The Board of Directors is the governing body of the Cooperative and represents the members in policy and rate-making. Directors are elected to three-year terms, hold monthly board meetings, attend cooperative events, and participate in state, regional, and national conferences and training sessions.
About the Board of Directors
Based on the Cooperative’s Bylaws, residential members are eligible to serve a three-year term on the Board of Directors if they:
- are a member of and receive electrical service from the Cooperative at their homestead (for tax purposes) located within the Cooperative's service territory.
- are not employed by or financially interested in a competing enterprise or a business selling electric energy or supplies to the Cooperative.
- have not been employed by the Cooperative in the five years prior to being elected.
- are not a close relative of an incumbent director or of an employee of the Cooperative at the time of election to the Board.
At least two board seats are up for election each year and district seats one and six are up for election in 2019. Members who are interested in serving on the Board should notify the Cooperative so they may be referred to the Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee is comprised of cooperative members who reside in the districts up for election and they seek out and a vet board candidates. Members who are not nominated by the Committee may petition for nomination by securing signatures from at least .05 percent of the membership at the time of petition which equates to approximately 100 signatures.
Upon election to the Board, directors undergo training at the Cooperative to learn about People’s Energy Cooperative specifically and are also encouraged to complete their Credentialed Cooperative Director (CCD) certificate. The CCD certificate program includes courses about director duties and liabilities, understanding the electric business, board operations and process, strategic planning, and financial decision-making.
Several board members have also earned their Board Leadership Certificate (BLC). These Board members have expanded their knowledge by taking 10 additional courses on topics including the cooperative business model, governance, finance, communications, technology, and risk management.
Your Board of Directors
District 1: Joe Book, CCD, BLC - Rochester
Joe has been a cooperative member since 1984 and is a lifelong resident of Olmsted County. He graduated from RCC as an Electronic Technician and has a strong interest in renewable energy. Joe is a retired Rochester Firefighter following a 28-year career. Prior to being a fire fighter, Joe worked at IBM in new product design and production. He currently resides in Haverhill Township and has served on the Board since 2013.
District 2: Ken Wohlers, CCD, BLC - Hayfield
Secretary / Treasurer
Ken has been a cooperative member since 1976 and was elected to the Board in 2003. He has served as the Cooperative's Secretary/Treasurer since 2007. Ken was born and raised in Lake City, MN, and served in the United States Navy in the finance department. He later graduated from Winona State University with a degree in accounting and worked in the accounting field for many years. In 1996, he began farming his wife's family farm near Hayfield, MN.
District 3: Bob Hoefs, CCD - Mazeppa
Bob became a cooperative member in 1967 and has served on the Board since 2002. He lives near Mazeppa and serves on the Mazeppa Cemetery Board and on an advisory committee for the Zumbrota-Mazeppa School vocation house construction. He served in the Army National Guard for four years before being honorably discharged. Bob is retired following a 30-year career as the owner of a John Deere dealership.
District 4: Tracy Lauritzen - Altura
Tracy has been a member of the Cooperative for over 12 years and joined the Board in March of 2018. She lauched Krakerjak - a strategic marketing, sales, and analytics firm- after serving 15 years in management, marketing, and business development roles at other companies. She has served the March of Dimes as a Director on their Board, Chair of their Signature Chef's Auction Committee, and as an honorary family at several events. Tracy has been an active member on Journey to Growth's Regional Committee and the Rochester Area Builders Programming Committee.
District 5: Jerry Wooner, CCD, BLC - Eyota
Jerry has lived in the Dover-Eyota area for 34 years (except for the five years he spent in the Marine Corps) and has been a cooperative member since 1999. He has served on the Board of Directors since 2011 and as Board Chair since 2013. Jerry enjoys living and doing volunteer work in his community including serving on the Viola Gopher Count Committee and as a former EMT for the Eyota Volunteer Ambulance Service. He currently works as a sergeant for the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office supervising 14 detention deputies.
District 6: Art Friedrich, CCD, BLC - Rochester
Art is from rural Chatfield and became a cooperative member in 1983. He was elected to the Board in 2013. Art served in the U.S. Air Force in electronics maintenance prior to attending Dunwoody College where he studied drafting and estimating. He later studied building inspection and soil mechanics from the College of Civil Engineering and has worked in the construction trade since. Since 1992, Art has owned and operated Friedrich Construction and has been an active member of the Rochester Area Builders Association since 1994 serving on several committees and the Board of Directors. He resides in Marion Township on what used to be his grandfather's farm. Art has earned his Director Gold Certificate by completing additional BLC credits.
District 7: Jeff Orth, CCD - Rochester
A native of Austin, Minnesota, Jeff graduated from St. Olaf College in 1976. After five years in public and private accounting, Jeff became a Deputy Registrar for the State of Minnesota in 1981 and currently owns and manages six license bureaus in the state. For over thirty years, he has lived in Rochester Township and actively owns and operates farms southwest of Rochester. Jeff has been a cooperative member since 1985 and was elected to the Board in 2011.