NIPCO's Board of Directors awarded two N-Ovation Awards (formerly known as the "N-Award") in 2022. The award symbolizes the recipient's time advancing the electric cooperative industry, NIPCO's G&T family, and NIPCO's operations, corporate mission, vision, and values. For 47 years, this honor has been bestowed to worthy individuals for their outstanding contributions to NIPCO. Candidates are nominated and selected by the NIPCO board of directors.
NIPCO Director and Treasurer Tom Wagner, who also serves as NIPCO's director representative to the Basin Electric board of directors, presented the N-Ovation award to Paul Sukut, retired Basin Electric CEO and general manager at the 2022 NIPCO Annual Meeting, held on April 5. "He [Sukut] leaves a legacy of leadership and mentorship that continues to advance rural electrification policy and protocols. His leadership will have a lasting impression on the Basin Electric organization and its membership," Wagner said during the announcement. "Paul's work has been and continues to be invaluable as he continues to serve the Basin Electric family as our industry navigates the twists and turns on the road to a sustainable and innovative energy future."
Sukut retired in 2021 after 38 years with Basin Electric. Before being named CEO and general manager in 2014, he was Basin Electric's executive vice president and chief financial officer.
The second N-Ovation award was announced at the April meeting but not formally presented as the recipient was traveling abroad. Steve VerMulm, retired NIPCO vice president of engineering and operations, will be given the award at a future NIPCO's Board of Directors meeting.
VerMulm was recognized for his invaluable contributions to NIPCO over his 43-year career with the cooperative. NIPCO Director and Board Vice President Ron Steinhoff (Woodbury County Rural Electric Cooperative) provided some perspective about VerMulm. "When this engineer walked through NIPCO's door on his first day, NIPCO's transmission system was only about 20 years old." VerMulm's early years with NIPCO centered around expanding and developing the NIPCO and regional power grids.
VerMulm has played an essential and foundational role in the planning and building of NIPCO's existing system. His work remains an asset to NIPCO, its members, and the cooperative member-consumers in western Iowa. Many of the programs our member distribution cooperatives rely on to provide value to their members have Steve's fingerprints all over them.
VerMulm retired from NIPCO in May of 2020.