Board President’s Message – October 2022

Celebrating Membership

Fall is a busy time, and October is a particularly eventful month with school, community and sporting activities in full swing. It’s also when cooperatives celebrate National Co-op Month. As president of your Board of Directors, I want to spend some time this month recognizing the ways cooperatives like Stearns Electric stand out from other electric utility providers and are helping build strong communities across our service territory.

Our core business purpose is to safely serve you with reliable electricity. But as a cooperative, our larger mission is to help make our service area a better place. “Concern for Community” is one of seven guiding principles that all co-ops share.

Similar to how the power lines run through our service territory, our concern for community flows through all of our decisions—because being a co-op means being a responsible partner and good neighbor. Stearns Electric works to help our communities thrive through initiatives led by our employees and supported by the Cooperative’s Board of Directors. Employees and board members are your neighbors who live right here in Central Minnesota.

Because we’re local, we understand our community’s unique needs and strive to help meet them. We’re proud to support area non-profits through our My Co-op Cares program, and local youth through our Youth Tour and scholarship programs. With your help, we offer the Operation Round Up® program which helps hundreds of local, worthy causes every year.

The word “cooperative” is close to “cooperation,” meaning people working together towards a common goal—mutually benefitting one another and the larger community. That’s the essence of the cooperative spirit. Our employees and member-elected board members are invested in the communities in which we live and serve.

We recently said goodbye to now retired CEO Robin Doege following his four years of service. As we begin a new chapter in our Cooperative history, our commitment to our members remains steady. Though we will likely operate over the next few months without a CEO, know that Stearns Electric continues to work on behalf of our members daily.

Your Board of Directors is working diligently to find the next Stearns Electric CEO to lead this top-notch cooperative. We are working with Holmes Executive Search, LLC over the next several weeks to review applicant resumes, which were due October 14, and line up interviews with our top candidates. In the meantime, our Board has asked existing vice presidents Vicky Herkenhoff and Matt O’Shea to serve as leaders of the Cooperative until a new CEO is hired.

Stearns Electric is a strong organization dedicated to our local communities and member-consumers. Our Cooperative was built by the members, for the members. As always, we are here for you when you need us, so please don’t hesitate to let us know how we can better serve you.


Eric Peterson
Board President