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New Director Orientation
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8/7/2017 to 8/8/2017
When: August 7-8, 2017
See event details.
100 Fourth Ave S.
St. Cloud, Minnesota  56301
United States

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Energy Issues Summit
Pre-conference session:

New Director Orientation
Monday, August 7, 2017, 1-4:30pm through Tuesday, August 8, 2017, 8-2:30pm
BEST WESTERN PLUS Kelly Inn, St. Cloud

Who Should Attend

Electric cooperative directors recently elected to their local board.


$339 Education Program Members / $439 Non-Education Program Members


This MREA seminar provides an orientation for new directors including an overview of board responsibilities, affiliated organizations, the rich history of co-ops and the rural electric program, legislative and regulatory concerns, and competitive pressures and changes occurring in the industry today. The orientation will help new directors understand industry terminology and issues discussed during the Energy Issues Summit.

Day 1: Monday, August 7

12:30       Registration – meet and greet directors from other co-ops

1:00         Welcome & MREA Overview       

MREA’s Director of Education and Communication Alison Deelstra welcomes new electric cooperative directors to the co-op family and provides an overview of MREA staff and services, including MREA’s education department.

1:30        Director Duties and Responsibilities

               Attorney Paul Johnson from Pemberton Law provide an overview of director duties and responsibilities, fiduciary responsibilities to the organization you serve, a guide to policy making vs. implementation of policy, as well as communication roles you may need to handle as a director. (


2:15        STRETCH BREAK


2:30        Director Duties (cont’d)


3:15        Affiliated National Organizations – CFC

               Regional Vice President Greg Blum introduces you to the electric cooperatives’ bank National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC). (


3:45        Working with Your CEO: An Overview for New Directors

               In this session Debra Englund, HRExpertiseBP, will help co-op directors learn best practices and principles for building and maintaining a healthy working relationship with your CEO / General Manager.


4:30      Adjourn

Day 2: Tuesday, August 8

8:00        Electric Cooperatives & Politics     

              Darrick Moe, President & CEO of MREA will talk about the Cooperative Principles, benefits of local ownership and control, and some unique characteristics and statistics of electric cooperatives. We will also review a brief history of energy policy, including PURPA, PUCHA, PMAs and state service territory legislation and then have some time to discuss current political and regulatory challenges.  (

8:45         Affiliated National Organizations – NRECA

               Nobles Electric, MREA Director and Minnesota’s national board representative Ron Schwartau talks about the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) and its membership programs. (

9:15        Affiliated Organizations: CoBank

                Relationship Manager Mark Doyle introduces you to CoBank, rural America’s cooperative bank. (



9:45         Basic Co-op Finance 

               Connexus Energy Chief Financial Officer Mike Bash will discuss electric co-op finance and capital credits. The co-op board of directors is responsible for setting policy on equity levels and capital credit retirement strategies. (

11:00      STRETCH BREAK

11:10       Generation & Transmission

              How does the generation and transmission cooperative fit into the picture? Zac Ruzycki, GRE Senior Strategist in resource planning, will explain how electricity is generated, transmitted and distributed to the customer at the end of the line. (


12:15      LUNCH


1:00        Director Q&A Panel

              MREA has invited a few seasoned directors to satisfy every question and curiousity you have about being on your co-op's board.


2:15        Review and Wrap-up


2:30        Adjourn


3:30– 5:30  Cooperative Network Electric Sector Meeting – Best Western Kelly Inn Ballrooms

5:30–7:00 Fundraiser for Rep. Dave Baker and Sen. Julie Rosen – Best Western Kelly Inn Ballrooms (immediately following Co-op Network Meeting)

100 4th Ave. S.
St. Cloud, MN  56301 

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