Lonnie Iverson’s Service on Stearns Electric’s Board of Directors
May 17, 2023
IVERSON’S LIFETIME OF DEDICATION TO HIS FAMILY’S FARM AND COMMUNITY EXTENDED TO SERVING ON STEARNS ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION’S BOARD OF DIRECTORS FOR 12 YEARS, OVERSEEING SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN THE ENERGY INDUSTRY AND THE COOPERATIVE’S OPERATIONS.
Tucked into the northwestern-most part of our service territory just outside of Osakis is a Century Farm that is home to Lawrence “Lonnie” and Sharon Iverson.
Since coming into the world nearly 80 years ago, Lonnie has made home on his family’s homestead and within this community. He spent his formative years attending school in Osakis. When his father passed away his senior year of high school, Lonnie took over running the family farm, where he milked cows for 47 years.
In 1967, Lonnie married the love of his life, Sharon. Originally from Nebraska, Sharon’s family had a summer resort in Osakis. Sharon came to Osakis one summer to handle horses and also worked as a nurse in the nursing home where Lonnie’s mom was residing. Lonnie and Sharon met, and the rest is history.
Together they have three sons and eight grandchildren. Plans are in progress for Lonnie and Sharon to gift the family land and homestead to their sons, where the next generation of Iverson’s will make their home.
A Stearns Electric member his whole life, Lonnie decided to run for the Cooperative’s Board of Directors in 2011 after being approached by individuals from the Nominating Committee. “I saw Mike and Marcy Johnson’s name on the Nominating Committee list, which was printed in Power Connection, so I called them up to ask some questions. At the time, I wasn’t planning to run, but when they followed up with me a few weeks later to see if I would apply, I took them up on it,” Iverson recalled.
During his tenure, Lonnie served on the board through several historic Cooperative events, including the 75th, 80th and 85th anniversaries, a global pandemic, and a full Cooperative policy and Bylaw review. His proudest work has been hiring the CEOs to lead Stearns Electric and watching the St. Joseph branch office location get built.
“During my time on the Board, we’ve hired five CEOs to lead the Cooperative,” he explained. “Most recently, we hired Matt O’Shea to take over the CEO role and I’m very proud of that decision and I think Matt will do a great job leading Stearns Electric into the future. He is very sharp.”
Perhaps always intrigued by the energy industry, Lonnie recalls his mom telling him that in 1944, when they got electricity in their area, that he would watch the highline guys from the window as they strung wire along the newly placed power poles.
During the last 12 years, the energy industry has changed immensely. “We are moving away from coal-produced electricity toward renewables, and the industry continues to change at a quick pace,” he said. “Though I’m going to miss serving on the board, I will continue to be interested in the industry and watching to see what happens.”
When asked what advice he would give to others interested in joining the Cooperative’s Board, Lonnie had this to say: “Things in the industry are moving quickly and at the end of day you’ve got to be able to agree even when you disagree.”
“Serving on the Board has been a great learning experience for me,” he concluded. “Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to represent the membership in District 7 for the last 12 years.”
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