REA Board of Directors
REA Board Members
Gary (Andy) Anderson, Board President
Parkers Prairie, MN
Barbara Johnson, Director
Audrey Hjelle, Director
David Staples, Board Secretary
Mike Loken, Board Vice President
Joel Seela, Director
Matthew Mattson, Board Treasurer
How to Run for the REA Board of Directors
Each year districts elect directors. Districts 1 & 4 hold elections in one year, Districts 2 & 5 the following year, and Districts 3, 6 & 7 the year after that. When the district in which your membership resides is having an election, you may seek nomination to be a director candidate at the District Meetings usually held in January or February. Nomination by petition is also available with fifteen or more signatures from members in your district within fifteen days after the District Meeting. Please see the Director Qualifications below.
Directors are elected by voters in their district. Ballots are mailed to each eligible member. They may be returned by mail, in person or members may vote at the Annual Meeting.
Districts 3, 6 & 7: 2023
Districts 2 & 5: 2024
Districts 1 & 4: 2025
From Runestone Electric Association Bylaws ARTICLE III Section 7. Qualifications.
No person shall be eligible to become or remain a director of the Cooperative who:
(a) is not a bona fide member of the Cooperative receiving electric service from the Cooperative in the district that the director represents or would represent if elected;
(b) is not a bona fide resident of the district from which he or she is elected or for which he or she is a candidate; (bona fide resident shall be defined as occupying and continuously and materially purchasing electric service at a location within any director district from which the director is elected or for which he or she is a candidate for at least nine (9) months each calendar year);
(c) is in any way employed by or substantially financially interested in an enterprise substantially competing with the Cooperative or any Cooperative-affiliated business;
(d) within five (5) years preceding a director candidate’s nomination was or during service on the Board of Directors is adjudged to be guilty of a felony;
(e) within five (5) years preceding a director candidate’s nomination was a full-time employee of the Cooperative;
(f) within five (5) years preceding a director candidate’s nomination was an employee of a statewide association of electric cooperatives, an electric generation and transmission cooperative, or any other entity in which an electric cooperative is a member.
(g) within five (5) years preceding a director candidate’s nomination or during his or her term if elected was or becomes employed by a labor union which represents, has represented, or has endeavored to represent any employee of the cooperative;
(h) is a close relative of an incumbent who is not up for reelection at that time;
(i) is a close relative of an employee of the Cooperative;
(j) is or becomes the full-time employee or agent or, who is or becomes the full-time employer or principal of, another director;
(k) does not have the capacity to enter legally binding contracts;
(l) is absent from three or more regular meetings (“Unexcused Absences”) of the Board of Directors during any consecutive twelve month period, unless excused for good cause (an “Excused Absence”) by the Board. If a director participates in more than one regular meeting during any consecutive twelve month period by electronic communication, that director shall be considered absent from that meeting for purposes of determining the number of the director’s Unexcused Absences, unless the attendance by electronic communication is approved for good cause by the Board.
A “close relative” as used in these Bylaws is a person who:
- is by blood, law, or marriage (including half, step, foster, and adoptive relations) a child, grandchild, parent, grandparent, or sibling); or
- is a spouse or resides in the same residence.
A member that is an authorized farm corporation or family farm corporation may select an individual member residing on or actively operating the farm to be eligible for election to the board.
How to Vote in Elections
A ballot marked “Ballot for Director District ________” containing the names of all the nominees with the names in alphabetical order, with the notice of the meeting to the members of districts in which a director is to be elected. The ballot shall not specify the manner of nomination of the nominee. The Secretary shall also mail with the notice of the meeting a statement of the number of directors to be elected. Such statement of the Secretary shall also inform the members of each district in which a director is to be elected, of the manner in which the members of that district may vote for a director. Any member of a district in which a director is to be elected, who is absent from any such meeting, may vote by mail for a director by marking the ballot opposite the name of a candidate and enclosing the ballot in a sealed envelope inside another envelope bearing the name of the member or otherwise indicating the member’s identity, addressed to the Cooperative or to a location designated by the Cooperative. When such ballot so enclosed is received by mail from any absent member, it shall be accepted and counted as a vote for the director by ballot for the district of such absent member at such meeting. In every election, the nominee from each district in which a vacancy exists, receiving the largest number of votes of members in that district shall be elected to the Board of Directors. In the case of a tie vote, the winner shall be determined by a flip of a coin.
Members may not nominate from the floor of an annual or special meeting of the members an individual to run for election as a director candidate.
