Charles Kvare and Dennis Mathiason will be retiring from the LREC Board of Directors in 2020.
Thank you for 15 years of service to your cooperative.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the members of Lake Region Electric Cooperative the past 15 years,” says Charles Kvare. “When I look back, I believe all of us who are serving or who have served these past 15 years should feel good about the position of the organization today.”
Kvare, who represents LREC’s membership in District 5, will be retiring from the cooperative’s board of directors in 2020. During his tenure on the board, he formerly served as board secretary and nine years as board chair.
Throughout his time on the board, Kvare has witnessed many changes both within the cooperative and in the utility industry as a whole. Since 2005, he says there has been a constant succession of changes. In addition to adjusting to new rules and regulations, rural electric cooperatives are also now tackling topics such as distributed generation, wind power, solar power, and battery storage.
“There have been many challenges, which resulted in changes that needed to be made,” he acknowledges. “These changes become possible when you have a board and management team all working together to make a better organization for the member-owners.”
Kvare continues, “I am glad to have been a part of this effort. No one person can get this to happen; it takes everyone working together.”
Due to term limits, the board leadership will gradually be changing over to a new set of directors. Kvare says he believes Lake Region is currently headed in the right direction – a course he would like to see the cooperative continue to follow into the future. “It is my sincere hope that the membership will elect board members who will keep Lake Region Electric Cooperative the strong operation it is today,” he concludes.
Dennis Mathiason, who represents District 2 on the Lake Region Electric Cooperative Board of Directors, is also set to retire from the board during the coming year.
Mathiason was first elected to the board in 2005. “As a chemistry professor, I’d been dealing with the electric utility industry, both municipal systems and private, for many years,” he explains. He says his experience as both a consultant and as a professor in the science and engineering sector felt like a perfect match for the role of a director on LREC’s board. When he first came on the board, he also served as the co-op’s representative on the Great River Energy (GRE) Board of Directors.
Thinking back on the time he’s spent serving Lake Region, Mathiason says there are a few highlights that immediately come to mind. LREC’s partnership with Carr’s Tree Service, the development of Lake Region Energy Services – a natural gas subsidiary, and the co-op’s commitment to solar power are a few notable achievements.
“In addition to being one of the industry leaders to get into solar, Lake Region has also been a big promoter of wind technology in our area,” Mathiason comments. He says one of Lake Region’s greatest strengths is the co-op’s commitment to constantly look at new and innovative ways to achieve tasks. Heading into the future, Mathiason believes there will be challenges down the line as resources continue to become more expensive. The innovative nature of LREC will be a great asset as these challenges are faced.
“Another strength of the cooperative is the communication we’ve developed across various levels of the organization,” he says. “Communication is extremely important – between board members, employees, and members. Going forward, we need to continue to do a good job communicating with our members. We want their perspective on what they would like to see done.”
Mathiason wants to thank Lake Region members for giving him the opportunity to serve on the board. He adds, “As a director, it is also so great to see the commitment of Lake Region’s employees. They carry out the cooperative’s mission and respond so well to our members’ needs.”