Tri-State officers elected following 2012 annual meeting

Approximately 400 electric cooperative representatives and industry officials attended Tri-State’s 60th annual meeting April 4-5, 2012 at the power supplier’s Westminster, Colo., headquarters, where they reviewed recent activities and addressed numerous issues and challenges facing the electric utility industry.

Following the meeting, the association’s board of directors was seated for the upcoming year, including all six incumbent officers and three at-large positions that make up the board’s Executive Committee.  Under the cooperative business model, each of Tri-State’s 44 member distribution systems is represented on its board, which is the democratically-elected governing body of the association.

Rick Gordon, representing Tri-State member co-op Mountain View Electric Association (Limon, Colo.), was re-elected chairman for a third consecutive term.  Gordon originally joined Tri-State’s board in 1994 and served as vice chairman for 13 years prior to first being elected chairman in 2010.  He has served on his MVEA’s board since 1992.

Tony Casados, representing Northern Rio Arriba Electric Cooperative (Chama, N.M.), was re-elected vice chairman for a third term, after having served as an assistant secretary for nine years previous.  Casados has served on his local co-op’s board since 1982 and has been on the Tri-State board since 2000.

Jim Soehner was re-elected to the position of secretary, which he has held for the past four years.  Soehner represents Y-W Electric Association (Akron, Colo.), and has served on the Tri-State board since 1991.

Lou Costello, who has represented Gunnison County Electric Association (Gunnison, Colo.) on the Tri-State board since 1999, was re-elected treasurer for a third term.  He had previously served in an at-large capacity on the Executive Committee.

Wayne Child was re-elected to one of two assistant secretary positions, a role he has filled for the past 25 years.  Child has been on the Tri-State board for 29 years, representing High West Energy (Pine Bluffs, Wyo.), where he has served since 1973.

Bill Bird, who first joined the Tri-State board in 2004 representing member system Otero County Electric Cooperative (Cloudcroft, N.M.), was re-elected to the other assistant secretary position for the third consecutive year.

The Executive Committee’s three at-large positions are being filled by incumbents Gary Merrifield, representing Sangre De Cristo Electric Association (Buena Vista, Colo.), Stuart Morgan from Wheat Belt Public Power District (Sidney, Neb.) and Jack Finnerty from Wheatland Rural Electric Association (Wheatland, Wyo.).

At the annual meeting, Tri-State executive vice president and general manager Ken Anderson noted that Tri-State’s 60th anniversary in 2012 coincides with the International Year of Cooperatives world-wide recognition.  “The success that Tri-State and our member co-ops have shared over the past 60 years is firmly rooted in the cooperative business model, along with the principles that guide us and put our values into practice,” Anderson said.

Recognizing there are many challenges on the horizon, Anderson stressed that Tri-State continues to stay focused on its primary mission, saying, “We are constantly exploring how to better and more efficiently generate and deliver affordable, reliable and responsible power, contain costs and position ourselves to mitigate the various risks posed by market, operational, financial and regulatory uncertainties.”

In 2011, Tri-State delivered a record 15.4 million megawatt-hours of electricity to its members, while recording a member peak demand of 2,654 megawatts in July.  Combined with off-system energy sales, the G&T sold an all-time high 19.4 million megawatt-hours for the year, and posted year-end revenues of $1.2 billion and assets of $4.2 billion.

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