The Board of Directors at Riverland Energy Cooperative is seeking a high-integrity, experienced electric utility leader to join the organization as its next CEO. The preferred start date is May 2023. The co-op’s next CEO will replace the outgoing general manager who is retiring after 31 years with the organization.
Riverland has engaged GreatCo-Ops (www.greatcoops.com) to assist with this search.
Riverland’s new CEO must have a thorough understanding of the challenges that lie ahead for electric utilities, as well as a strategic focus that produces innovative solutions to those challenges. He/she must have a collaborative leadership style and excellent communication skills. The new CEO must have the experience and competencies required to help Riverland achieve high levels of safety, reliability, employee engagement, member satisfaction, operational excellence, and financial soundness.
The co-op is looking for a leader who can work productively with the board, co-op staff, and key external stakeholders to achieve outstanding results.
An unwavering commitment to ethical conduct, safety, and accountability are a must, as are the team orientation and self-awareness that are hallmarks of good leadership.
About Riverland Energy Cooperative
With headquarters in Arcadia, Wisconsin, Riverland serves approximately 16,000 members with 20,000 meters across portions of six counties. Riverland was created by the merger in 1999 of Buffalo Electric Cooperative and Trempealeau Electric Cooperative. Riverland has maintained a sound fleet of equipment and built a new office in the village of Holmen. The cooperative’s power is purchased from Dairyland Power Cooperative, headquartered in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Riverland is active in, and supportive of, the communities it serves. The organization provides more than $30,000 per year in scholarships to those attending college or technical schools. Riverland also participates in the Rural Economic Development Loan Program and has its own Revolving Loan Fund to provide financing for local business and community projects. To support additional local organizations and groups, Riverland sets aside funding for donations and sponsorships. The co-op also hosts an annual electronics and appliances recycling event for the community.
The co-op offers a variety of programs for members to help them save money and become more environmentally sustainable, including energy audit incentives, rebates for EV chargers and energy efficient products, and cooperative solar.
The Board consists of nine engaged and experienced directors who look forward to working collaboratively with the cooperative’s next CEO.
Arcadia is situated in the northernmost section of the Driftless Region, the non-glaciated area bordering the Mississippi River. This region is known for bluffs, ridges, valleys, oak savannas, and prairies, which are home to abundant wildlife and provide numerous outdoor recreation opportunities. Seven international companies have operations in Arcadia, including Ashley Furniture Industries (the #1 furniture manufacturer in the world) and Pilgrim’s Pride. The community offers Riverland’s next CEO an impressive quality of life, including a cost of living almost 20% below the national average, a very low crime rate, and proximity to big-city amenities. The world-renowned Mayo Clinic is only 80 miles away. The cities of La Crosse, Eau Claire, and Winona are all an easy commute. And the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area is a two-hour drive from Arcadia.
More information about the area can be found here, here, and here.
Applications from those who do not meet the required qualifications will not be considered.
Verifiable, successful leadership experience at the Vice President level (or equivalent) or above with an electric utility (We recognize that many utilities refer to those reporting to the CEO as something other than “Vice President.” In such situations, individuals who are direct reports to the CEO are welcome to apply, and they must be clear that they are a direct report to the CEO in the cover letter or resume.)
Demonstrated success in building high-performance teams and excellent organizational cultures
Excellent leadership and communication skills
An unwavering commitment to ethical conduct
Knowledge in electric utility operations, safety, power supply, customer/member needs and expectations, finance, and technologies
An understanding of electric utility industry trends, their likely effects on cooperatives, and ways to leverage those trends for the benefit of Riverland and its members
An understanding of – and an appreciation for – the cooperative business model and Seven Cooperative Principles
A demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and inclusively with boards of directors, executive teams, and employees
A demonstrated ability to build effective relationships with key external stakeholders
A bachelor’s degree from an accredited university
Significant work experience in the electric cooperative industry
An advanced degree or certification in an area relevant to leading an electric utility, including but not limited to law, management, finance, accounting, economics, or engineering
Application Process and Deadline
Interested individuals who meet the required qualifications must email a cover letter and resume to Monica Beavers, Director of Client Services at GreatCo-Ops, at email@example.com. In addition to discussing the applicant’s fit for the role, the cover letter must also include the individual’s perspectives on one significant trend in the electric utility industry and how it is likely to affect Riverland, given the cooperative’s unique characteristics.
References will be requested at a later time for applicants who progress through the process. Finalists must be willing to undergo a comprehensive background check.
Applications are preferred by February 6, 2023, at 5:00 pm Central. However, applications will be reviewed until the position is filled.
GreatCo-Ops is a professional services firm focused exclusively on creating higher performing electric cooperatives. We help co-op leaders thrive in their roles and create organizations with healthy cultures that deliver unsurpassed member satisfaction. We work hard to earn the trust and respect of our clients by combining a strategic mindset, decades of experience, an obsession for unrivaled service, and an unwavering commitment to ethical conduct.
Our seasoned team leverages experience-tested, data-driven techniques and tools to give our clients powerful new insights they can use to solve their cooperatives’ greatest challenges. Our services include strategy consulting, risk management advisory, governance assessments, leadership development programs, executive coaching, executive search, employee surveys, member experience consulting, data analytics, and related offerings.