ALLY OF COOPERATIVE ELECTRIFICATION (ACE) AWARD
Each year, WECA honors the best in Wisconsin's rural electric cooperative community with the Ally of Cooperative Electrification (ACE) Award. Past honorees have truly made outstanding contributions to rural electrification in Wisconsin, and we look to find this year's ACE Award winner.
We ask members of the electric cooperatives to pinpoint that person who has made a difference in your co-op, and to our broader cooperative family.
- The ACE Award recognizes outstanding service to Wisconsin’s cooperative electrification program.
- The award recognizes the contributions of outstanding service toward the advancement of the electric cooperative program.
- The ACE is awarded each year to a qualified candidate when selection guidelines are met.
- The ACE Award is presented at the WECA Annual Meeting banquet or at another time deemed appropriate by the WECA board.
- The award shall consist of a suitably engraved plaque bearing the WECA common identification symbol and a brief inscription.
To be considered a candidate for the ACE Award, the following qualifications must be met:
- Must be a living person
- Must have made outstanding contributions to Wisconsin’s electric cooperative program resulting in:
- Bringing about a change
- Advancing the cooperative principles
- Providing ideas or plans for action
- Assuming leadership roles in local, district, and state cooperative programs
- Participation in state governance and functions
- Must have outstanding service resulting in a benefit or advantage to Wisconsin’s electric cooperatives.
- The benefits or advantages may include serving on a state electric committee, the WECA Board, or on an NRECA committee or NRECA Board
- The benefits or advantages may also include participation in education programs, attaining CCD and leadership credits, representing electric cooperatives on local community boards, committees, or organizations, and the advancement of the cooperative program
- All service and contributions must be above and beyond regular routine duties of their position.
- Can be any individual in Wisconsin who has done outstanding work sustaining, enhancing, advancing, and promoting Wisconsin’s electric cooperatives.
- An application may be received from the WECA Office by:
- In order to be fairly evaluated, all applications must have detailed information on the candidate’s accomplishments, service, and contributions. Support letters are strongly recommended.
- Applications can be submitted in hard copy and received by Wisconsin Electric Cooperative Association at 222 West Washington Ave, Suite 680, Madison, WI 53703-2719 by a date publicized by WECA. Applications are given to the selection committee.
- Any person nominated but not chosen can be nominated again the next year and/or any year thereafter, up to 3 years.
1968 John TePoorten (retired JT&S instructor)
1969 Norman Clapp (REA Administrator, state government official)
1970 Anna Dahl (retired director—Montana)
1971 W.E. (Bill) Rabe (director—Oakdale)
1972 W.E. (Bill) Owen (director—Dunn County)
1973 Herman Potthast (JT&S)
1974 John Olson (director—Barron)
1975 Harvey Schermerhorn (WEC employee)
1976 Vern Howard (director—Clark)
1977 Tony Brensdal (manager—Dunn Co.)
1978 John Magnin (director—Oconto)
1979 Lawrence Cole (director—Columbus)
1980 Floyd Wheeler (attorney)
1981 Lloyd McCaskey (manager—Oakdale)
1982 Walter Zimmerman (director—Adams–Marquette)
1983 Oscar Lahti (manager—Bayfield)
1984 W.V. (Bill) Thomas (statewide manager)
1985 H.J. (Jim) Cleary (manager—Jump River)
1986 Allen Hoel (director—Chippewa Valley)
1987 Doug Eickelman (manager—Columbus)
1988 Dean Baldwin (manager—Buffalo)
1989 Charles Van Sickle (attorney)
1990 Earl Jaeger (manager—Vernon)
1991 Jon Steinhaus (manager—Adams–Columbia)
1992 Fred Harasha (manager—Waushara)
1993 Dale Bevan (director—Grant–Lafayette)
1994 Wayne Willink (director—St. Croix)
1995 Robert Lunde (director—Trempealeau)
1996 Gilman Moe (director—Richland)
1997 Ralph Woik (director–Clark)
1998 John Roberts (director–Eau Claire)
1999 Art Riemer (director—Bayfield)
2000 Harvey Jernander (director—Vernon)
2000* Tommy Thompson (Governor) “Special ACE Award”
2001 Gerald Koeller (director—Scenic Rivers)
2002 Don Van Deest (manager—Central Wisconsin)
2003 Dick Adler (manager—Clark Electric)
2004 Mike Anderson (manager—Jackson Electric)
2005 Don Lemke (manager—Jump River Electric)
2006 David Jenkins (manager—WECA Division of WFC)
2006* Herb Kohl (U.S. Senator) “Special ACE Award”
2007 Dennis Engel (director—Taylor Electric & DPC)
2008 Ken Petersen (manager—Barron Electric Cooperative)
2009 John Luehrsen (manager—Eau Claire Energy Cooperative)
2010 Bob Kretzschmar (director—Bayfield Electric Cooperative)
2011 Niles Berman (attorney—Wheeler, Van Sickle & Anderson, S.C.)
2012 Stanley Dybevik (director—Rock Energy Cooperative)
2013 George Webb (director—Chippewa Valley Electric Cooperative)
2014 Perry Baird (editor—Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News)
2014 David Oelkers (manager—Riverland Energy Cooperative)
2015 Marty Hillert (manager—Adams-Columbia Electric Cooperative)
2016 Dan Kanack (director—Oconto Electric Cooperative)
2017 Shannon Clark (manager—Richland Electric Cooperative)
2018 James Hathaway (manager—Dunn Energy Cooperative)
2019 Larry Dokkestul (manager—Pierce Pepin Cooperative Services)
2020 David Paudler (director—Riverland Energy Cooperative)
2020 Sheldon Petersen (CEO—National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation) “Special ACE Award”
2021 Byron Nolde (manager—Oconto Electric Cooperative)