Winners Announced in 3rd Annual Who Powers You Contest

Winners Announced in 3rd Annual Who Powers You Contest

The third annual Who Powers You contest hosted by the region’s Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives has officially come to a close with the announcement of three winners who were chosen from among the contest’s 20 finalists. The contest spotlights outstanding individuals and organizations who are making a difference in their communities while recognizing them for their remarkable efforts in empowering and inspiring others.

“As an electric cooperative, our services extend beyond delivering safe, affordable, and reliable power to our member-owners,” said Chris Studer, Chief Member and Public Relations Officer at East River Electric Power Cooperative. The Who Powers You contest highlights the commitment of our co-op to the communities and member-owners that we serve. We know that our co-op community is filled with people making a difference and we are honored to celebrate them.”

Weekly contest finalists were featured on KELOLAND Living from March through mid-May. Three contest winners were announced on May 30, 2024.

Becky Krause, a member of H-D Electric Cooperative, has been awarded the first-place grand prize in the Who Powers You contest. Becky, who was nominated by five separate individuals, is an invaluable volunteer and member of her community.

She has been instrumental in many community projects and efforts that enrich Deuel County. She’s deeply involved with the farming industry, supporting local farmers through her banking expertise and hands-on experience and a pillar of support in her church and community, volunteering for church suppers, teaching Sunday School, and leading youth groups. She also serves on the Stewards Against Childhood Hunger committee, providing weekend backpacks for students. Her role in the Deuel County Community Foundation is significant, organizing major fundraisers and promoting scholarships for local students. She also mentors high school students, offering guidance on college, tech schools, and finances. She co-leads the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and is actively involved with her church as a Sunday school coordinator and financial secretary.

As the grand prize winner, she will receive a $3,000 award to support her continued efforts. The Who Powers You award recognizes her as a true ambassador of her community and the individuals within it.

The second-place, $1,500 prize was awarded to Pierre Area Referral Service, whose outreach impacts Oahe Electric Cooperative’s service territory. The organization has been servicing the community for 50 years and is always there to help with food, clothing, emergency/medical bus tickets, emergency hotel vouchers, eviction prevention, and many other services. One of their best programs is their weekend backpack program for kids in grades K-5 and they feed over three thousand meals each weekend during the school year. They are powering their community through their dedication and mission to support community in numerous ways.

Sandi Kramer, a member of Bon Homme-Yankton Electric Cooperative, was awarded the third-place $500 award in the contest. She has been a dedicated volunteer for the Yankton Food for Thought program for many years. She started with the program when they began the Sack Pack Program 15 years ago, which provides a sack of food for the weekend to children who are food insecure. She is involved in their once-a-month food pantry from food ordering to set-up and working the events. She also serves on the board of directors, bringing her experience and great ideas to the program. Her contributions to the region are numerous, which is why she was chosen for the well-deserved recognition.

To learn more about the Who Powers You contest and watch this year’s nominee and winner videos, visit whopowersyoucontest.com.

East River Electric Earns a Minnesota Safety Council Governor’s Workplace Safety Award

East River Electric Earns a Minnesota Safety Council Governor’s Workplace Safety Award

East River Electric was recognized for excellence in workplace safety and health during the 2024 Minnesota Safety and Health Conference on April 30 & May 1. East River Electric is one of 244 employers honored through the awards program, coordinated by the Minnesota Safety Council.

“Keeping the people we work and live with safe is a full time job,” said Paul Aasen, CEO of the Minnesota Safety Council. “Congratulations to East River Electric for investing the time and energy to make work and life safer inside their organization and beyond.”

Since 1934, the annual Governor’s Workplace Safety Awards program has honored Minnesota employers with exceptional safety performance. Applicants are judged on several years of injury data as it compares with their industry’s national and state statistics, and on their progress in implementing a comprehensive safety program. Winners are recognized at five levels:

East River received a Bronze Achievement Award, in recognition of their excellence in occupational injury prevention throughout 2023.