Each year in this issue of the Nodak Neighbor, we begin the process of the Nodak director election. You will note we have included a list of members who have been appointed to the director Nominating Committee. This committee will accept nominations for three positions open on the board of directors. This process represents one of the most important differences between an electric cooperative and other forms of electric utilities.
Each year, the door is open for you and every other member of the cooperative to take an active role in the election of the board, which governs your utility. Your role may be as little as simply making a commitment to vote during the director election in April.
You might want to go to the next step and actually attend the annual meeting of the cooperative on April 11, 2023, and vote in person. If so, that evening you will learn quite a lot about Nodak, participate in the election process, have a chance to win one of many door prizes, and eat a great meal served by the Alerus Center. If you haven’t been to one of our annual meetings, I would encourage you to give it a try.
The ultimate involvement in the director election process is to step up and run for one of the three director seats, which are open each year. Being nominated is easy. You can contact one of the members of the Nominating Committee, or you can have 15 fellow Nodak members sign a petition, and you are on the ballot.
Any member in good standing of the co-op can run for the board. Of our nine board members, three are elected each year at our annual meeting, which means – with only a few exceptions – all members have the opportunity to run for the board each year. One of those few exceptions is that our bylaws restrict board positions in each district to no more than two from any county. Since we already have two incumbent board members in District 2 residing in Grand Forks County, members from Grand Forks County are not eligible to run for election in District 2 this time around. However, all other members in good standing are eligible to run for the board this year. Will it be you?
Being a member of the co-op’s board is an incredibly important position. A director’s decision will impact issues such as service, rates, workplans and bylaws. These positions hold great responsibility and require men and women who understand our communities’ needs and serve the cooperative members’ best interests.
Your board fulfills many vital roles for the cooperative. Not only are they the ultimate decisionmakers when it comes to policy-driven initiatives for the cooperative, they are also the local connection to the membership. Board members represent our eyes and ears out in the service area. They bring back member concerns and suggestions, provide a local “neighbor” for you to discuss cooperative business with and represent your interests at the board table.
If you or someone you know are interested in hearing more about how to run for a seat on your cooperative’s board of directors, contact us at the headquarters in Grand Forks and we will help you through the process. Even if you choose not to have that level of participation, you should all feel empowered to reach out to current board members and candidates or encourage your friends and neighbors to participate. When our members are actively involved with the cooperative, we are all better off.
As a cooperative, we invite our members to take an active role. In fact, it is critically important to the survival of the cooperative business model that we use our voices to be heard on the issues that matter to us. Let your voice be heard by taking the time to participate in your cooperative’s election and annual meeting. We hope to see you there.