Uncontested Elections. If for any director election there is only one nominee for a board position so that the nominee is running unopposed, ballots need not be provided by mail or electronically to the members in that district, and the election shall be made by the chairperson of the member meeting entertaining a motion to elect the single candidate by a voice vote, show of hands, or other appropriate means.
Any questions on voting or elections can be answered by a phone call to the REA office at 1-800-473-1722.
Director Spotlight Videos
2023 Board Meeting Dates
(Due to Christmas Open House)
Note: Meeting dates are subject to change.
Attending a Board Meeting
Members may attend board meetings. According to Board Policy BD-04, members wishing to be placed on the agenda should contact the CEO at least 10 days prior to the meeting indicating topic, number attending, and estimated time required. Adherence to the above will permit proper scheduling and allow the appropriate records or other information to be gathered and available at meeting. Due to space and time limitations, the Board may limit the numbers in attendance and establish a time limit. If more than one (1) person is present representing one side of a single issue, a spokesperson shall be designated. The Board may limit attendance to members only.
The Board reserves the right to conduct Executive Sessions, which are not open to members, to discuss negotiations, personnel issues, litigation, or other sensitive issues.
Board Meeting Highlights
September 2023 Board Meeting Summary
- Reviewed the Financial Report for August 2023. Energy sales were ahead of budget for the month and are close to budget for the year.
- As part of the CEO Report, Mr. Haman reported a 9% across-the-board reduction in Minnesota Rural Electric Trust workers’ compensation rates, and a review of the equity management presentation at the August 2023 board meeting. The consensus of the Board was the consistency in which the cooperative’s equity ratios have been managed is appropriate and directed Management to continue with this approach.
- Approved the Nextera Energy Resources – Amended Terms for Dodge County Wind Energy Purchase Resolution per Great River Energy’s request.
- Director Hjelle has been selected for the 2023 Cooperative Network Cooperative Builder Award. President Anderson will represent REA at the Cooperative Network Annual Meeting on November 14 in Rochester, Minnesota.
August 2023 Board Meeting Summary
- Reviewed the Financial Report for July 2023. July’s margin was ahead of budget with a gain in the gross margin and lower expenses. Kilowatt-hour (kWh) usage for the year is right on budget, and the year-to-date margin is ahead of budget.
- Reviewed the Minnesota Earned Sick and Safe Time (ESST) statute and the impacts on REA of legalizing recreational marijuana in Minnesota. Commercial driver license (CDL) holders must comply with federal law, which does not allow marijuana use.
- National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC) Regional Vice President Alison Deelstra provided an equity management overview. Equity determines construction spending, capital credit retirement, and rates. REA’s equity has averaged 38.7% over the last five years, which is typical for rural electric cooperatives.
- Reviewed REA’s response to emergencies by reviewing the Emergency Action & Restoration Plan, mayday drills, event alert forms, and the Crisis Communications booklet. Also discussed ways directors may help during a crisis.
July 2023 Board Meeting Summary
- Reviewed the Financial Report for June 2023. Expenses for June were less than budgeted, and the gross margin was more than budgeted, both contributing to a positive REA margin. Energy sales & purchases for the year are close to budget estimates. The year-to-date REA margin remains under budget, with the timing of right-of-way clearing creating the largest variance.
- Director Anderson and CEO Haman reviewed the STAR Energy Services Board meeting.
- Discussed REA’s contribution in aid to construction (CIAC) paid by members when building a new service. CEO Haman will present proposed restructuring of the CIAC at a future board meeting.
- Updated the electric vehicle charging hours in the REA rate schedule from 11:00 p.m. – 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. – 6:00 a.m. as determined by GRE.
June 2023 Board Meeting Summary
- Reviewed the Financial Report for May 2023. There is a negative margin for the month of May, driven by right of way clearing. The annual margin is running behind budget. Maintenance expense is higher than planned, revenue is lower, which results in a lower margin. Some expense items have been incurred earlier in the year than planned, so catch up may happen later in the year.
- Approved Pat Soberg, Elbow Lake (District 3), and Richard Moen, Glenwood (District 7), for appointment to the REA Operation Round Up Trust Board of Directors.
- Approved the offer to amend the Great River Energy Power Purchase Contract by extending the contract ten years.
- Mr. Rooney provided a update on the Aclara Demand Response Units (DRUs) installations, REA’s generator program and a summary of his experience driving the Ford Lightning (EV) to a meeting in Grand Forks.
May 2023 Board Meeting Summary
- Reviewed the Financial Report for May 2023. Operating expense for the month is under budget, as some budgeted operations and maintenance items were incurred earlier in the year. Margin for the year is under budget, with about half attributed to the gross margin and half to operating expense.
