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NIPCO Celebrates 70th Year at 2019 Annual Meeting

  • Posted: 05.02.2019
graphic image of the NIPCO Annual Meeting logo with the words RE Member

Northwest Iowa Power Cooperative’s Annual Meeting was held on April 2 at the Stoney Creek Hotel and Conference Center in Sioux City, Iowa. A record number of attendees gathered to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the cooperative. This year’s theme, “RE: Member” was a play on words, so chosen to honor the cooperative’s history and to celebrate NIPCO’s 70-year mission of serving its members. From power supply, grid reliability and capacity, to communications, energy efficiency, and so much more...

NIPCO Directors and Staff regard the needs of the membership in every decision made at the cooperative since NIPCO was incorporated on January 14, 1949.

NIPCO Exec. VP and General Manager Matt Washburn welcomes Keynote Speaker Bryan Singletary to the stage

Looking Back and Looking Ahead

Following reports from Board President Louis Reed, and Treasurer Tom Wagner, meeting attendees heard updates from Basin Electric Power Cooperative CEO and General Manager Paul Sukut and NIPCO Executive Vice President and General Manager Matt Washburn. Each presenter spoke about the status of current projects while also highlighting strategies and initiatives being developed to meet member needs, moving forward.

President of Practical Energies and long-time friend to the rural electric cooperative industry, Bryan Singletary, echoed these sentiments during his keynote address. Singletary’s presentation, “This is Not Your Father’s Cooperative” offered up insight on electric cooperatives’ role in creating a 21st Century Cooperative that can better engage with a younger, more diverse, and “greener” membership. No cooperative is an island and we must all work together to serve up products and services in an ever-evolving industry.

NIPCO Executive Vice President and General Manager Washburn punctuated these remarks with a quote from NIPCO Board President A.S. Wendel who served on the NIPCO Board from 1949-1970. In his 1968 Annual Meeting Report, Wendel stated, “It is the only approach – to face the problems honestly and frankly together as a group […] So my urgent plea to you today, and in all the years to come, is that you never lose sight of the source of our strength and that you continue to reason together and accomplish together, that which could never have been done individually.”

Photo of Don Applegate speaking at podium
Retiring Director Don Applegate recounts his experiences with NIPCO

Longtime Director Don Applegate Steps Down; Recognized for his Service

Following 45 years of service to NIPCO, Don Applegate officially completed his service to NIPCO during the 2019 Annual Meeting, when Nishnabotna Valley Rural Electric Cooperative presented Bryan Greve as the Director Representative to NIPCO’s Board of Directors. Applegate had formally submitted his intent to retire from the NIPCO Board of Directors at NIPCO’s March meeting.

Donald E. Applegate was appointed Nishnabotna Valley Rural Electric Cooperative’s representative on the NIPCO Board of Directors in 1974 and served as Assistant Secretary-Treasurer from 1980 - 1989. He also served as President of the NIPCO Board from 1989 - 1996, and as Vice President from 2015 until his retirement. During his tenure with NIPCO, Applegate represented NIPCO on the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation Board of Directors from 1985 - 1991, and as NIPCO’s Director Representative to the Basin Electric Power Cooperative Board of Directors from 1998 - 2018.

During the meeting, action was taken to adopt a formal resolution approving a Certificate of Appreciation for Don which was presented to him during the meeting which was met with a standing ovation.

Don recalls the many agonizing discussions and decisions that were made during his years on NIPCO’s Board of Directors. “Go with Basin? Don’t go with Basin?...,” Don recounted. “The decision to buy into Neal 4 and then dealing with having too much capacity, then there was the rates cycle… there were some tough decisions we had to make. But it all came out good in the end.” He went on to offer up advice to his fellow Directors, “Use common sense and keep your eye on the future. Don’t do anything irrational as you have to think about things more ‘long-range’…even if it hurts today.”

