Uncategorized

/Uncategorized

Alger Delta Earns RESAP Safety Accreditation

By |2019-08-23T11:42:59+00:00August 23rd, 2019|Uncategorized|

Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association has completed the Rural Electric Safety Achievement Program (RESAP) sponsored by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Electric Association (NRECA) in Alexandria, Virginia.

RESAP is a national safety program in partnership with utility safety leaders and utilizes a framework for continuous improvement to improve safety performance and culture. The program is designed to recognize electric cooperatives for above-average safety performance.

Alger Delta submitted to a two-part process that took place over several months. One part consisted of an on-site evaluation by a team of trained and certified safety professionals from other utilities and the insurance industry. The observation team spent two days examining and evaluating Alger Delta’s facilities, vehicles and equipment, safety and security procedures, operational procedures, and interviewing employees regarding their knowledge and understanding of safety-related work practices.

Another part of the process involves submitting an application that examines and evaluates the documentation of our safety-related work practices, reporting procedures, safety and health policies, accident investigations, corrective measures, training, and other safety-related functions. The application portion evaluates the cooperatives’ documentation and records maintained over the past three years.

“The safety achievement program is notable because it requires teamwork from the board room to the custodian’s closet,” said Tom Harrell, Alger Delta’s CEO. “This program reviews our processes and procedures, but also the culture of safety we’re trying to foster. In this business, whether working on high voltage lines or stacking material in the warehouse, working safely must be a part of what we do, every day, all day,” Harrell added.

Harrell praised the total team effort and all the staff at Alger Delta for doing their part toward supporting the achievement process and evaluation; including Operations Manager Troy Tiernan and Technical Services Manager Shannon Priebe.

According to the NRECA, there are 547 electric cooperatives that have been recognized by the safety achievement program. Alger Delta is one of seven electric cooperatives in Michigan to complete the safety achievement program.

Thumb Holds 82nd Annual Meeting

By |2019-06-21T15:34:38+00:00June 14th, 2019|Uncategorized|

Louis Wenzlaff, President of the Board of Directors, opened the 82nd Annual Meeting of TEC members held on June 8 at the Thumb Octagon Barn. An estimated 500 people attended the meeting, which was highlighted by the election of four Directors and numerous entertainment activities featured as a part of the TEC Member Appreciation Day and Annual Meeting.

Elected to three-year terms of District 1 were Randall Dhyse, Huron County; Kim Nunn, Sanilac County; and Louis Wenzlaff Tuscola County. Others nominated for a Director position were Steve Bombard, Sanilac County; and Meagan Anderson and Stanley Fox, Tuscola County.

Elected to a two-year term of District 2 was Donald Wolschleger, Huron County. Also nominated for a Director position was Matthew Booms, Huron County.

President Wenzlaff introduced TEC Attorney Jason Bitzer and members of the current TEC Board of Directors, including Donald Wolschleger, Beth McDonald and Randall Dhyse, Huron County; Kim Nunn, Mike Briolat and Duane Kursinsky, Sanilac County; and Jonathan Findlay and Carl Cousins, Tuscola County. General Manager Dallas Braun was also introduced.

President Wenzlaff recognized all TEC employees for their role in achieving a safe and successful year. He also acknowledged and thanked Jan Sageman who recently retired after providing 36 years of service to the cooperative and its members. A moment of silence was also observed for the recent passing of Allan Shaw, who served 35 years on the TEC Board from 1972 thru 2007.

President Wenzlaff introduced Jazmyn Warchuck and Pearl Daskam and they briefly spoke about their experiences as TEC Youth Tour representatives in Washington, D.C. in 2018.

VIEW MORE PHOTOS
Comments Off on Thumb Holds 82nd Annual Meeting

Alger Delta Hosts 80th Annual Meeting

By |2019-06-14T11:41:17+00:00June 11th, 2019|Uncategorized|

Alger Delta celebrated their 80th annual meeting on June 5.  Four hundred thirty-seven members attended the event at the Island Resort Casino and Convention Center in Harris.  The event included a dinner, business meeting, staff reports and prize drawings. Doors opened early to accommodate the crowd that was lined up outside.

Director Darryl Small opened the meeting with an invocation.  During the meal, Chief Financial Officer Amanda Seger discussed the co-op’s new bill print, pointing out several features of the new design.  Operations Manager Troy Tiernan also spoke, discussing several ongoing projects and work-related developments.  After dinner, Board President Paul Sederquist called the meeting to order and commenced with the seating of the elected directors. CEO Tom Harrell addressed the members and spoke about the co-op’s success over the past 81 years, with emphasis on the highs and lows of the past 15 years in particular.  Harrell also acknowledged the long tenure of President Sederquist and Director Small, having served 30 years and 14 years, respectively.  “These two are, essentially, the elder statesmen of the board” Harrell said.

