At Tri-State member co-op Wyrulec Company, change is good

Wyrulec’s new 33,000 square-foot Torrington, Wyo., headquarters building was completed in March.

Wyrulec’s new 33,000 square-foot Torrington, Wyo., headquarters building was completed in March.

Tri-State member system Wyrulec Company (Torrington, Wyo.) is setting a fine example of how to keep pace during a time of growth and transition.

In the past few months alone, the 77-year-old electric co-op built a brand-new headquarters building, welcomed a new general manager, a new board member and several new employees.

March was an especially busy month for Wyrulec, as the staff moved to a newly constructed, highly efficient facility located 5 miles east of the co-op’s original building in Lingle, Wyo. The 33,000 square-foot structure features a community room for use by co-op members, an employee exercise room, timed lighting and a ground source heat pump system.

At the time of the move, Ryan Schilreff was just taking the helm as general manager.

Schilreff is a Torrington, Wyo., native and through his community network and former career as a local bank president, knew many of Wyrulec’s board members. He lives four miles from the office and is a Wyrulec member-consumer.

Fresh faces: Mandie Scott, Amber Kalinowski and Ryan Schilreff have each joined the Wyrulec team in the past few months.

Fresh faces: Mandie Scott, Amber Kalinowski and Ryan Schilreff have each joined the Wyrulec team in the past few months.

He’s already enjoying the opportunity to be more engaged with his community. “It’s been hands down the best decision I’ve made,” Schilreff said. “I love it here.”

As is the case across the rural electric cooperative industry, Wyrulec and Schilreff are beginning to face a number of employee retirements and along with them, the departure of significant institutional knowledge. Six of the co-op’s 21 employees have worked there for more than 30 years. “I’m fortunate that there’s that kind of stability here,” Schilreff said.

Irrigation operations account for Wyrulec’s largest loads. The co-op is surrounded by farmland.

Irrigation operations account for Wyrulec’s largest loads. The co-op is surrounded by farmland.

More and more new faces are appearing on the co-op’s staff, as is a new director on its board – Clay Peterson stepped into the role of secretary in January. That same month, Julie Kilty, a long-time local board member, began serving as Wyrulec’s Tri-State director.

The co-op continues to experience steady growth in its service area. In addition to ongoing new residential service, Wyrulec just completed construction of a new crude oil pumping station and is the process of building three more in the area. In nearby Fort Laramie, a new substation and delivery lines will be built soon to support a crude oil off loading facility currently under construction.

Wyrulec Company is admirably managing its full plate and fast pace in the cooperative spirit – with vision and collaboration. “There is transition here,” Schilreff said, “and we will continue to move it forward.”

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