East River Electric Presents Employee Service Awards

East River Electric Presents Employee Service Awards

East River Electric Power Cooperative recently presented service awards to 18 employees with years of service ranging from five to 40 years.

“I’d like to congratulate this year’s service award recipients and thank them for their dedication to East River Electric,” said East River General Manager Tom Boyko.

East River Human Resources Administrator Val Manthey, one of this year’s service award recipients, began working at East River 40 years ago. She started as a part-time printing assistant in 1977 and worked her way up in the cooperative from a personnel records clerk through a variety of human resources roles to her current position.

“I certainly never thought when I walked through East River’s doors on June 1, 1977 to start a part-time job while I went to college that it would lead to a lifelong career,” said Manthey.

She said that many things have changed at East River since 1977, particularly the cooperative’s campus. When Manthey started, East River’s operations were housed in a headquarters building, a service center and an old brick garage. At that time, the cooperative’s general manager lived in the headquarter building’s upper level. Today, East River operates eight service centers in eastern South Dakota and western Minnesota in addition to its main campus buildings in Madison.

“One thing that hasn’t changed over the years is the professionalism of our workforce and the desire of our employees to do great work,” said Manthey.

As for her advice on how to build a successful career with one company, Manthey said, “A coworker advised me many years ago that if I was offered an opportunity to learn new things or take on more responsibility, go for it. Things may not happen as fast as you’d like, but enthusiasm and good work is noted and rewarded.”

East River presented the service awards during an all-staff meeting and spouses of the recipients were invited to attend. After the awards ceremony, the group moved to Library Park for an employee appreciation lunch.

A listing of the awards is as follows:

  • Five years: Stephen Haider, Jacob Slaathaug and Logan Anderson
  • Ten years: Ken Clements, Devin O’Day, Nicholas Reiff and Michele Whitlock
  • Fifteen years: Larry DeKramer and John Ebsen
  • Twenty years: Janis Dailing, Bob Gale, Jamie Denne, Erik Traxler, Greg Hollister, Travis Olson and Joanne Lovro
  • Thirty-five years: Doug Engbrecht
  • Forty years: Val Manthey

Group photo caption: East River Electric service awards were presented to (back, left) Stephen Haider, Jamie Denne, Nicholas Reiff, Ken Clements, John Ebsen and Jacob Slaathaug; (middle, left) Travis Olson, Logan Anderson, Erik Traxler, Bob Gale, Larry DeKramer and Doug Engbrecht; (front, left) Janis Dailing, Val Manthey, Joanne Lovro and Michele Whitlock. Not pictured: Devin O’Day and Greg Hollister.

Scholar of the Year Banquet Held in Madison

Scholar of the Year Banquet Held in Madison

Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives in eastern South Dakota and western Minnesota honored some of the area’s most impressive high school seniors Saturday, April 29, during the 15th annual Touchstone Energy Scholar of the Year banquet and recognition on the campus of Dakota State University.

The event honored the 34 high school students who were chosen each week throughout the school year as the Touchstone Energy Scholar of the Week. It’s a program which recognizes students for academic achievement, co-curricular involvement and community service. The students are featured in weekly segments which air on KSFY Television and each student receives a $100 scholarship for being chosen as the Scholar of the Week.

Ben Pond, a senior at Ipswich High School within FEM Electric Association’s service territory, was selected during the banquet as the Touchstone Energy Scholar of the Year. Pond, who plans to attend South Dakota State University in the fall, received a $1,000 scholarship. Trevor Sik, a senior at Elkton High School within Lyon-Lincoln Electric’s service territory, and Tory Arbach, a senior at Marion High School within Southeastern Electric’s service territory, were both chosen to receive $500 scholarships. The names were drawn from among the attendees.

Dakota State University’s President Dr. José-Marie Griffiths was the keynote speaker for the Scholar of the Year banquet. KSFY News anchor Brian Allen served as the master of ceremonies.

Touchstone Energy Cooperatives in eastern South Dakota and western Minnesota provide safe and reliable electricity to more than 113,000 homes and businesses. The cooperatives have sponsored the Scholar of the Week program since 2002. In that time Touchstone Energy Cooperatives have awarded over $75,000 in scholarships as part of the Scholar of the Week program.

Scholarship Winners

Scholarship winners Ben Pond, Tory Arbach and Trevor Sik with Dr. José-Marie Griffiths, Dakota State University President