18 students receive $1,000 scholarships from Runestone Electric Association

The scholarships were awarded at REA's annual meeting on Thursday, April 27.

REA Scholarship.jpg
REA scholarship recipients present at the REA annual meeting include: Back row: Evan Stark, Garfield; Cole Anderson, Elbow Lake; Jordan Reese, Alexandria. Middle row: Roman Mihailovschi, Hoffman; Alivia Luthi, Evansville; Victoria McGrane, Carlos. Front row: Lily Becker, Garfield; Lyndsey Middendorf, Osakis; and Lauren Larson, Alexandria.
Contributed photo

ALEXANDRIA — Runestone Electric Association held its annual meeting on Thursday, April 27, at the Alexandria Area High School Performing Arts Center. Board of directors seats were determined in Districts 3, 6 and 7, and scholarships were awarded to 18 students.

Runestone Electric’s bylaws allow for uncontested director elections to be elected by acclamation, as in District 3, where Audrey Hjelle, ran unopposed and was reelected. In District 7, Matthew Mattson, ran unopposed and was reelected.

In the District 6 Director election, Joel Seela was elected to the Board with 128 votes. Bruce Harvey received 90 votes and Paul Stennes received 65 votes. Hjelle, Mattson and Seela will serve three-year terms.

During the business meeting, Board President Barbara Johnson and CEO Al Haman gave reports on the activities and financial condition of the cooperative.

“At the end of 2022, the total assets of the cooperative were $102 million. That includes plant assets like the office and warehouse, substations, lines, poles and transformers. We finished 2022 with 211 new accounts and surpassed 15,000 total accounts,” said Johnson.


In his presentation, Haman said some of the biggest challenges of 2022 were three major summer storms, with storm expenses exceeding $800,000. Looking at 2023, Haman said the cooperative is challenged by inflation and supply chain issues while working to maintain and improve reliability. Focusing on the future, Haman highlighted the Carbon-Free by 2040 bill and two large transmission line projects within REA’s service territory.

Retiring REA director, Clif Patrick, was recognized for his nine years of service representing District 6.

Eighteen students whose parents or guardians are REA members received $1,000 scholarships funded through unclaimed capital credits. Randomly drawn from each of the seven REA districts, winners include: Leah Bottemiller, parents Neil and Melanie Bottemiller, Prior Lake; Victoria McGrane, parents Josh McGrane and Cassie McGrane, Carlos; Kendra Klimek, parents Daniel and Sarah Klimek, Alexandria; Evan Stark, parents Larry and Lisa Stark, Garfield; Lily Becker, parents Ryan and Jennifer Becker, Garfield; Alivia Luthi, parents Ryan and Heather Luthi, Evansville; Cole Anderson, parents Richard Anderson and Kendra Stark, Elbow Lake; Roman Mihailovschi, parents Val and Olga Mihailovschi, Hoffman; Ashley Larson, parents Brett and Renae Larson, Alexandria; Claire Stark, parents Erick and Adrianne Stark, Hoffman; Madison Cerney, parents Del and Lisa Cerney, Plymouth; Jordan Reese, parent Pam Reese, Alexandria; Lauren Larson, parents Jon Larson and Kaylene Thooft, Alexandria; Lyndsey Middendorf, parents Travis and Jennifer Middendorf, Osakis; Reece Larson, parents Wade and Nissa Larson, Benson; Allison Leitch, parents Rollin Janssen and Molly Fahlin, Morris; Brady Blair, parents Curt and Angela Blair, Glenwood; Ashlee Armstrong, parents Jeremy and Axeen Armstrong, Glenwood.

Immediately following the adjournment of the meeting, the board of directors held a Reorganizational Meeting to elect officers. Elected were Gary (Andy) Anderson (District 1), president; Mike Loken (District 5), vice president; Matthew Mattson (District 7), treasurer; and Dave Staples (District 4), secretary. Other directors include Barbara Johnson (District 2), Audrey Hjelle (District 3), and Joel Seela (District 6).

Runestone Electric Association serves over 15,000 accounts in the rural areas of Douglas, Pope, Grant, Stevens, Ottertail, Stearns, and Todd counties.

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