Don continues to serve on the Nishnabotna Valley REC Board of Directors. NIPCO thanks Don for his contributions to the cooperative and wishes him the very best!

John Ward and Marvin Klein (pictured with wife Dolores) were honored with 2019 N-Ovation Awards

2019 N-Ovation Award Presented to Worthy Individuals

During the meeting, two worthy recipients were recognized by the NIPCO Board of Directors for their time and contributions to NIPCO and to the rural electric cooperative industry. For forty-four years, the N-Ovation Award stands as a testament of the cooperative’s appreciation for an individual’s work to advance our industry and for their dedication and commitment to the cooperative principles. Individuals are nominated and selected, each spring, by the NIPCO Board of Directors.

Former NIPCO Director Marvin Klein and Attorney John Ward, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Sullivan & Ward Professional Corporation, were honored for their service in 2019. Marvin Klein was recognized for his dedication to service in his community, in his faith, and in the rural electric cooperative industry, specifically to Harrison County REC and to NIPCO. John Ward was honored for his distinguished service to the rural electric cooperative industry on the national, regional, and local level through the development of policies that have shaped the industry and its services for over 40 years.

Photo of Bryan Greve
Bryan Greve will serve as Nishnabotna Valley Rural Electric Cooperative's Director Representative on the NIPCO Board of Directors

NIPCO Board of Directors Reorganizes, Welcomes Bryan Greve

With the retirement of Don Applegate, Nishnabotna Valley Rural Electric Cooperative nominated Director Bryan Greve to serve as its Director Representative to the NIPCO Board of Directors. Greve has served on the Nishnabotna Valley REC Board of Directors since 2001 and currently holds the office of Secretary/Treasurer.

During the Reorganizational Meeting of the NIPCO Board of Directors, Director Louis Reed (WIPCO) was reelected to the office of President of the NIPCO Board of Directors, Director William Farmer (WIMECA) was reelected to the office of Secretary, and Director Tom Wagner (North West REC) was reelected to the office of Treasurer. Director Ron Steinhoff (Woodbury County REC) was elected to the office of Vice President of the NIPCO Board of Directors.

IADG Recognizes Outstanding Work in Economic Development

Iowa Area Development Group (IADG) President Rand Fisher took time to honor three NIPCO member distribution cooperatives for their outstanding work in community and economic development projects within the NIPCO service territory. Harrison County Rural Electric Cooperative (REC), Western Iowa Power Cooperative (WIPCO), and North West REC, each, received an Impact Award in recognition of their efforts.

Harrison County REC and WIPCO were recognized for their support of families wishing to build and operate broiler houses that will provide chickens to Lincoln Premium Poultry and, ultimately, to COSTCO. This provides options for current farmers to diversify their operations as well as those interested in entering the industry. It is projected that, in addition to growing over 250,000 birds per year, each complex will also produce 1,200 tons of nutrient rich natural fertilizer. Additional benefit goes to farmers who will be providing the feed necessary to rear the broiler chickens.

North West REC was honored for their work on two, separate, projects in Rock Valley. The first is the new $5.5 million GrandStay Hotel which will soon open in the Rock Ridge Business Park. North West REC supported a hotel feasibility study, rebates and an electric car charging station. The second project is the new RiverView Ridge Senior Living complex. North West REC provided a loan from their Revolving Loan Fund, as well as rebates for a geothermal system and lighting. North West REC also provides electric power to these facilities.

IADG’s Fisher praised all three cooperatives for their strong leadership and support of business and community development, noting, “These cooperatives provide important financial and technical assistance that, many times, is a key component in successfully securing projects that create jobs and support community vitality."

2018 Northwest Iowa Power Cooperative Annual Report

NIPCO recounts historic moments in its 70-year history and shares insights into how the generation and transmission cooperative will serve its members in the future. Read the 2018 NIPCO Annual Report here or call our office at 712-546-4141 to request a copy to be mailed to you.