill College in Hillsboro.  She finished college at Tarleton State University, where she graduated Summa cum Laude in 2000 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting.  During her time at Tarleton State University, she was recognized by the Accounting Education Foundation of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants as the outstanding accounting student at Tarleton for the year 2000.  She earned her Certified Public Accountant license in February 2006 and was designated as a Chartered Global Management Accountant in 2012. 

Paula served as the City Clerk for the City of Itasca for five years.  She left that position to become a Deputy District Clerk for the Hill County District Clerk’s Office.  She remained in that position for three years.  She then took an Accounting Clerk position with HILCO Electric Cooperative in 1996.  While working for HILCO Electric Cooperative, Paula was promoted to Accounting Coordinator, Finance and Accounting Manager, Director of Finance and Accounting, and to her current position of Assistant General Manager of Administration.  She oversees the Office Services, Accounting, Billing, and Safety & Loss Control Departments which are responsible for the administrative functions for HILCO Electric Cooperative, HILCO United Services, Inc., and two rural water companies managed by HILCO Electric Cooperative. 

Paula is married to Doug Farquhar, another long-time resident of Itasca.  She has two children, Josh and Alex Solis, and a step-daughter, Vanessa Farquhar.  Doug and Paula have two grandchildren, Jake and Parker.  They enjoy attending Texas Rangers baseball games, snow skiing and riding side-by-side UTVs during their leisure time.




Director of IS and IT

Matt Fehnel serves as the Director of Information Services and Technology for HILCO Electric Cooperative, Inc.

Since joining HILCO in 2001, Matt Fehnel has been instrumental in updating information technology systems and implementing new communications programs at the cooperative. Matt graduated from Baylor University in 1990 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He worked for two national corporations and brought 13-years’ experience in the IT industry to his position at HILCO.

An Itasca native, Matt is active in the community. He is currently serving as Mayor Pro Tem of Itasca, has served multiple terms as Mayor of Itasca,  and is a two-time past-President and Treasurer of the Itasca Chamber of Commerce as well as past-President of the Itasca Ex-Students’ Association. He has participated in many community projects, including the Chamber Barbecue Cook-Offs, Relay For Life, Habitat for Humanity and Community clothing and food drives.  Matt enjoys gardening and other outdoor activities in his spare time.

Matt Lives in Itasca with his wife Michelle and their two Daughters, Ashley Spain and Megan Spain. 


Director of Marketing

Kendra Markwardt began her career with HILCO in 2007, in the I.T. Department.  In 2014 Kendra was promoted to Director of Marketing.

Kendra has been involved with and taken the lead on programs relating to the Pre-Pay Meter program, Outage Management Program, Paperless work order program, Online billing and other new technology programs offered by HILCO.   

Kendra and her husband, Eric, live in Itasca and have two children.  She enjoys spending time with family, photography and being outdoors.  She is also currently serving as a member on the Itasca School Board.   

“What a wonderful company HILCO is to work for.  I can’t wait to interact with our members through our Member’s Picnic, Coop Magazine and other media aspects.”    


HILCO Main Office

115 East Main Street
P.O. Box 127
Itasca, Texas  76055
(254) 687-2331 or (800) 338-6425
Fax  (254) 687-2428

HILCO Whitney Office

4581 FM 933
P.O. Box 2480
Whitney, Texas  76692
(254) 694-5237 or (888) 850-6551
Fax  (254) 694-4062

HILCO Midlothian Office

300A Silken Crossing
Midlothian, Texas  76065
(972) 723-2900
Fax  (972) 723-2911
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