All incumbents on the board were reseated.

New business included a motion to approve multiple changes to the bylaws.  Director Ray Young chaired the Policy Committee and explained the board undertook a thorough review of the bylaws with the intent of cleaning up outdated language, ensuring compliance with current law, making them clearer, and revising the structure of the document itself. Members agreed and voted to adopt the changes.

The meeting concluded with the awarding of prizes to those lucky members whose ticket was drawn.

“It’s wonderful to see such a good turnout at the annual meeting,” said Harrell.  “This is a great expression of the interest the members have in their co-op and their desire to be involved and engaged.”

Comments Off on Alger Delta Hosts 80th Annual Meeting

MECA Releases Updated Mobile App

By |2019-02-05T10:00:23+00:00February 5th, 2019|Uncategorized|

MECA recently released an updated version of its mobile app for Apple and Android devices. The app is designed to keep Michigan’s electric co-ops connected with its searchable database of co-op directors, managers and employees, a listing of MECA sponsors, events calendar and co-op news from around the state.

“Users probably won’t notice much change in the overall look or functionality of the app” says Doug Snitgen, Executive Vice President at MECA. “But it’s a big update that really improves performance, data security and administrative back-end.”

Several co-op associations use their own state-specific version of the app, which is licensed through a partnership with the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association (TECA).

“We really focused on performance improvements in this new release,” says Trent Scott, Vice President of Corporate Strategy at TECA. “We now time-stamp each individual piece of data, so when information is updated in the portal (such as names, phone numbers and photos), the user’s device will only download these individual pieces of information instead of the entire dataset. This makes load times much faster whenever the app is launched on a device.”

The new app also uses an improved, password-based access system. However, this means every user will need to complete an automated registration process the first time they use it.

“We know that registering is a small inconvenience, especially for those who have already been using the app,” says Snitgen, “but it will keep our co-op information more secure.”

A highly-anticipated back-end feature has also been included in the new release: co-op level administrative access. This addition allows an authorized individual at each co-op the ability to log into the admin portal and update the director and employee information for their co-op in real time.

The Tennessee statewide worked with a small agency on co-op lines to develop the app, which had its benefits, but also came with some challenges. One of these challenges included illness on the development team that significantly impacted the production schedule. This put all co-op content updates on hold for a while.

“We’ll hustle to help the co-ops get their director and employee information on the app up-to-date in the coming weeks,” concluded Snitgen. “But, overall, I think the new features were worth the wait.”

Click HERE to get the MECA mobile app, or search “Michigan Electric Cooperatives” in your app store.

Comments Off on MECA Releases Updated Mobile App

Journey Lineworker Job Opening (Alger Delta)

By |2018-01-22T11:13:52+00:00January 22nd, 2018|Uncategorized|

Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association in Gladstone, MI is seeking a Journey Lineworker. Alger Delta is a non-profit, member-owned electric utility serving about 10,000 consumers in the central Upper Peninsula. We are an employer of choice offering competitive compensation and benefits, good vehicles and equipment and up-to-date technology for a modern and mobile work force. Our culture is focused on leadership, safety, service to our members and commitment to the people and communities we serve.

Lineworkers are responsible for maintenance, operations, outage response, new services and related activities on the cooperative’s distribution system and all must be done safely and efficiently. This position involves climbing poles, working from an aerial lift, operating a digger derrick, driving considerable distances, exposure to all kinds of weather including sometimes extreme weather conditions, and working at any time of the day or night.

To qualify, you must document that you have successfully completed a Department of Labor approved apprenticeship training program; have a good work history; hold a Class A CDL and medical card, and have a clean driving record. If hired, you must live within 10 miles or 30 minutes of the cooperative headquarters, be on call on a regular basis and respond to system outages after normal work hours. Also, you must be proficient with a computer / iPad; must be a good decision maker of the highest integrity; and be dependable, patient and have very good interpersonal / customer relations skills.

To be considered, send a resume and cover letter to Alger Delta. By email: admin@algerdelta.com – write “Lineworker App” in the Subject line. By mail: Lineworker App c/o Alger Delta – 426 N. 9th St. – Gladstone, MI 49837.

Comments Off on Journey Lineworker Job Opening (Alger Delta)

Energy Optimization Program Participants Selected as Finalists for Governor’s Energy Excellence Awards

By |2017-08-09T14:25:27+00:00August 9th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Lansing, Mich. (June 28, 2017) – Four Michigan businesses that completed large-scale energy efficiency improvements with the help of the Energy Optimization program are finalists for the coveted 2017 Governor’s Energy Excellence Awards.

