Starting a New Chapter

“This is a special cooperative; you will like it here.” Those were the words of Don Prevost when we first visited in April 2013. Now in April 2015, I know exactly what Don was saying to me.

My wife, two kids, a dog and I moved to Sidney in 2013. We are from northwestern North Dakota, and even though we were not too far from Sidney, we didn’t expect what we found when we moved to Sidney.

The opportunities for my kids are great and the community has been very warm and welcoming. I have many hobbies to keep myself busy in my spare time. I am an avid sports fan, and I love to play golf. I enjoy spending time with my family at sporting events, movies and also attending events around our region.

I have also taken the opportunity to get involved in the community. I currently serve as a Director for the Richland County Boys and Girls Club, I am a member of the Kiwanis Club, and I was recently elected to the Richland County Economic Development Board.

Along with these civic duties, I like to take the opportunity to teach our young people about the cooperative and what it means to them now and in the future. I enjoy volunteering at the schools to educate the students, who are the members of tomorrow, about the cooperative and how electricity works in their lives.

To give everyone a little background on my work life, I have been an electric cooperative employee my whole career, which started as a part-time position in 1995, and turned into a full-time position in 1997. Over the past 18 years, I have worked my way through the ranks. Over those years, I had the unique opportunity to work in many areas of the cooperative. It’s been a wonderful experience to work beside numerous cooperative employees and for thousands of excellent members.

Now, I start another chapter in my cooperative career with Lower Yellowstone Rural Electric Cooperative (LYREC), as general manager. Over the past two years, I have been working with a great group of employees. I see a bright future for everyone involved with the cooperative. I have also been fortunate to work with and meet many of our members from one end of our system to the other.

LYREC has a rich, strong history of being a stable business in the communities and counties we serve. I want to continue the history and also expand on it. I feel we can take this a step further by expanding on how we communicate with our members. With the media explosion in the world today, the cooperative has many new and instant ways to get information to our members about outages, products, programs we offer and cooperative news. I feel this is the next step in connecting to our membership, but we cannot lose sight of maintaining affordable, reliable power.

I feel we have to keep looking at the operational future of the cooperative and understand that we are growing into a cooperative where members no longer remember a world without electricity and we need to keep that in mind when planning our system.

The stable financial situation the cooperative finds itself in today is a direct reflection of good planning and decision-making by Don Prevost, his staff and the board of directors over many years. Even though faces are changing at the cooperative, the path of stability will continue for the cooperative.

I also see cooperatives in the middle of a changing environment. Our cooperative will not be immune to these changes. We will have to stay ahead of the issues, and communicate the best course of action for the cooperative members.

My family and I have enjoyed the opportunities that Sidney has brought to us. I am happy to be part of the cooperative family and look forward to my future with Lower Yellowstone Electric Cooperative. If any member has questions, please feel free to stop in and visit with me.


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