- Set Thursday, April 25, 2024, for the Annual Meeting at Alexandria Area High School.
- Approved changes to the Schedule of Charges to simplify the yard light charges to one option rather than multiple sizes.
- CEO Haman reviewed a Heartland Security board meeting.
- Mr. Rooney gave the Energy Management Report updating the Board on the Aclara Demand Response Units (DRUs), NRECA’s load control study on ductless heat pumps, Aquanta (water heater control devices) performance data, and recent irrigation control test results.
- Director Hjelle reported on the May Great River Energy Board meeting and the committees in which she participates.
April 2023 Board Meeting Summary
- Reviewed the Financial Report for April 2023. The margin for March was under budget due to the timing of expenses. Plant operations and maintenance expense were both ahead of budget. We completed our email/firewall/security/Microsoft Office project, and the related charges are expensed to general administrative expense. Kilowatt-hour sales were ahead of budget in March and made up for most of the variances in sales in January & February.
- REA received two CoBank Sharing Success matching donations for United Way of Douglas & Pope Counties ($780) and Breakfast on the Farm ($850).
- Approved new Member Advisory Council Members: Ralph Martin, Alexandria (District 2), Rodney Young, Nelson (District 6), Todd Malecha, Villard (District 6), Mark Thompson, Starbuck (District 7) and Deborah Anderson, Farwell (District 7).
- Director Hjelle reviewed highlights of the GRE Annual Meeting. Director Hjelle was re-elected secretary of the GRE Board of Directors.
March 2023 Board Meeting Summary
- Reviewed the Financial Report for February 2023 noting sales lagged behind budget in February. The margin for the year is under budget due to lower sales and to operations expenses incurred earlier than projected. The unpredictability of both cost and delivery timing for materials is still difficult.
- Accepted the 2022 Audit Report. A clean opinion was issued.
- STAR Energy Service Compliance Specialist Lisa Tickhil presented the 2022 Safety Year in Review.
- Approved Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Three Phase Service (EVP3) rate to coincide with the GRE Customer Specific Rate.
February 2023 Board Meeting Summary
- Reviewed the Financial Report for January 2023, noting sales were down for January 2023, resulting in a decreased gross margin. The negative effect on the REA margin was offset by expenses lagging the budget, particularly distribution plant maintenance items.
- Selected Director Hjelle to serve on the Great River Energy Board of Directors and Director Anderson to serve on the STAR Energy Services Board of Governors.
- Accepted pole inspection, substation vegetation control and padmount transformer inspection contracts as part of the 2023 Operations and Maintenance Budget.
January 2023 Board Meeting Summary
- Reviewed the Financial Report for December 2022. December kWh sales were 8% over budget. Revenue was ahead of budget and expenses were below budget. For the year, additional sales and the rate change offset higher expenses for a margin above budget. Our FEMA applications related to the May storms are under review with expected approval.
- Approved contracts for right-of-way tree clearing, cable locating, underground construction, and overhead
construction projects as part of the 2023 Operations and Maintenance Budget.
- Approved the updated Wholesale Power Cost Adjustments (WPCA) rates and Cogeneration and Small Power Production Rates, effective January 1, 2023.
- Approved amending the Great River Energy Power Purchase Contract to allow member-cooperatives to develop more renewable and storage resources. If approved, GRE All-Requirement Members could self-generate up to 10% of their electric energy, up from 5% set in 2008.
- Discussed two REA Work Plan projects submitted by STAR Energy Services as part of the MREA aggregate application for an infrastructure grant
December 2022 Board Meeting Summary
- Reviewed the Financial Report for December 2022. Because operating expense was over budget, due to the timing of right of way clearing and pole testing expense in the month, the monthly margin is behind budget. For the year, sales kWh’s are 3% more than budget. Revenue dollars are ahead of budget, but expenses are also higher, with the REA margin less than budget.
- Approved transferring the 2022 Uncollectible Accounts to the reserve for bad debt. Mrs. Nelson noted that efforts are made to continue to collect on accounts even after the account has been written off.
- Approved the 2023 Budget. The 2023 Budget has $6.9 million in capital plant additions and an REA operating margin of $1,063,205.
- Approved the refunding of Capital Credits in April 2023 with $300,000 to the oldest membership allocation (a portion of 1995 capital credits) and $300,000 to members receiving service in 2021.
- Approved funding a loan application utilizing the REA Revolving Loan Fund.
- Directors Mattson and Staples will attend the January Great River Energy (GRE) Board Meeting as guest directors. The board will attend the GRE Regional Meetings in February.
Board Meeting Highlights before December 2022 can be found in the Newsline Newsletters located here »