Executive Vice President/General Manager
Member value and cost management remains our focus
As we cross the halfway mark on 2014, I am pleased to report continuing progress on steps aimed at delivering a higher level of value, open dialogue and communications in support of our mission to deliver the membership affordable and reliable electricity.
With the support of the association’s board of directors, our executive team is engaged with our membership to understand their concerns and work toward the resolution of issues as we also seek to bolster our communications within Tri-State. Both of these areas are worthy of focus as they are important to our health as an organization and our success as a G&T.
The reorganization of our Member Relations department is complete and I believe we are already seeing positive results in serving the membership. Several councils of the membership are coming into place to address important issues such as distributed and renewable generation and communications. Under the leadership of our chairman, a new contract committee is also being seated to address how the membership participates with one another as part of the association. Across these efforts, the board and executive team share a goal to bring greater strength, trust and value between Tri-State and its member systems through a deeper understanding of our mutual goals to bring reliable and affordable power to our members’ consumers at the end of the line.
For our employees, my direction is to stay focused on our core competencies and to continue to do our jobs well. That includes working safely and ensuring we are managing costs. As upward rate pressure from outside forces, including increasing regulations, mandates and requirements continue to exert challenges in our ability to hold the line on rates, I have asked our staff to take a hard look at all areas of the organization and how we manage costs. This is no small feat considering the fact that most of Tri-State’s costs, such as fuel, purchased power, transmission and plant operations are largely fixed expenses. However, I have great confidence in our workforce’s dedication, commitment and resourcefulness in finding opportunities to help in this cost containment effort.
Tri-State is blessed with talented employees across all levels of our organization. So when it came time to fill two positions on our executive team, I wanted to look within our organization to fill these important roles. Joining our executive team are Ellen Connor as senior vice president organizational services/chief technology officer and Barry Ingold as senior vice president generation. Both Ellen and Barry have the leadership qualities and experience to lead their respective organizations and help move the association forward. We wish the very best to Jim Spiers, who has joined NRECA to lead their technology efforts, including the Cooperative Research Network.
Finally, I'm honored by the board’s support and grateful for the opportunity to lead this outstanding association’s talented and dedicated employees. I’m humbled by the responsibility Tri-State has to deliver to our members the affordable and reliable electricity that is essential to the rural way of life and I’m confident we can move forward to meet the challenges facing our association and industry.
As we look ahead through the remainder of 2014 and beyond it is easy to feel somewhat daunted by the many challenges facing our industry. But through careful planning, strong leadership and staying focused on our core values of putting our members first, we believe that we will continue to effectively deliver on our mission of providing safe, reliable and affordable energy. That is and has been the foundation of our existence for more than 60 years.
Updated: September 2, 2014