Todd-Wadena Electric Cooperative appoints Spadgenske to Board of Directors

Todd-Wadena Electric Cooperative’s (TWEC) Board of Directors has appointed Kristine Spadgenske to its board, effective January 1, 2019. Spadgenske was appointed to fill Director Norman Krause’s seat due to his retirement.

Kristine Spadgenske

“Kristine brings a lot of experience in leadership roles in her community as well as in the dairy industry.  She has experience on cooperative boards and is excited to learn about the electric utility business,” said Mike Thorson, TWEC Board Chair.

“I am very humbled and excited to serve and work alongside the TWEC Board of Directors.  My goals as a new board member is to maintain and preserve the coop principles and values as a grass roots organization while representing the best interest of the members,” said Kristine Spadgenske.

Spadgenske and her husband, Mark are active on the Becker County American Dairy Association Board and she serves as clerk for the Runeberg Township. Spadgenske currently serves as a Director for the DFA Central Area Council, Director on the Minnesota Division Board and Corporate Board for Midwest Dairy, and Director for Minnesota Milk Producers Association.

Spadgenske and her husband, Mark live West of Menahga where they dairy farm in a partnership with Mark’s brother, Mike. Kristine and Mark have four children, Ryan, Kate, Adam, and Seth.

Catholic Charities Foster Grandparent Program Wins Award

Todd-Wadena Electric Cooperative (TWEC) names Catholic Charities Foster Grandparent Program as the winner of the 2018 Touchstone Energy Community Award.


Left to Right: Jon Knopik, Foster Grandparent Program Area Supervisor, Helen Bartle, Foster Grandparent Volunteer, Dan Carlisle, TWEC President/CEO.

 

Todd-Wadena’s President/CEO, Dan Carlisle presented the award to Foster Grandparent Program Supervisor, Jon Knopik and foster grandparent volunteer, Helen Bartle. The Foster Grandparent Program also received $500 to be used towards their program in Todd and Wadena counties.

“The Foster Grandparent Program demonstrates a strong commitment to community and to the youth that we at TWEC value highly,” said Dan Carlisle. “We are very pleased to recognize their contributions to our local communities and schools.”

The Foster Grandparent Program was started nationally in 1965 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. One of the original 21 pilot programs was in Minnesota, the Children’s Home in St. Cloud. Foster grandparents have been volunteering in the Todd and Wadena county’s schools since the 1980’s. There are currently 43 foster grandparents serving 18 volunteer sites in eight different cities in Todd and Wadena counties. Area foster grandparents volunteer in local classrooms helping area student in their classes, such as areas in reading and math.

Catholic Charities Foster Grandparent Program award application has been submitted for consideration in the statewide Minnesota Touchstone Energy Community Award. The statewide award recipient will be selected from local award winners from around Minnesota. The winning organization will receive $1,000 to go toward their community cause. The Minnesota Touchstone Energy Community Award will be presented to the award recipient in February, during the Minnesota Rural Electric Association’s annual meeting in St. Paul.

 

 

Local Projects Receive Grants

Giving back to the community we serve is a core cooperative principal.  The Operation Round Up Program from Todd-Wadena Electric Cooperative is a great way for the co-op and its members to give back.

Todd-Wadena Electric Cooperative’s Community Trust Board recently met and awarded 11 Operation Round Up grants to local non-profit organizations, totaling $7,500.

 The recipient organizations and their awards are as follows:

Bertha-Hewitt 6th Grade, $925; Wadena County 4-H Dog Project, $500; Firefighter Suicide Awareness, $500; Womenade Helping Hearts, Inc., $500; Todd County 4-H, $1,500; Bertha Community Food Shelf, $400; Verndale Area Food Shelf, $500; Menahga Area Food Shelf, $500; Lakes Area Pregnancy Support Center, $575; Ruby’s Pantry, $1,000; Verndale Public School, $600.  

 

Funds for the Operation Round Up program come from participating Todd-Wadena Electric Cooperative members who allow their monthly electric bills to be rounded up to the nearest dollar, with the change allocated to a Community Trust Fund. The average donation is less than 50 cents a month, yet together, members raise and donate about $29,000 annually to community service projects in the two-county area.

Since the program’s inception in 2002, Todd-Wadena members have raised and donated more than $500,000 for more than 675 local community projects.

Todd-Wadena’s Operation Round Up grant applications are reviewed and recipients selected three times a year by a seven-member volunteer Community Trust board.  The next application deadline is January 15.

Local, nonprofit community service groups may apply for Operation Round Up grants by stopping by or calling the Cooperative office at 800-321-8932 or by downloading a copy of the application form and guidelines from the Todd-Wadena website, www.toddwadena.coop  and clicking the ‘Our Community’ tab.

