Contingent presented with honor in Nashville

Lake Region Electric Cooperative officials (left to right): LREC employee Brady Roisum, LREC board member Kurt Krueger, LREC board member Sid Wisness, LREC CEO Tim Thompson, LREC board member Tom Jennen, LREC board member Earl Rydell, LREC employee Candace Rastedt and LREC employee Dylan Aafedt.

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association honored co-op leaders with seven prestigious awards at the PowerXchange conference in Nashville last week. 

Lake Region Electric Cooperative, headquartered in Pelican Rapids, is the winner of the Electric Cooperative Purpose Award, which recognizes co-ops that have made meaningful contributions to their communities and exemplified the cooperative purpose. 

The co-op is led by chief executive officer Tim Thompson.

“What a great experience it was for our employees and directors, and they were proud to receive the award on behalf of all the members they have the privilege to serve,” commented Thompson, following the presentation. 

The Purpose Award recognizes electric cooperatives that work with their membership to make outstanding contributions that result in visible, lasting improvements to the quality of life and the purpose of the cooperative in the community.

Thompson is credited with guiding Lake Region Electric with a “deft touch, and he’s been rewarded with great results,” NRECA President Chris Christensen said. “Lake Region is successful because every employee possesses an unrelenting commitment to their members, always listening and striving to meet their needs.”

Tim Thompson, Lake Region Electric Cooperative chief executive officer, and National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s Jim Matheson

“This commitment has allowed Lake Region to innovate, leading to advancements in the way electricity is produced and used with deployments of solar/wind hybrid facilities and community solar,” he said. “The cooperative also has reimagined its off-peak water heater program as a grid-interactive resource, part of an effort to help members use energy in new and efficient ways. Lake Region Electric is truly the trusted energy adviser in the community it serves.”

Thompson said the co-op was “humbled to be nominated by the Minnesota Rural Electric Association and recognized by NRECA for this distinguished NRECA Cooperative Purpose Award, and we greatly appreciate the hard work that both organizations do on behalf of electric cooperatives.”

“I am so proud of our employees and board members for what we have accomplished as we are bringing to our members a portfolio of energy services, including natural gas service and a first-of-its-kind wind/solar hybrid project,” Thompson said. “It is very rewarding to bring natural gas to unserved areas today just like our pioneering founders did 86 years ago with electricity.”

Lake Region thanked the Board of Directors and our employees. Traveling to accept this award were Thompson; VP of Business Solutions Dylan Aafedt; Marketing Specialist Candace Rastedt; Electric/Natural Gas Staking Technician Brady Roisum, and directors Tom Jennen, Kurt Krueger, Earl Rydell, and Sid Wisness.

LREC is a member-owned, member-controlled electric utility serving more than 28,000 member-consumers in the counties of Otter Tail, Wilkin, Grant, Douglas, Clay, and Becker. 

LREC has 30 substations that power approximately 4,065 miles of overhead lines and approximately 1,777 miles of underground lines.