How We Serve: Financial Services

Todd Brickhouse, Basin Electric senior vice president and chief financial officer.

Employees at Basin Electric understand their role as stewards of service to the members of the cooperative. The “How We Serve” series highlights employees and their work group and explains how they serve our members every day.

Todd Brickhouse joined Basin Electric in June 2022 as senior vice president and chief financial officer. Prior to Basin Electric he spent 22 years at Old Dominion Electric Cooperative, most recently serving as its treasurer for 12 years. He began his career in the financial services industry with roles in investment banking, securities trading, and investment management. He shares more about his role and the role of the Financial Services team, and how together their purpose has strengthened Basin Electric’s dedication to serving its member-owners.

“The Financial Services department works to support the responsibility Basin Electric has to produce affordable and reliable energy in a safe and environmentally responsible manner,” Brickhouse says. There are diverse responsibilities within the Financial Services team and these responsibilities are bookended by the efforts of the Resource Planning & Rates team, led by Becky Kern.

Kern’s team projects member load and helps identify resources to serve that load. When it is time to build a new resource or service an existing resource, Jon Klein’s Procurement team contracts for and purchases the equipment and services Basin Electric needs. The Controller division, led by Katrina Wald, keeps track of expenditures and produces timely and accurate financial statements on a monthly basis. “The Treasury division is where all the hard work that goes on at Basin Electric gets turned into cash – whether it’s raising money from outside investors to finance capital expenditures or collecting dollars for the services we provide to members,” Brickhouse says. None of these activities would be possible without the efforts of Brian Matthews’ Information Services & Telecommunications team that keeps colleagues connected, communicating, and equipped with the information needed to do their jobs. Finally, Kern’s team translates all of the activities that go on at Basin Electric into rates that we charge our members for service.  

Each of the areas noted above has significant responsibilities for providing value to Basin Electric’s members and Brickhouse has worked with each of these teams to develop specific goals for improving Basin Electric’s value proposition in 2023. For example, “the rapid load growth we are experiencing poses some unique challenges, so Resource Planning & Rates is focused on developing a large-load rate that mitigates some of the risks posed by large loads that join our members’ systems,” Brickhouse says. “Rapid growth also results in a large capital expenditure program, so Wald and her team are working to better organize our capital budgeting process.” Basin Electric’s capital expenditure program is not immune to the inflation and supply chain issues faced across our nation, so the Procurement team will be working to develop greater supplier redundancy while redoubling their cost control efforts.

When asked to reflect on his impressions of Basin Electric over his first six months, Brickhouse is emphatic: “THE PEOPLE ARE FANTASTIC.” He went on to add, “as ‘the new guy’ in a senior position who replaced a 40-year veteran, I’m sometimes in need of corporate history or context before a decision is made, and people like Chris Baumgartner, Mark Foss, Becky Kern, among others have always been willing to share their perspectives. The Financial Services teammates I get to work with every day are technically skilled, hardworking, and collegial. Our members have been engaging, congratulating us for our successes and being blunt with respect to our challenges, while always encouraging.” 

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