Meet your directors

Basin Electric welcomes the three new directors to the cooperative family and invites you to learn more about them through Basin Today’s occasional “Meet your directors” series.

Three new directors joined the Basin Electric board in December: David Meschke of District 2, Tom Wagner of District 4, and Dan Gliko of District 6. They replaced retiring directors Gary Drost, Don Applegate, and Roberta Rohrer, respectively.

Meschke, Wagner, and Gliko are part of the 11-member board that manages the business and affairs of Basin Electric. Each director is elected to a three-year term representing one of 11 membership districts

Basin Electric welcomes the three new directors to the cooperative family and invites you to learn more about them through Basin Today’s occasional “Meet your directors” series.

David Meschke

David Meschke, District 2, L&O Power Cooperative

David Meschke

David Meschke has served on Federated Rural Electric’s board since 2005. He was seated on L&O Power’s board in 2011. Meschke is a certified credentialed director from the National Rural Electric Cooperatives Association. He has a grain and livestock farm in Welcome, Minnesota, with his wife, Lisa. Meschke is also a crop insurance adjuster. 
He has two adult sons, Jon and Michael. 

What inspired you to want to serve rural electric cooperatives (REC)?
I was asked to run for election on my local REC, Federated Rural Electric, and I jumped at the opportunity. Federated Electric has an excellent reputation at home, excelling in customer service and actively supporting the community, schools, and youth programs. I remember after I was elected, going to the rest home to tell my dad that I had won, and how pleased and proud he was that I had been elected.

When you’re not wearing your REC hat, what are you doing?
I own and operate a farm by Welcome, Minnesota. We farm 700 acres of corn and soybeans and have a feedlot for cattle. I also do crop adjusting primarily in south-central Minnesota and north-central Iowa. I’m active in church, serving as the treasurer and I sing in the choir. My wife and I try to do a little camping, too.

Coming on as a director at Basin Electric, what was the most surprising thing you learned?
I have not had any big surprises as of yet. I served on the Basin Electric Resolutions Committee from L&O Power and received a lot of information about Basin Electric from serving on that committee. Our former Basin Electric director, Gary Drost, kept us well informed, too. I have been impressed with the people at Basin Electric. They have been very helpful and knowledgeable, and most definitely care about Basin Electric and the membership.

Are any other family members involved in RECs? If so, who?
No other family members are involved with RECs. Family members have been involved with farm supply-type co-ops.

What role do you see Basin Electric playing in rural America in the next 20 years?
I see Basin Electric continuing to be the leader in providing power for rural America. For sure, there will be changes in how power is generated and marketed, but I am confident Basin Electric will adapt and continue to be the leader.

Do you serve on any other boards or community organizations?
Currently I am involved with church activities. In the past I have served on the Township board, fire department board, fair board, pork producers, and the Chamber of Commerce.

What is your philosophy for serving on a co-op board?
Ultimately, I need to listen to the membership of Basin Electric and be its voice in the boardroom. We need to operate in a manner to continue to supply electric power that is reliable and affordable. We can’t forget the original mission of the electric co-ops: to supply power to rural America. The co-op model does work!

Anything else you’d like to share with the cooperative family?
I look at serving on the board of Basin Electric, the nation’s largest cooperative G&T, as a high honor.  I have great respect for the other board members and staff and will do my best to earn their respect. Basin has been a leader in the electric industry, and I have no reason to expect this to change.
 

Tom Wagner

Tom Wagner, District 4, Northwest Iowa Power Cooperative (NIPCO)

Tom Wagner

Tom Wagner was seated on North West Rural Electric Cooperative’s board in April 2005. He has served on NIPCO’s board since April 2013. He serves as treasurer on the Dakota Coal Company board. Wagner also serves as treasurer on the Montana Limestone Company board.  He farms with his wife, Holly, in Primghar, Iowa. They have three children: Garrett, Erin, and Grant. 

What inspired you to want to serve RECs?
Flipping the light switch or pushing a start button are things we do, and expect to have an uninterrupted response. I felt being an REC director would give me the opportunity to be part of that.

Are any other family members involved in RECs? If so, who?
My father, Bill, was a longtime director on our local board and NIPCO. He also served as a Basin Electric director for 12 years, so I grew up with dad going to REC meetings. I learned a lot about rural electric cooperatives and have a good knowledge of our history from him.

When you’re not wearing your REC hat, what are you doing?
I farm with my older brother, Jim. We grow corn and soybeans, and raise hogs.  I also stay busy with my family, keeping up with my kids’ school activities.

Coming on as a director at Basin Electric, what was the most surprising thing you learned?
I don’t think it was a surprise, but I am impressed with the dedication of the staff and employees that make Basin Electric the best it can be for all the members.

What role do you see Basin Electric playing in rural America in the next 20 years?
The generation mix has changed along with how the system is operated, but I see Basin Electric’s role going forward being very similar to its past – providing low-cost, reliable electricity for the membership. It’s complex and not easy, but it is what Basin Electric has done for many years.

Do you serve on any other boards or community organizations? 
I am a commissioner for the O’Brien County Soil and Water District, and I serve on the school board for the South O’Brien Community School District.

What is your philosophy for serving on a co-op board?
When you are on a co-op board you have to be aware and responsive to the concerns of those who put you there. Most of the time what is good for the co-op is what is good for the members, but at times, hard decisions have to be made that are best for the co-op and aren’t necessarily popular. I do feel the three levels of generation, transmission, and distribution have been and will continue to be a successful electric co-op model.

Anything else you’d like to share with the cooperative family?
Like I said before, Basin Electric is complex, but I am looking forward to serving with the other directors and staff of Basin Electric to do what is best for the members at the end of the line. After all, that is why RECs are here.
 

Dan Gliko

Dan Gliko, District 6, Central Montana Electric Power Cooperative

Dan Gliko

Dan Gliko has served Marias River Electric Cooperative, Shelby, Montana, as a director since April 2001. In July 2004, he was elected to represent his cooperative on Central Montana Electric Power Cooperative’s board. Gliko also serves on the Dakota Coal and Montana Limestone boards. He works as a construction contractor in Oilmont, Montana, and is married to Lynnette. He has five children and five grandchildren. 

What inspired you to want to serve rural electric cooperatives (RECs)?
I always knew how important our local electric cooperative is for the rural members of our county. I was fortunately asked to apply for the vacant position in my district at Marias River Electric and was chosen to fill that position 17 years ago.

Are any other family members involved in RECs? If so, who?
My wife, Lynnette, previously worked for Hill County Electric in Havre, Montana.

Coming on as a director at Basin Electric, what was the most surprising thing you learned?
I was not really surprised, but impressed with all the very talented employees across all departments of Basin Electric.

What role do you see Basin Electric playing in rural America in the next 20 years?
I see Basin Electric playing a pivotal role in power generation and finding better and more economical ways to serve our membership.

Do you serve on any other boards or community organizations?
In addition to serving on the boards of Marias River Electric and Central Montana Electric Cooperative, I previously served on the Midwest Electric Consumers, Montana Grain Growers Association, and Marias Medical Center boards of directors.

What is your philosophy for serving on a co-op board?
I believe that we as board members should always make decisions based on what’s best for our co-op members at the end of the line. If we keep them in mind, and keep 
a forward-looking vision, we really can’t go wrong.

Anything else you’d like to share with the cooperative family?
I would just like to say how excited and honored I am to be given the opportunity to serve on the Basin Electric board. I look forward to working with, and meeting more of the Basin Electric family, and doing the best job I can for all of the Basin Electric membership.
 

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