The four finalists include: Ewen-Trout Creek School District (Ewen), Friske Orchards (Charlevoix), Don Earl Heating & A/C (Sault Ste. Marie), and Sklarczyk Seed Farm (Johannesburg).

Now in its third year, the Governor’s Energy Excellence Awards honors Michigan organizations and individuals for outstanding achievement in reducing energy waste. Nominations were spread across eight different categories to showcase exceptional commitment to responsible energy production and consumption across a variety of project types.

Ewen-Trout Creek School District

Constructed 20 years ago, the outdated K-12 Ewen-Trout Creek School building boasted unreliable heating and cooling equipment, a leaky and poorly-insulated roof, and an array of other failing systems—all of which began to negatively impact the student learning experience. In 2016, the District worked with the Energy Optimization program to install new, energy-efficient boilers, water heaters, and fan coil units; an entirely new roof; and energy-saving indoor and outdoor LED fixtures. The upgrades are projected to save the district more than $27,000 per year in utility costs. The Ewen-Trout Creek School District, served by Ontonagon County REA, was named a finalist in the “Best Project—Public” category.

Friske Orchards

Friske Orchards, a family farm founded in 1962 in Charlevoix, grows a variety of fruits and vegetables—but is particularly known for the fresh apple cider they produce throughout the winter months. Friske Orchards invested in the construction of a highly-efficient and low-maintenance labor housing building in 2016, which features a sizeable solar photovoltaic system which generates renewable energy for the housing unit. A combination of mini-split air-source heat pumps, LED fixtures, ENERGY STAR®   appliances, and more in the new labor housing unit is expected to save the Friskes nearly $4,000 per year in electricity costs. Friske Orchards, served by Great Lake Energy Cooperative, was named a finalist in the “Best Project—Agriculture” category.

Don Earl Heating & A/C

Don Earl Heating & A/C of Sault St. Marie, which operates in the Cloverland Electric Cooperative service territory, earned a finalist nomination in the “Contractor of the Year” category. Don Earl Heating & A/C contributes valuable savings to Cloverland members in the eastern Upper Peninsula  by installing high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment. The business is committed to increasing awareness of the benefits of energy efficiency, and was the Energy Optimization program’s second-largest submitter of electric energy savings in 2016. Additionally, Don Earl Heating & A/C helped its customers save a combined $14,737 on their utility bills last year.

Sklarczyk Seed Farm

Sklarczyk Seed Farm, a family farm in Johannesburg, is a national leader in the seed potato industry. Manager Don Sklarczyk has invested heavily in making farm operations as energy efficient as possible. In 2016, Mr. Sklarczyk installed 90 LED grow lights, resulting in annual electricity savings of $21,000. The installation of the LEDs allowed the farm to meet growing demand without the need for costly new facilities. In 2016, Sklarczyk Seed Farm harvested over six million high-quality, disease-free seed potatoes. Sklarczyk Seed Farm, served by Great Lakes Energy Cooperative, was named a finalist in the “Best Project – Agriculture” category.

“We are incredibly proud of the energy-saving projects completed by these four participating businesses and institutions,” said Art Thayer, Director of Energy Efficiency Programs for the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association (MECA). “The Energy Optimization program exists to improve Michigan homes, farms, and businesses by providing cash incentives toward the purchase of energy-efficient products and equipment. We’re happy to see these businesses reap the rewards of these smart investments now and into the future.”

For more information about the Governor’s Energy Excellence Awards, visit mienergyexcellence.org.

Comments Off on Energy Optimization Program Participants Selected as Finalists for Governor’s Energy Excellence Awards

Ontonagon Annual Meeting Highlights

By |2017-06-26T13:20:17+00:00June 21st, 2017|MECA News, Uncategorized|

Chassell High School was the setting for the 2017 Ontonagon County Rural Electrification Association’s (OCREA’s) Annual Meeting held on Saturday, June 17. Approximately 150 members from the co-op’s five county service area attended the event which featured food, prize drawings, reports from the co-op manager and the board of directors and seating of new directors.

According to General Manager Debbie Miles, “This is the first meeting since 2014 that we have had a quorum and this provided a lot of input from the membership.” During the business portion of the meeting three resolutions were presented regarding bylaws, redistricting and transparency. After a spirited open discussion between members and staff these resolutions were voted on and passed.

Reports regarding overviews of the 2016 co-op operations, finances and highlights from the past year were presented by both President Koski and General Manager Miles. Board of Directors ballots were opened and counted by a committee chaired by Peggy Macko. James Moore ran unopposed for the vacancy in District 7 Boston/Lake linden and incumbent Paul Koski defeated Jerry Kitzman to win District 3 Ewen/Trout Creek. Both directors were seated at the meeting.

