Manager Connection – Opportunity to Serve

By Syd Briggs,
General Manager

Germany Kent, an award-winning American print and broadcast journalist once said, “When you sign on to making a positive impact in your community, your story including your life experiences, skills and passions will provide inspiration to others.” I believe Ms. Kent captured the unique value we provide to each other when dedicated to a common goal together.

I believe the same can be said about Steele-Waseca Cooperative Electric, specifically with regard to our board members. They are community-minded individuals with a variety of skill sets. We rely on their many talents to help us make informed decisions on long-term priorities and investments. Our directors live in the co-op’s service area, and we consider them the eyes and ears of our co-op community because they provide perspective on important community issues.

Steele-Waseca recognize it takes many people with different skills to create a well-rounded board that can represent the full spectrum of our co-op community. That’s why when we’re seeking director candidates, we want members with diverse perspectives, experience, expertise, and views. The co-op’s Nominating Committee is seeking members of the service area community, who can apply their unique talents, to benefit all our friends and neighbors. But above all else, we’re looking for members who love the area and want to see it thrive now and in the future.

What does it mean to serve on the board?

Serving on Steele-Waseca’s board of directors means you’re making a difference locally, using your individual talents and perspective to guide big decisions about the co-op that in turn benefit the larger community.

While day-to-day decisions are made by co-op staff, major decisions are made by the board, whose mission is to look out for the vitality of the co-op and the members it serves. On a granular level, Steele-Waseca board members typically provide input and guidance on:

• budgets

• co-op goals and direction

•  co-op’s community/charitable contributions

• capital investments and upgrades in equipment and technology

•  renewable investments and energy mix

• co-op’s role and involvement in economic development

In addition, Steele-Waseca board directors will participate in area school awards programs to present the co-op’s scholarship to an eligible recipient.

The energy industry is undergoing a major transition. Technology advancements and increased consumer preference for more renewable energy is driving change, but power reliability and affordability can’t be compromised. 

Steele-Waseca is facing big decisions, and board members have an opportunity to help chart a course for our future. To serve the community best, we need input from a wide range of members that represent the broad spectrum of views within our co-op community.

Opportunity to serve

Steele-Waseca’s Nominating Committee is presently seeking board candidates for districts 7, 8, and 9, which is in the Rice and Goodhue County service areas. The board election will be held during the co-op’s 87th annual meeting Tuesday, June 6, 2023, at Steele-Waseca’s headquarters in Owatonna. If you would like to serve, you may also contact Steele-Waseca, and a form will be sent to you. Nominations are also accepted during the business portion of the annual meeting.

While you don’t need to be an expert in electricity or business to run, you do need to have a passion for the co-op community, and a willingness to actively serve and learn. We’re looking for individuals who can represent the full gamut of the members we serve.

Our board meets on a regular basis, and we offer specialized training opportunities to help board members make informed decisions. Board members gain a deep understanding of the electric utility industry, the cooperative business model and local economic development efforts.

To learn more about Steele-Waseca’s director election process and 2023 details, visit or contact our office during regular business hours.