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REMA Financial Managers Summer Conference
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REMA Financial Managers Summer Conference

8/23/2017 to 8/25/2017
When: August 23-25, 2017
See event details.
Where: Inn on Lake Superior
350 Canal Park Dr.
Duluth, Minnesota  55802
United States

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MN & WI REMA Finance Managers Conference
August 23-25, 2017 (W  1:00-4:00, Th 8:30-5:00, F  8:30-11:30)
(No pre-conference this year)
The Inn on Lake Superior, Duluth, MN

Twice each year, the REMA section of Financial Managers meets so that Human Resource, Finance and Office Managers and Benefit Administrators from Minnesota and Wisconsin can gather and discuss the topics relevant to the current issues.


Speakers are brought in to present things from benefits to budgeting within the cooperative industry.


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Finance Manager’s Conference

12:30       Registration


1:00         Intros by Sherry Swanson & Lila Shower (Intros, retirees, new attendees)


1:10         Engaging the Next Gen Member: One Co-op’s Success Story – Sarah Cron, Marketing Manager, Co-op Light & Power


1:50         Co-op Spotlight on MiEnergy – Brian Krambeer, CEO


2:30         Networking Break


2:50         Distracted Driving – Thomas Goeltz, CSP Vice President, Hays Companies


4:00         Adjournment

On Your Own Activity

Brewery Tours, Bike Tours, Kayaking – here is a great site for getting out and seeing Duluth!


Thursday, August 24, 2017


7:45         Breakfast


 8:30      RUS Review & Update – Robyn Jensen and Ken Johnson, RUS

              We have requested our electric GFR’s to cover a review of:

                * The process of requesting RUS Loans and related

                * Planning for work processes & construction work plans

                * Best practices for bridging the gap between finance and engineering

9:15         Effective Fraud Risk Management – Matt Laughlin, Brady Martz

* Segregation of duties in a small co-op

* Hot buttons: prominent fraud risk and where tofocus time and resources

* From an auditors perspective: What are the important areas to try to separate with a limited number of resources?


10:00       Networking Break


10:20       Hot Topics on the Fly – Led by: Mike and Sherry

               Learning is even more valuable when it can be driven by YOU! Outside the meeting room during our conference, we will have a flipchart where anyone can write a question and anyone (if they know it) can write the answer. This session will give us a few minutes to check on the questions and talk about any as a group.


10:45    MISO Market OverviewAdam Klick, Sr. Market Risk Analyst, Great River Energy


12:00       LUNCH


1:30 to 4:00 Open Forum Topics: These open forum sessions will have a new twist! They will be held in 3 separate rooms. The 1st G&T session will be 45 minutes and each subsequent session will be 30 minutes, with 5 minutes of transition time between each. Groups will stay in one room, while group leaders move each time at 2:15, 2:50 & 3:20. Group leaders also need to come up with questions or talking points before the conference. Unless otherwise invited, these sessions will be limited only to electric co-op staff.


1.      Concurrent Open Forum: Pick Your G&T – 45 minutes

Discuss G&T Rate Structures, Power Cost Adjustments (PCA), Demand Rates including drilling down on transmission, renewables and market strategies leading into how this transitions into the local distribution co-op bill and affects cost recovery strategies.

Dairyland Power Co-op –John Young, Manager, Market Services

           ·        GRE –Adam Klick, Sr. Market Risk Analyst and Lori Dietrich, Sr. Member Billing Analyst

           ·        Minnkota Power Co-op – Lowell Stave, VP Energy Supply & Member Relations


2.      Open Forum – 30 mins:  Show & Tell Budget Tools – (Group Leaders: Corey & Anthony)


3.      Open Forum – 30 mins: How Co-ops Handle Inventory Checkouts (Group Leaders: Lisa and Barb)


4.      Open Forum – 30 mins: Debt Portfolio Diversification Strategies (Group Leaders: Sherry & Chris)


4:00         Convene into State Breakout Sessions

                                 1A. Minnesota Session – MN President Sherry Swanson

                                   ·      Regulatory Update - Jim Horan, MREA                  

           ·        Property Valuation Process – Does anyone have a good process to follow?

           ·        Checking in on Pre-Pay Programs

          ·        MN Sales Tax – what is taxable? (group discussion during MN Breakout)


                                  1B. Wisconsin Session – WI President Lila Shower

                                         WECA Update – Steve Freese




Group Activity:
Vista Fleet Boat Cruise - Spouses and Family Welcome!
(You do not need to RSVP).

5:30pm   Boarding
6:00pm   Depart

7:30pm   Return



Friday, August 25, 2017


7:45         Breakfast


8:30         Trends on Pensions & Controlling Benefit Costs – Caryn Alexander, NRECA


9:15         Economic Trends and Rate Forecast – Mark Doyle and Rachel Hanson, CoBank,


10:00       Networking Break


10:20       Lease v. Buy: Have you Analyzed it Yet? – Ed Bowen, Director of Financial Management, Dairyland Power Co-op


11:00       Generational Communication – Juli Burney

Co-op employee groups are a diverse mix of multiple generations, which can create challenges with communication and getting the job done! Multiple award-winning teacher, humorist and author, Juli Burney will give us some useful tips on working better together across multiple generations. She makes an amazing connection with her audiences and is able to entertain with the ability of a headlining comedian, while training with ease as a nationally recognized speaker.


12:00       Evaluations & Drawings & Adjournment 





Financial Managers (April) Officers will be selected at May planning meeting. MREA Rep: Director of Education & Communication

Stephanie Johnson, Director

Roseau Electric Co-op, Inc.





Christine Fox, Director

Itasca-Mantrap Electric Co-op


Filling Chris Corradi’s term



Anthony Stern, Vice President

Kandiyohi Power Cooperative





Lisa Prachar, Secretary/Treasurer

East Central Energy





Sherry Swanson, President

Nobles Cooperative Electric





Mike Henke, Director

People’s Energy Cooperative





Corey Hintz, Director

Dakota Electric Assn





Wisconsin FM Board (annual August elections)

Barb Bee, Vice President

Pierce-Pepin Cooperative Services





Lila Shower, President

Central Wisconsin Electric Co-op





Linda McAley, Secretary/Treasurer

Clark Electric Cooperative






Hotel Information
Inn on Lake Superior, 350 Canal Park Drive, Duluth, MN  55802
When making your reservation, please call 218-726-1111 and ask for the
REMA Financial Managers discounted rates:
$154/night+tax  Standard Poolside
$159/night+tax  Cityview
$164/night+tax  Bridgeview
$169/night+tax  Standard Lakeview

$174/night+tax  Lakeview Suites

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