Comments Off on Ontonagon Annual Meeting Highlights

Thumb Electric Cooperative Holds 80th Annual Meeting At New Venue

By |2017-06-15T09:25:29+00:00June 14th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Louis Wenzlaff, president of the board of directors, opened the 80th Annual Meeting of Thumb Electric Cooperative (Thumb) members on June 10 at the Thumb Octagon Barn- a brand new venue for the annual meeting.

“The Octagon Barn is a very fitting venue for our event,” explained Brad Essemacher, member services manager at Thumb. Built in 1924, the historic Thumb Octagon Barn stands today as the result of two decades of community partnerships and is perfectly located in the center of Thumb’s tri-county service area.

“Thumb has been a fabulous partner and we were happy to host their annual meeting, said Rose Putman, President of the Barn. “It’s a wonderful spot for centralizing our rural and agriculturally-focused community.”

 An estimated 800 people attended the meeting, which is a considerable increase from previous years.

 “I was really encouraged to see such a great turnout of families with kids,” said Essenmacher.

 From bounce houses to bucket truck and pony rides to face painting, there were plenty of family activities to keep everyone busy.

 All the incumbent directors and board officers were re-elected.

 “The new venue worked out great for this event,” said Essenmacher. “We hope the Octagon Barn continues to draw more members to our annual meeting in the years to come.”

Comments Off on Thumb Electric Cooperative Holds 80th Annual Meeting At New Venue

Members Make Alger Delta’s Annual Meeting A Success

By |2017-06-14T15:33:43+00:00June 14th, 2017|Uncategorized|

A beautiful, sunny Upper Peninsula day provided the perfect backdrop to Alger Delta’s 79th Annual Meeting held on Saturday, June 10, at the U.P. State Fairgrounds. More than 400 members attended the event which featured a picnic-style cookout, games and activities for the whole family and many prize drawings.

“This event gives us a chance to show our members how much we appreciate them,” said CEO Tom Harrell. “Being a member of a co-op comes with some responsibilities and we appreciate that, so it’s just a really good time to be with our members and celebrate how far we’ve come.”

Harrell opened the business portion of the meeting by giving an overview of 2016 operations as well as updates on continuing electrical development work at the Ojibwa Casino, Eagle and Aquila mine.

Board President David Anthony chaired the meeting during the discussion of new business. This included a proposal to increase the Energy Optimization rate as well as the potential termination of the program in 2021. The increase will result in a member who uses the system average of 600 kilowatt-hours paying $.84 more per month. The other rate-related issues proposed were adding LED lighting rates to the tariffs and creating an industrial rate class. After an opportunity for member comment and discussion, the board moved to adopt the proposals.

The board also seated its newest member, Kirk Bruno representing District 7. “I’m certainly looking forward to representing the Stonington-Rapid River district,” Bruno stated, “and I hope to do the best that I can to help the co-op continue to be successful.”

Harrell concluded his remarks by expressing optimism for the future, confidently stating, “In 2018 we are looking forward to growing and becoming stronger to serve our members more effectively and efficiently.”

Comments Off on Members Make Alger Delta’s Annual Meeting A Success

Tom Sobeck Appointed Chief Executive Officer of PIE&G

By |2017-05-25T09:01:28+00:00May 25th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op board of directors has appointed Tom Sobeck as chief executive officer. Sobeck succeeds CEO Brian Burns, who retired on May 5, 2017.

“We are delighted to have Tom in his new role and leading PIE&G forward into the next chapter of the co-op’s history,” said John Brown, board chairman. “We’re pleased to have successfully completed the CEO succession process and remain focused on ensuring that the cooperative continues to fulfill its important mission in rural America.”

Mr. Sobeck has more than 23 years of experience with PIE&G, most recently as chief financial officer, with responsibility for all financial and treasury operations.  Sobeck is a United States Army veteran and holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Northern Michigan University in Marquette.

“I am grateful for the confidence of the board and for the opportunity to build on PIE&G’s long track record of success,” Sobeck said. “Presque Isle remains financially and operationally strong, with an outstanding value proposition and a reputation for excellence. I look forward to working with the board and employees as we continue to deliver energy to rural homes and businesses.  My focus will also include working closely with our community partners, while improving the cooperative’s capabilities and the overall experience we strive to offer to our members.”

Chairman Brown also thanked Mr. Burns for his 32 years of service to PIE&G, including the last sixteen as chief executive officer. “We’re grateful for Brian’s leadership and for his outstanding service to the organization.  We wish Brian only the best as he begins the next chapter of his life.”

Comments Off on Tom Sobeck Appointed Chief Executive Officer of PIE&G