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Gwen Stevens, Director of Cooperative Relations
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People’s Energy Cooperative Names New CEO
Henke has served as the Cooperative’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the past eight years and will officially succeed Elaine J. Garry upon her retirement on September 30. In his role as CFO, Mike has led the Cooperative’s finance, accounting, facilities, and information technology functions. He has not only led the finance department, but also helped lead the Cooperative through many significant initiatives including the Minnesota Three Solar project, the People’s Community Solar project, and the Alliant acquisition, among other accomplishments.
“Our search process identified many strong internal and external candidates, but ultimately Mike’s experience and passion for our industry was the defining factor,” said Jerome Wooner, the Cooperative’s Board Chair. He went on to say, “We are thrilled that someone with so much history with our organization, and such a depth of experience in the electric cooperative sector, will lead PEC into its next chapter. We see many new opportunities and challenges ahead in our industry and the Board looks forward to working closely with Mike to build upon our rich history of providing elite services to our members and a positive work environment for our talented employees.”
“I am humbled and honored to be chosen by the Board to lead the Cooperative,” said Henke. “With our strong Board leadership and our dedicated staff, I am extremely optimistic about the future of the Cooperative. I am committed to do my very best for the membership.” He went on to say, “Elaine’s leadership has built a strong cooperative and she leaves a great legacy. My goal is to perpetuate what she has built.”
Before working at People’s, Mike was the Vice President of Finance for ACA International, The Association for Credit and Collection Professionals, where he served its membership for 13 years. Prior to that, Mike served Cuneo Communications Group as its General Manager and CFO. He also co-founded CarSoup.com where he developed and implemented the CarSoup business plan. Mike earned his Master’s in Business Administration from Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Minnesota, and his bachelor’s degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato
Retiring CEO Elaine J. Garry, who has successfully served as CEO for the past 12 years stated, “It has been my pleasure to work with Mike for the past eight years. His extensive experience and leadership style has served this cooperative and its members very well. I am confident he will help the Board and employees navigate the Cooperative’s future and I am pleased to retire knowing the Cooperative is in good and capable hands.”
About People’s Energy Cooperative
People's Energy Cooperative is a member-owned electric cooperative celebrating over 80 years of delivering retail electric power to its 19,000 consumer-members in Olmsted, Dodge, Fillmore, Mower, Wabasha and Winona Counties. People's Energy Cooperative is a Touchstone Energy® cooperative and a member-owner in the Dairyland Power system of electric cooperatives that generates and transmits reliable electric power in 62 counties of four states (Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois).