Co-op prepares for future with exclusive educational program from NRECA
La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) Systems Engineer Dan Harms has completed The Robert I. Kabat Management Internship Program (MIP). Offered by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), MIP is considered one of the most exclusive educational programs in the nation for electric cooperative management.
Held in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin, Madison, MIP is an intensive, six-week program that focuses on different management issues during three two-week sessions. The program provides comprehensive analysis of the functions and processes of management, as well as practical application through individual and small group projects as it guides participants through all facets of the electric utility industry, including the many changes occurring throughout the nation.
“We also were able to get a better understanding of what consumers want and how to provide it, plus we focused on member value as part of day-to-day decision making,” said Harms, who was one of 30 in this year’s class. “I thank LPEA for making the investment and giving me the opportunity to attend this highly valuable program.”
Only rural electric cooperative CEOs and top level management participate in the program, which allows greater emphasis of study on management challenges and the aspects of consumer-ownership that cooperatives enjoy.
“Although all the classes were extremely valuable, what I found to be even more beneficial was the opportunity to network with the rest of the participants,” added Harms. “We all exist to ‘deliver reliable, affordable power,’ but each cooperative has its unique way of doing it. I now have a list of 29 solid resources that I can call on to troubleshoot and brainstorm.”
As a company, LPEA supports continuing education for all staff members within their various disciplines. Currently nine LPEA staff members have received their MIP certification.
“We’re very pleased that Dan has completed the Management Internship Program,” said Greg Munro, LPEA CEO. “The skills and information that he has amassed will benefit him personally and professionally, and strengthen our team here at La Plata Electric, ultimately helping us provide better service to our members.”
LPEA, a Touchstone Energy Cooperative established in 1939, provides to its more than 30,000 members, with nearly 41,000 meters, safe, reliable electricity at the lowest reasonable cost, while being environmentally responsible. For additional information, visit www.lpea.coop.