40 Years of Opportunities: Steve Johnson's story with Basin Electric

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson, Basin Electric CFO and senior vice president.

As Steve Johnson sat on horseback in a field near his family’s Kintyre, North Dakota, farm, he marveled at how different his surroundings looked just hours before. Less than 12 hours prior, he had been overlooking Manhattan, New York.

Paul (Sukut, former Basin Electric CEO and general manager) and I were often there together, and we’d remind each other that even though we were in the big city, we were still a couple of North Dakota farm boys,” Johnson, Basin Electric senior vice president and chief financial officer (CFO), says. “Overlooking the city, we’d say, ‘Who’d ever have thought?’”

Johnson had a modest upbringing, and always felt gratitude for the opportunities to travel and see different places, like going to New York to conduct business. He earned those opportunities by having a long career with Basin Electric.

Johnson’s career with the cooperative began in 1982 when he crossed paths with a former college classmate who told him that she was a budget analyst at Basin Electric, and that there was another position open. Johnson researched the position, applied, and got the job.

“I grew up on a farm served by KEM Electric (Basin Electric Class A member headquartered in Linton, North Dakota), but I had no idea who Basin was. I was just excited and appreciative to work for an organization that large,” Johnson says.

Learn more about Steve Johnson, including his numerous roles at Basin Electric, how he's found success in his career, and advice for future employees in Working hard and taking opportunities: Steve Johnson retiring after 40 years in the Spring 2022 issue of Basin Today.