On Dec. 8, Jim Ryken, who serves on the Clay-Union Electric Corporation board of directors, was awarded the prestigious Simonton-Graves award from the Mid-West Electric Consumers Association. Ryken received the award in recognition for his long-standing service to Mid-West, an organization that works closely with the federal agencies that market renewable hydropower from the dams on the Missouri River. Hydropower currently makes up more than 17 percent of Clay-Union Electric’s power supply through its regional wholesale power supplier East River Electric Power Cooperative. Mid-West President Tim Peggram presented Ryken with the award during the association’s annual meeting in Denver.

“For more than 30 years, Jim has been committed to serving the electric cooperative community,” said East River Electric General Manager and CEO Tom Boyko. “Ryken’s contributions at Clay-Union Electric, East River Electric, Mid-West Electric Consumers Association and within other associations have helped shape the success of the region’s electric cooperatives in providing safe, affordable and reliable electricity. His service has also helped protect the important clean and renewable hydropower resource for the region’s consumers.”

As a member-owner of Clay-Union Electric, Ryken serves as Clay-Union’s representative on the East River board of directors and has served on the local Clay-Union Electric board since 1989. He currently serves as Clay-Union’s board secretary and as president of East River’s board of directors. Ryken served on the Mid-West Electric Consumers Association board of directors from 2009-2017.

Ryken is a graduate of Gayville-Volin High School and attended Northern College in Aberdeen. He is a member of the South Dakota Soybean Association as well as the Clay-Union Irrigators. Ryken and his wife Margo have two children. He farms south of Gayville.

PHOTO CUTLINE: L to R: Mid-West Electric Consumers Association Board President Tim Peggram, East River Electric Power Cooperative Board President Jim Ryken and Mid-West Electric Consumers Association Executive Director Jim Horan.