Members of Mor-Gran-Sou Electric Cooperative, Inc., met at the Pavilion of Prairie Knights Casino and Resort north of Fort Yates on July 17 to conduct their business at the cooperative’s 68th annual meeting. This year’s theme was, “A Culture of Safety – Every Day, All Day.”
The afternoon began with registration from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. CT. Prior to a delicious banquet served at 6 p.m., a solemn prayer was offered by Reverend Dennis R. Schafer, pastor of St. Gertrude Catholic Church, Raleigh; St. Lawrence Catholic Church, Flasher; and St. Theresa Catholic Church, Carson.
Chairman Leland “Judge” Barth dropped the gavel at approximately 5:30 p.m. CT and the business meeting was underway. This year, Mor-Gran-Sou members were asked to vote for three board directors: one for the At-Large position, one for the Morton County position, and one for the Sioux County position. Incumbents Mark Doll, New Salem, and Chad Harrison, Fort Yates, retained their positions on the board. Doll is the At-Large representative and Harrison is the Sioux County representative. New to the board is Bonnie Tomac, St. Anthony, who will serve her first three-term as a representative for Morton County. She fills the position previously held by Robert Gaebe, who chose not to seek re-election. Mor-Gran-Sou thanks Director Gaebe for his 9 years of dedicated service to the cooperative. Mor-Gran-Sou also thanks Kevin Fishbeck and Clyde Howe, Mandan, and Richard C. Tokach, St. Anthony, for campaigning to serve their electric cooperative.
Mor-Gran-Sou appreciated the opportunity to greet the many members and guests who attended this year’s annual meeting. During the meeting, Regional Director Kristen Glenn delivered a message from Senator John Hoeven. A message from Senator Heidi Heitkamp was also conveyed to the membership, and Representative Kevin Cramer delivered a message to the Mor-Gran-Sou membership in person.
Dedicated to the development of young leaders in the area, Mor-Gran-Sou recognized four scholarship winners during the business meeting including Emily Bendish and Larissa Eckholm, Mandan; Serena Frederick, Flasher; and Justine Schaff, New Salem. The teenagers competed for and received a Basin Electric Power Cooperative/Mor-Gran-Sou scholarship award in the amount of $500 to further their education as they attend college this fall. In spite of their busy summer, three of the scholarship recipients were able to attend the meeting and thanked the membership for the scholarships.
This past June, Andrew Schafer of Flasher participated in the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Youth Tour to Washington, D.C. Director Geiger recognized Schafer at this year’s annual meeting and thanked him for representing Mor-Gran-Sou and the state of North Dakota. Schafer and other delegates from across the state and nation learned from and about each other while participating in events that showcase our nation’s rich history, U.S. government, the cooperative business model and rural electrification.
Co-General Managers/Chief Executive Officers Donald Franklund and Chris Baumgartner captured this year’s theme in their interesting and informative report to the membership. Franklund discussed Mor-Gran-Sou’s dedication to safety, reliability, efficiency and sustainability; he then reiterated Mor-Gran-Sou’s adherence to its culture of safety and pointed out that Mor-Gran-Sou received an Outstanding Safety Performance Award from the North Dakota Association of Rural Cooperatives. He also discussed membership growth, and monitoring and building infrastructure to accommodate that growth. Baumgartner then discussed how Mor-Gran-Sou employees continue to embrace available technology and the partnership of Innovative Energy Alliance, LLC., and how the combination continues to improve efficiencies at the cooperative. Before thanking the membership for attending the annual meeting, Baumgartner also informed the members that power supply contract extensions are being discussed at the board level, and that Mor-Gran-Sou has very good working relationships with Basin Electric and the Western Area Power Administration. Chief Financial Officer Travis Kupper presented the financial report to the membership.
Directly following the annual meeting, the board of directors held its reorganization meeting. All three officers were elected to the offices they had previously held. Leland “Judge” Barth will continue to serve as the board chair; Casey Wells as the vice chair; and Pam Geiger as secretary-treasurer. These officers will serve a one-year term.
The board of directors and staff of Mor-Gran-Sou wish to thank the members for participating in the 68th annual meeting of the membership, and look forward to meeting its members’ electrical needs in the future.