• Electrical Safety Poster Contest

    WECA is sponsoring its annual Electrical Safety Poster Contest, open to all third-grade students of electric cooperative-member households.

Wisconsin Co-ops Represented at PowerXchange in Nashville

March 10, 2022—The NRECA held its PowerXchange 2023 annual meeting this week in Nashville, with “off-the-charts” attendance, according to NRECA CEO Jim Matheson. Those in attendance during the March 3–8 event include WECA President and CEO Steve Freese, WECA board members, and many other Wisconsin electric cooperative leaders.

President Joe Biden delivered a video address to attendees in the final day of NRECA’s PowerXchange on March 8.

Dairyland Power Cooperative Director of Member Relations and Chief Communications Officer Deb Mirasola, who also serves as Touchstone Energy board president, presented during a general session to the audience of more than 9,000 electric cooperative leadership representatives. (Click photos to enlarge.)

Deb Mirasola Tim Tebow Steve Freese and Tyler Tautges

Other speakers included Tim Tebow, former NFL quarterback, and best-selling author; Ken Jennings, known as the best Jeopardy player of all time; Robyn Benincasa, world champion adventure racer, San Diego city firefighter, and best-selling author; Chris Christensen, NRECA president; Jana Adams, executive director of Touchstone, and Michael Gottlieb of Ballast Research, as well as NRECA CEO Jim Matheson.

The 2024 NRECA PowerXchange will take place March 1–6 in San Antonio, Texas.

Karen Newbury,
WECA board vice chairman,
Price Electric Cooperative
Judy Anibas, board member,
Eau Claire Energy Cooperative (left)
Ed Gullickson, board member, Polk-
Burnett Electric Cooperative and
Dairyland Power Cooperative (left),
Brent Ridge, president and CEO, Dairyland Power Cooperative (right)

Podcast Features Wisconsin Electric Cooperatives

December 19, 2022—Customers First! Coalition (CFC) is featuring Wisconsin electric cooperatives in its latest “Electric Wire” podcast. Rob Richard, WECA director of government affairs, led the discussion along with Kristin Gilkes, CFC executive director. Joining the conversation were Robert Cornell, general manager, Washington Island Electric Cooperative; Monica Obrycki, president and CEO, Eau Claire Energy Cooperative; Karen Newbury, director, Price Electric Cooperative; and Nate Boettcher, president and CEO, Pierce Pepin Cooperative Services.

The group covers how cooperatives differ from investor-owned utilities, and the benefits to members because of cooperation among co-ops. They also discuss energy generation and reliability, the new CHARGE EV network for electric vehicle charging at cooperatives, and bringing broadband to cooperative members.

This podcast is the third in a series profiling the structure of different utility types. The first two covered investor-owned and municipal utilities.

You can listen to episode 30 of the Electric Wire podcast, “Getting to Know Wisconsin’s Electric Cooperatives,” wherever you get your podcasts, or listen and watch on the CFC YouTube channel here:  https://youtu.be/sUjZS7wfNq4

Students win Scholarships in WECA Essay Contest

December 6, 2022—Megan Wagner of Oconto Electric Cooperative, Emma Steinke of Rock Energy Cooperative, and Cicely Kiecker of Chippewa Valley Electric Cooperative took first, second, and third place, respectively, in WECA’s 202 essay contest, open to students who attended the 2022 Youth Leadership Congress. Students were asked to describe the Second Cooperative Principle and what it means to them and their community.

First Place
$1,000 Scholarship

Megan Wagner
Oconto Electric Cooperative
Second Place
$500 Scholarship

Emma Steinke
Rock Energy Cooperative

Third Place
$250 Scholarship

Cicely Kiecker
Chippewa Valley Electric Cooperative





When you last heard from me in my August 2022 column, I shared that I was going on medical leave because of a cancer diagnosis. At the time, I didn’t think I would write another column after my first CAT scan results.

Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News

The Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News serves as the voice of the state’s rural electric cooperatives. Founded in 1940, the publication focuses on statewide issues that affect electric cooperatives, promoting the general welfare of Wisconsin’s electric cooperatives, their member-owners, and the areas they serve.

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