The Board of Directors at Dakota Electric Association (DEA) – one of the 25 largest electric distribution cooperatives in the nation – seeks an experienced, high-integrity leader to join the cooperative as its next President and CEO. The preferred start date is early in March of 2023. DEA’s new leader will replace Greg Miller, who is retiring after 25 years of exceptional service to DEA’s members.
DEA has engaged GreatCo-Ops (www.greatcoops.com) to assist with this search.
DEA’s new leader must have a strategic mindset, combined with a thorough understanding of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for large, complex electric cooperatives. The applicant should be a decisive visionary to determine the future needs of the cooperative and meet the changes of an ever-evolving energy industry. DEA’s CEO must have an inclusive and collaborative leadership style, along with excellent interpersonal and communication skills (written, verbal, and listening), to lead others in pursuit of the co-op’s vision. He/she must have the experience and competencies required to help DEA continue its high level of performance in safety, reliability, member satisfaction, operational excellence, and financial soundness. And, he/she must have the ability and aptitude to build productive relationships with DEA’s members, power supplier, regulators, the statewide association, and other key stakeholders, as well as project a favorable image for the cooperative.
DEA is looking for a leader who can work effectively with the board and co-op staff to achieve outstanding results. The new CEO will be the strategic leader who executes policies, goals, and objectives as established by the board of directors.
Headquartered on the outskirts of Minneapolis in Farmington, Minnesota – just 20 miles from the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport – DEA’s approximately 200 employees deliver power to more than 110,000 members.
For the fifth time, DEA was named in 2022 as a local “Employer of Excellence” for the co-op’s employee retention, training and development practices, and employee benefits, among other factors.
DEA’s members are highly satisfied with the service they receive from the cooperative. The co-op’s 2022 member survey showed an ACSI score significantly above the national average for all types of electric utilities, including cooperatives. In addition, the co-op was rated highly by its members for its environmental and social responsibility, rates and costs, billing and payment processes, reliability, and member service.
DEA is also a committed and valued corporate citizen in the communities it serves. The co-op and its employees contribute to numerous charitable and civic organizations, supporting a variety of programs that make their communities more vibrant. Since 2013, the cooperative has donated more than $2 million to education.
DEA is governed by an engaged and experienced board of directors, and the co-op is rate-regulated by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. The cooperative’s power supply comes from Great River Energy (G&T), of which DEA is a member.
Fast Facts about Dakota Electric Association
4,273 miles of line (3,098 underground and 1,175 overhead)
The Twin Cities and surrounding metro area provide a very good quality of life that includes excellent educational institutions, extensive opportunities for outdoor recreation, professional sporting events, fine dining, and much more. Entertainment and cultural events can be found throughout the area, along with affordable housing and outstanding healthcare. These are among the reasons why U.S. News & World Report ranked Minneapolis-Saint Paul the 27th best place to live in the United States for 2022-2023.
Responsibilities of DEA’s CEO
Provides guidance and development opportunities to the co-op’s high-quality senior leadership team and ensures ongoing communication, coaching, and feedback.
Personifies DEA’s mission and values, fostering a culture of quality, innovation, accountability, effectiveness, and efficiency.
Leads the organization in developing, implementing, and achieving DEA’s mission, vision, and strategic imperatives and plans. Ensures financial and staff resources are allocated to support the co-op’s objectives.
Oversees, manages, and monitors budgets, investments, and compliance with financial regulations and rates. Oversees the planning, implementation, and monthly review of budgets for the effective operation of all Dakota Electric facilities and programs.
Develops and maintains positive relationships with the DEA Board of Directors and provides accurate information and effective communication in a proactive and timely manner.
Develops, oversees, and implements policies and standard processes in coordination with senior staff for all organizational areas.
Is committed to and actively involved in DEA’s safety programs, initiatives, and performance measures. Complies with established DEA safety and operating rules, policies, procedures, and guidelines. Is responsible for reporting any unsafe practices and/or hazards to the Manager of Safety Services.
Oversees the development and implementation of quality initiatives that propel DEA to meet or exceed the expectations of members, prospective members, suppliers, regulators, and others. Strives to meet or exceed quality expectations for reliability of service. Establishes internal mechanisms to measure and monitor quality effectiveness and utilizes established or developed quality/satisfaction measures to determine and improve quality standards.
Leads the organization in relationships with external power suppliers and other related associations, participating actively in strategic initiatives and regulatory leadership. Works with Great River Energy to establish relationships, effect change, negotiate rates, and ensure that DEA is well represented and considered in its market.
Effectively establishes, fosters, and maintains relationships with industry regulators. Actively participates in and provides the necessary financial and staff resources to support appropriate legislative and regulatory efforts as necessary to support DEA’s mission and strategic initiatives, and to protect the interest of its members.
Enhances the external reputation of the organization through efforts related to member and public relations. Supports activities that will positively perpetuate DEA’s image as a premier provider of energy and other areas of business, as identified through subsidiary and non-traditional products and services. Ensures compliance with standards established for satisfaction surveys, quality surveys, and annual meeting responses.
Models and fosters an inclusive workplace culture that aligns with the mission, values, and policies of DEA and adheres to current federal and state employment regulations and guidelines. Provides staff and financial resources to support a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace.
Travels throughout DEA’s service area to meet with civic leaders, as well as those in regulatory and legislative bodies. Attendance is required at local, regional, and national meetings and seminars to stay abreast of changes within the industry.
Represents DEA at a wide variety of external organizations and functions.
Application Process and Deadline
Interested individuals who meet the required qualifications must email a cover letter and resume to Monica Beavers, Director of Client Services at GreatCo-Ops, at firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition to discussing the applicant’s fit for the role, the cover letter should also include the individual’s perspectives on one significant trend in the electric utility industry and how it is likely to affect DEA, given the co-op’s unique characteristics.
References will be requested at a later time for applicants who progress through the process. Finalists must be willing to undergo a comprehensive background check.
Applications are preferred by September 30, 2022 at 5:00 pm Central. However, applications will be reviewed until the position is filled.
Applications from those who do not meet the required qualifications will not be considered.
Verifiable, successful leadership experience at the Vice President level or above (or equivalent positions/experience in law, consulting, finance, government, or other types of organizations)
Demonstrated success in building high-performance teams and excellent organizational cultures
A bachelor’s degree from an accredited university
Excellent leadership and communication skills
An unwavering commitment to ethical conduct
Knowledge in electric utility operations, systems, safety, power supply, customer/member needs and expectations, finance, accounting, technology, and cybersecurity
An understanding of electric utility industry trends, their likely effects on large cooperatives, and ways to leverage those trends for the benefit of DEA and its various types of members
An understanding of – and an appreciation for – the cooperative business model and Seven Cooperative Principles
A demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with boards of directors, executive teams, and support staff
The ability to represent DEA effectively with key stakeholders
A minimum of 5 years of experience at the Vice President level or above within an electric utility, preferably a cooperative
A proven track record of increasingly responsible leadership experience
An advanced degree in an area relevant to leading an electric utility, including but not limited to law, business, management, economics, or engineering.
DEA is an equal opportunity employer. All duties should be considered essential functions per the Americans with Disabilities Act. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.