2015 Annual Meeting Celebrates Todd-Wadena’s 75th Anniversary



Todd-Wadena members gathered on Thursday, April 16, 2015, for the annual membership meeting. Special recognition was given to honor the cooperative’s 75th year of service to the area.

It took remarkable dedication, cooperation and toil to bring electricity into the rural parts of central Minnesota. A 10-minute video that preceded the meeting showed the drudgery of life before electricity, the labor required to dig holes and set poles, and the joy and relief that was felt when electric power arrived on the farms. The video includes several clips of Todd-Wadena members recalling those times and the advantages that electricity brought to their families. Click here to view.

Todd-Wadena Board Chair Mike Thorson shared some facts from the cooperative’s early years. He said the first manager, Paul Richter, received a salary of $110 per month in 1940. By 1942, 381 farms were electrified and they used an average of 58 kilowatt-hours (kWhs). The cost per kWh has nearly doubled since then, he said, while the price of gasoline today ($2.20/gal) is eleven times as much. Mike recognized retired directors and employees, many of whom served the cooperative for 30 years or more. Each retiree in attendance was presented with a hard-cover 75th anniversary photo book.

In the board of director elections, Nominating Committee Chair Wally Wiese announced that incumbents Tom Brichacek and Miles Kuschel were re-elected. An organizational meeting held immediately after the Annual Meeting, resulted in the following officers being re-elected: Mike Thorson, Chair; Dale Adams, Vice Chair, Norman Krause, Secretary, and Gene Kern, Treasurer.


2015 Board: Norm Krause, Mike Thorson, Marie Katterhagen, Dale Adams, Tom Brichacek, Gene Kern and Miles Kuschel.

Keeping an historical perspective, Great River Energy Vice President Will Kaul noted some of the hardships that surrounded the construction of Coal Creek Station and the 400-mile DC power line in the late 1970s that would bring power into Minnesota. Since then, he said, Coal Creek Station is recognized as one of the most efficient and reliable power plants in the country. Kaul also reported on some industry trends and gave a glimpse into tomorrow’s electric power system. He presented a $1000 check to be donated from Great River Energy to the cooperative’s Operation Round Up program.

Robin Doege, Todd-Wadena President/CEO, briefly reported on the cooperative’s favorable financial status and his overall goals that achieve a sustainable business plan, prudent business practices and ensuring the co-op continues to be a good place to work.

More than 400 members and guests attended the meeting and the dinner that followed. BBQ Smokehouse in Wadena catered the dinner that was finished with a celebration cake. About 30 members left with door prizes, including four $100 bill credits.