HERMAN C. POTTHAST AWARD
Herman C. Potthast, a man of great dedication to the training and safety of the Rural Electric Employees, served the Wisconsin Rural Electric Cooperative for 29 years. For 19 years he was a Supervising Instructor in Rural Electrification with the Wisconsin Schools of Vocational and Adult Education. He was General Chairman of the National Safety Council’s Utility Section. He helped produce two instructional motion pictures on electrical safety procedures, which are being used for training purposes throughout the United States and 14 foreign countries. He served as Wisconsin Job Training and Safety Coordinator from 1943 to 1962. While serving in this capacity, he set up training programs for the distribution line personnel, which included JT&S meetings for all employees, Indentured Lineman Apprentice Training, foreman and supervisory training, and numerous technical job related sessions.
He joined the REA staff in May 1962, as Field Safety Officer in Wisconsin. In 1966 he was transferred to Washington, D.C. In July, 1971, he was named Chief of the Borrowers’ Safety Staff. Mr. Potthast passed away on February 29, 1972.
Because of his outstanding service, dedication, leadership, and cooperation, the Wisconsin Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s Job Training & Safety Department has presented a memorial plaque, Herman C. Potthast Award, to be given annually to the worker in Wisconsin rural electrification who best represents those qualities of dedication, leadership, cooperation and service that were exemplified by “Potty.”
The following factors should be considered as representing the philosophy and ideals of Herman C. Potthast:
- The value of being a competent tradesman
- Apprenticeship programs as means of training
- Self-improvement by the individual
- Technical understanding of the job
- Importance and value of job safety
- Belief in rural electrification movement
- Interest in fellow man
- Willingness to share knowledge
- Does he/she have the respect of his/her fellow worker?
- Does he/she inspire the respect of his/her subordinates?
- Does he/she have the confidence of his/her supervisor and bosses?
- Does he/she have a good technical understanding of his/her job?
- Has he/she demonstrated the ability to act as a leader?
- Has he/she demonstrated a consistent safety consciousness in his/her work?
- Does he/she set a good example in safety performances?
- Has he/she demonstrated the willingness and ability to teach the craft to others?
- Has he/she taken part in community affairs outside of his/her job?
- Has he/she been active in statewide groups or associations?
- Does he/she actively encourage safety among others?
- Does he/she help to create a good image for his/her employer?
- Is he/she effective in fostering good member and public relations to the extent permitted by his/her job?
- Does he/she consistently try for self-improvement beyond the requirements of his/her job?
- Has he/she shown an interest in developing the ability of his/her subordinates by delegating responsibility and authority?
- Is he/she familiar with the policies and practices of his/her organization?
- Has he/she shown a high degree of competency in whatever his/her job may be?
|1973||Jerome Sowieja||Line Superintendent||Clark REC|
|1974||Lloyd McCaskey||Manager||Oakdale REC|
|1975||Elmer Kallevang||Operations Administrator||Polk-Burnett REC|
|1976||Fred Titera||Foreman||Barron EC|
|1977||Oscar Lahti||Manager||Bayfield REC|
|1978||Jim Cleary||Manager||Jump River REC|
|1979||Louis Vesperman||Line Superintendent||Grant REC|
|1980||Ray Jones||Area Supervisor||Dairyland Power Cooperative|
|1981||Norman Nelson||Line Superintendent||Barron REC|
|1982||John Holley||El. Operations Manager||Oconto REC|
|1983||Harold Barg||Line Superintendent||St. Croix REC|
|1985||Daniel Hoag, Jr.||Line Superintendent||Oakdale REC|
|1986||Eldon Eaton||Program Director||WECA, JT&S Dept|
|1987||Conrad Engstrom, Jr.||Operations Manager||Vernon REC|
|1988||Joseph DeMeulenaere||Instructor||WECA, JT&S Dept|
|1989||Charles Parr||Instructor||WECA, JT&S Dept|
|1990||Gerald DeWolfe||Line Superintendent||Pierce-Pepin REC|
|1991||Jim Hayward||Journeyman Lineman||Oakdale REC|
|1991||Scott Brookman||Journeyman Lineman||Oakdale REC|
|1992||Darrell Peterson||Operations Manager||Polk-Burnett REC|
|1993||Leonard Pierzyna||Operations Manager||Trempealeau REC|
|1994||Dean Baldwin||Manager||Buffalo REC|
|1995||Jean Everson||Member Service||Trempealeau REC|
|1996||Dennis Schultz||Operations Manager||Rock County REC|
|1997||Dan Stelpflug||Operations Manager||Grant-Lafayette REC|
|1998||Tony Ernst||Lineman||Head of the Lakes|
|1999||Dave Oelkers||General Manager||Riverland Energy Cooperative|
|2000||Noble Larson||Operations Manager||Eau Claire Energy Coop|
|2001||Bob Moseley||Director of Operations||Clark Electric Cooperative|
|2002||Jon Ebert||Operations Manager||Adams-Columbia Electric Cooperative|
|2003||Dave Woyicki||Operations Manager||Riverland Energy Cooperative|
|2004||Garry Christopherson||Director, Safety & Security||Dairyland Power Cooperative|
|2005||Allan Klaus||Chief Operating Officer||Adams-Columbia Electric Cooperative|
|2006||Terry Tiber||Engineering Superintendent||Oakdale Electric Cooperative|
|2007||Wayne Miller||Line Superintendent||Taylor Electric Cooperative|
|2008||Mike Stamper||Manager, Safety (Dist. Co-ops)||Dairyland Power Cooperative|
|2009||Jim Heizler||VP, Electric Operations||Price Electric Cooperative|
|2010||Mike Most||VP, Electric Operations||Pierce-Pepin Cooperative Services|
|2011||Tim Engel||Lineman||Barron Electric Cooperative|
|2011||Jeff Secraw||Lineman||Barron Electric Cooperative|
|2012||Scott Hayes||Load Management Technician||Riverland Energy Cooperative|
|2013||Scott Bailen||Lineman||Clark Electric Cooperative|
|2013||Josh Burns||Lineman||Clark Electric Cooperative|
|2014||Doug Lewis||Manager, Safety (Dist. Co-ops)||Dairyland Power Cooperative|
|2015||Henry “Hank” Meierotto||Operations Manager||Bayfield Electric Cooperative|
|2016||Ken Miller||Manager, Safety||Adams-Columbia Electric Cooperative|
|2017||Nathan Steines||Director of Operations||Barron Electric Cooperative|
|2018||Lance Burke||Safety Manager for Power Delivery||Dairyland Power Cooperative|
|2019||Jim Hodowanic||Operations Manager||Chippewa Valley Electric Cooperative|
|2020||Tim Clay||VP of Operations||Wisconsin Electric Cooperative Association|
|2021||Larry Hallett||Chief Operations Officer||Richland Electric Cooperative|