The 2019 Board of Director election will see two candidates running for a seat in the cooperative’s District II – Raymond E. Briggs and incumbent Gary Haberman. In Districts I and III, Deborah Erickson and James Connelly are unopposed.
Official Annual Meeting notices will be sent to all members in March, but only members in District II will receive election ballots, which need to be mailed in by April 9. District II members may also vote at the Annual Meeting on Tuesday evening, April 9, at Le Center Elementary/Middle School.
Here are the biographies/goal statements submitted by each candidate:
Deborah Erickson (incumbent) | Savage
Years as MVEC member: 16 Spouse: Vern
Occupation, Education and Community Involvement: Financial Advisor for Market Financial located at the New Market Bank, working with individuals and businesses. 2009 and 2011 2nd Congressional District Appointee to the MN Compensation Council, Shakopee Rotarian, Past Rotary President, Past Rotary District 5950 Leadership Team, 2017 elected to the Board of Directors for NCSC, a national cooperative lending money to member cooperatives. Presented testimony before the 2017 MN State Senate on behalf of Minnesota Rural Electric Cooperatives.
Goal as a Director: To provide safe, reliable service at the lowest rates possible while continuing to increase our distribution of renewable energy. Work to maintain MVEC’s strong financial position. Continue to offer programs which enable member-owners to manage their electrical consumption in a more effective manner, while exploring technology advancements and cost efficiencies. As an MVEC director, I take my fiduciary responsibility seriously and work to further the relationship of trust and confidence between MVEC and its member-owners. I have obtained my NRECA Credentialed Cooperative Director Certification, NRECA Board Leadership Certification. It has been a privilege to serve on the MVEC Board, and it is my pledge to our members to use my experience to represent the best interests of our member-owners. I would appreciate your continued support, and I thank you for your vote.
Raymond E. Briggs | Prior Lake
Years as MVEC member: 1
Occupation and Community Involvement: I am a retired USAF colonel with 28 years of industrial and aviation maintenance experience. In my last job as the Director of Sustainment at Arnold Engineering and Development Complex (AEDC), I was in charge of maintaining $12.5 billion in Air Force Test and Evaluation assets. Our Complex was the third largest user of electricity under the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), with the ability to consume over 800 megawatts in any given day. As Director of Sustainment, I was a senior leader on the AEDC Energy Council, which looked at energy resiliency, efficiency, and usage. My time in the Air Force has granted me a world view for problem solving which is practical and pragmatic. My time at the Air Force Logistics Staff at the Pentagon has given me in-depth experience in multiple Strategic Planning techniques. I am also an active participant in the Society of Maintenance and Reliability Professionals (SMRP) with Certified Maintenance Reliability Professional (CMRP) Certified Reliability Leader (CRL) credentials, and I have completed Air Force 6 Sigma black belt training.
Education: 1990 Dean’s List graduate of the United States Air Force Academy with Engineering Sciences and French minor; 2005 Graduate of Air Force Institute of Technology with MS in Multi-Modal Transportation.
Other: I am the father of twins, Erika and Zackary. I am also a 25-year member of Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), and Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA).
Goal as a Director: My goals are simple. Maintain transparency in MVEC operations with an eye towards cost-effective renewable energy sources. Actively pursue solutions that bring best value for the MVEC customer and environment.
Gary Haberman (incumbent) | Chanhassen
Years as MVEC member: 20 Spouse: Phyllis
Occupation, Education and Community Involvement: Presently Vice-Chair of the MVEC Board. Employed in the credit and financial management area for 35 years and earned a Certified Credit Executive (CCE) Designation. Now retired. Served two years active duty in the U.S. Army (1st Lieutenant) and four years in the active reserve. Degree in Agriculture Economics from South Dakota State University. Managed father’s rental farm for five years until his passing. Previously Board Chair of National Association of Credit Management (NACM), Minneapolis area (1,600 members) and a Toastmaster for 25 years. In January 2019, I earned my Board Leadership Certificate (BLC) after previously receiving my Credentialed Cooperative Director (CCD) designation. I am a member of the following: Minnesota Rural Electric Association (MREA), National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), Endowment committee at Pax Christi Faith Community, and Chanhassen Lion’s Club where I served as president one year.
Hobbies: Golf, Bicycling, Reading and Gardening.
Goal as a Director: To make sure that MVEC continues to provide the best possible service at reasonable rates, while maintaining a strong financial position within a safe environment. It’s also very important that the electric grid continues to be safe and secure. My experience on the MVEC board and involvement in several other organizations and committees puts me in a great position to be your voice on timely issues, such as climate change, energy storage, and renewable sources of energy. Thank you for your vote.
James Connelly (incumbent) | St. Thomas, Le Sueur County
Years as MVEC member: 43
Occupation, Education and Community Involvement:
- Graduated from New Prague High School
- Associates Degree – Sales & Marketing
- Governmental Territory Sales Representative with Crysteel Truck Equipment Co. of Fridley, MN
- Member of Sons of the American Legion in Le Center; Member of the St. Thomas Sportsmen’s Club in St. Thomas; Member of the Belle Plaine Rural Fire Association in Belle Plaine
Hobbies: spending free time with my 4 grown children and my 10 grandkids, and riding my motorcycle
Goal as a Director: As I continue to live in the St. Thomas area, I will always strive to communicate with all fellow members of MVEC about any concerns at any time. I truly represent and speak for all of my neighbors and members. I’ll continue to guide and respect our amazing management staff and dedicated employees, as they are our greatest asset. Investing in cost-effective, yet reliable sources and operational tools available is another goal of mine. It’s very important to continue our progressive energy conservation program through residential and commercial savings options. Lastly, I want to see us continue to expand our renewable energy power purchases.