Basin Electric employee receives NRECA Rising Star Award

Tony Michlitsch, Leland Olds Station plant superintendent.

Basin Electric’s Tony Michlitsch, Leland Olds Station plant superintendent, is one of 20 stand-out cooperative employees to win the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Rising Star Award for his work ethic, community support efforts, and dedication to helping Leland Olds provide reliable electricity to members

The Rising Star Award identifies employees whose talents and passions will one day be remembered as critical to helping cooperatives find opportunities to thrive. Nominees put members first, exhibit expertise in their field, and are willing to go the extra mile. 

“Tony has a history of embracing change, whether it be organizationally or technically at the power plant and working together with his counterparts toward a common goal,” says Gavin McCollam, Basin Electric senior vice president and chief operating officer. “I was very pleased and proud when Tony was announced as a Rising Star recipient. It was refreshing to me that a 20-year employee, who started his career as a laborer, rose through the ranks to ultimately become Leland Olds plant superintendent, was recognized by the NRECA. The award is well deserved.” 

In his day-to-day work, Michlitsch helps cover operations for the operations and maintenance superintendents when they are traveling. This includes going over work orders and prioritizing job duties, ordering chemicals for various areas of operations at Leland Olds, monitoring and ordering fuel oil for the boilers, and monitoring environmental limits to ensure compliance. 

“Tony always has a positive attitude and a determination to get the job done, which has resulted in steady promotions over the years,” says Jason Cowan, Leland Olds plant manager. “His expertise has helped to modernize the plant and contribute to its success.” 

Michlitsch was very surprised to have been nominated. “I feel very humbled and honored,” he says. “I never thought I would receive something like this for just doing my job. I have to give credit to the group around me at Leland Olds; without them the results we achieve here would not be possible.” 

To read more about Michlitsch and the Rising Star Award, see the September 2023 issue of RE Magazine.

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