 

 

Todd-Wadena Electric Cooperative names Carlisle as President/CEO and Legal Counsel

Todd-Wadena Electric Cooperative (TWEC) Board of Directors is pleased to announce Daniel Carlisle has accepted the position as President/Chief Executive Officer and Legal Counsel. Carlisle, who currently serves as an attorney for Pemberton Law Office, will succeed current President/CEO Robin Doege, in October.


Daniel Carlisle, Todd-Wadena Electric Cooperative’s President/CEO and Legal Counsel

 “Dan is a long-time member of our community, understands our culture at Todd-Wadena, has great communication skills, has vast knowledge of our industry, and will be a great leader in our rapidly changing world,” said Mike Thorson, TWEC Board Chair

After working with Cindy Schue of Great River Energy’s Human Resources department, the Board developed a profile of what they wanted in a leader. The board unanimously decided to hire Carlisle. Carlisle has served as TWEC’s legal counsel for over eight years. “I am extremely humbled and proud of the opportunity to lead this organization into the future. Outgoing CEO, Robin Doege, and the staff at TWEC have created a solid team that has proven how to best serve our membership’s interests,” said Daniel Carlisle.  “I look forward to continuing the mission to responsibly deliver energy and provide great value to our members.”

Carlisle received his undergraduate degree in Public Administration from the University of North Dakota and his Juris Doctor degree from the University of North Dakota School of Law. Carlisle and his wife, Jeannie, raised their two children in Wadena. Carlisle has practiced law in Wadena for 30 years. Much of Carlisle’s career has been spent representing rural electric cooperatives on a variety of issues, and in serving as legal counsel to the Minnesota Rural Electric Association (MREA).

Safety tips for when the power goes out

When the lights go out, Todd-Wadena Electric Cooperative (TWEC) crews are hard at work finding ways to restore power for their members.GRE_Be Safe_Power Lines Summer 2016_Color

“Their first priority is always safety,” said Kallie Van De Venter, Communications Specialist for TWEC. “Crews give immediate attention to dangerous situations, such as power lines down on roadways or streets. Typically local police or fire station personnel are called to secure the area until our crews can restore power to the area. Sometimes tree crews must clear tree branches or limbs from the area before repairs can be made.”

TWEC crews work with employees from Great River Energy, our wholesale electric supplier, to restore power quickly and safely.

While they’re working to restore your power, consider the five following tips:

  1. Stay away from downed power lines.
  2. Treat all power lines as though they’re energized.
  3. If you run over a downed power line, stay in your vehicle and call 911.
  4. If you use a backup generator, follow the instructions in the owner’s manual for safe operation.
  5. Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed to maintain a cool temperature.

“We want all of our members to be safe during an outage, which involves taking time to ensure you know how to use your backup generator and avoid downs power lines,” Van De Venter said.

Visit greatrivernergy.com/restoringyourpower to watch short videos on generator safety, food safety, how to prepare an emergency kit and more. Click on the playlist icon in the upper left-hand corner of the video box.

What should YOU do when the power goes out?

When the lights go out, Todd-Wadena Electric Cooperative crews are hard at work finding ways to restore power for their members.

“Their first priority is always safety,” said Kallie Van De Venter, the Communications Specialist for Todd-Wadena Electric Cooperative. “We always start with the more dangerous situations, such as power lines down on homes, roadways or streets.” Typically local police or fire station personnel are called to secure the area until TWEC crews can restore power to the area. Sometimes tree crews must clear tree branches or limbs from the area before repairs can be made. Todd-Wadena crews work with employees from Great River Energy, our wholesale electric supplier, to restore power quickly and safely.

“We want everyone to be safe during an outage, which means members should take time to make sure you know how to use your backup generator, and to avoid downed power lines,” Van De Venter said.
Todd-Wadena Electric Cooperative’s website, which now has an easy-to-use mobile site (www.toddwadena.coop) contains many resources regarding safety during and after storms.

Click on the Outage Information button on the main page. You’ll find a link to the ‘Be Red Cross Ready’ Power Outage Checklist and a checklist for emergency preparedness. You can also view short videos about

• Food Safety During an Outage
• How to Prepare an Emergency Kit
• Automatic Garage Doors during an Outage.

You can also visit greatrivernergy.com/restoringyourpower to watch short videos on generator safety, food safety, how to prepare an emergency kit, and more. Click on the ‘playlist’ icon in the upper left-hand corner of the video box.

While we’re working to restore your power, consider the following tips:

• Stay away from downed power lines.
• Treat all power lines as though they’re energized.
• If you run over a downed power line, stay in your vehicle and call 911.
• If you use a backup generator, follow the instructions in the owner’s manual for safe operation.
• Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed to maintain a cool temperature.

Click HERE for information on how TWEC restores your power after an outage