Board nominees elected by general consent


Richard Schmidt, Shana Whiteley and Bryan Bracewell were unopposed in Bluebonnet's Board of Directors election this year. As a result, they were elected by general consent in accordance with Bluebonnet's bylaws.

Richard Schmidt
District 1, Caldwell, Gonzales, Guadalupe and Hays counties

Richard Schmidt was a Texas barbeque business legend when he joined Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative’s Board of Directors in 1994. He still is.

Schmidt owned and operated Kreuz Market in Lockhart from 1984 to 2010. His father owned “The Market” before him, and now Schmidt’s son, Keith, owns it. Schmidt’s other son, Leeman, is a resident of Austin.

Schmidt has his own table at Kreuz’s with a slogan emblazoned on the top: “There are three kinds of people: People who make things happen, people who watch things happen, and people who ask ‘What happened?’ ”

Schmidt makes things happen. He was chairman of Bluebonnet’s Board from 2001 to 2014, a period of comprehensive modernization and innovation that turned the co-op into one of the most respected electric cooperatives in the country. During his chairmanship, Bluebonnet improved almost all of its facilities and technologies, including retail and service centers, a state-of-the-art control center, advanced meters, and microwave
and fiber communications systems that work across the co-op’s service area. He serves on two Board committees.

A Lockhart native, Schmidt earned a degree in business administration in 1968 from Texas Christian University, which he attended on a baseball scholarship. He worked in the frozen food industry before he and his brother bought Kreuz Market from their father in 1984. Schmidt’s brother retired in 1997.

Schmidt lives in Lockhart and enjoys country music, traveling, fishing and bird hunting.

Shana Whiteley
District 2, Travis County

Shana Whiteley has served on Bluebonnet’s Board of Directors since January 2018. She is a successful businesswoman known for her deep local roots and enthusiastic support for the community.

Whiteley grew up on a 100-acre corn farm near Manor in Travis County, where she still lives with her son and her father. She owns two restaurants that serve casual comfort food: the Good Luck Grill in Manor and the Lucky Duck Cafe in Taylor.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in restaurant, hotel and institutional management from Texas Tech University and a master’s degree in business administration from Texas State University. After graduation, she traveled to Ukraine as a business development volunteer for the U.S. Peace Corps.

Whiteley returned to the United States in 1998 and worked as a sales executive for the Lubbock Convention and Visitors Bureau. Later, she was general manager of the Boat House Grill near Lake Travis.

In 2007, she fulfilled her long-held dream of owning a restaurant. She chose a 10-acre site on FM 973 just north of Manor and opened the Good Luck Grill, handling every detail, including working as the general contractor. In 2015, she opened a second restaurant, the Lucky Duck Cafe in Taylor in Williamson County.

Whiteley contributes to the Travis County Youth Show, Rodeo Austin and a long list of other nonprofits. She is a member of the Taylor and Manor chambers of commerce, and served as president of the Manor chamber in 2012.

Bryan Bracewell
District 3, Bastrop County

Bryan Bracewell is the third generation of his family to serve the Texas barbeque that has made Southside Market & Barbeque a legend. The original restaurant is in Elgin and a second location is in Bastrop. He began learning the family business, which has operated since 1882, at the age of 12. Since then, with the exception of four years spent earning a bachelor’s degree in food science and technology from Texas A&M University, Bracewell has worked in every single job at Southside’s restaurant, pit, meat market and processing plant.

Under Bracewell’s leadership, Southside has expanded to two restaurants, a meat distribution company, a catering company and an online store. The staff has grown from 32 employees to more than 140 today.

Bracewell is active in both the Elgin and Bastrop communities. He serves on the Elgin Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee, and he has twice been the chamber’s chairman, in 2009 and 2014. He
serves on the boards of the Elgin Economic Development Corporation, the Bastrop Central Appraisal District and the nonprofit Feed the Need. He also serves on the First National Bank of Bastrop’s Elgin Community Advisory Board, and the Bastrop Education Foundation Sportsmen’s Banquet Food Committee. Bracewell has been a guest speaker at numerous barbeque camps across the country. He has served on the Capital Area Food Bank’s Board of Directors and coached Little League baseball in Bastrop.

Bracewell is married to his Elgin High School sweetheart, Rachel. They have twin sons and live in downtown Bastrop.

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