Innovative Energy Alliance Cooperative (IEAC)
Innovative Energy Alliance Cooperative Provides Management Services
IEAC is a professional management and services company that provides support for four electric cooperatives in North Dakota including Roughrider, Slope, Mor-Gran-Sou and KEM Electric Cooperatives, as well as WDUS Holdings, LLC including 3C Construction, West Dakota Utility Services and other subsidiaries.
Donald Franklund and Travis Kupper are the present Co-General Managers/Chief Executive Officers (CEOs).
The alliance has offices in the 3C Construction building at 4001 30th Ave. N.W., Mandan, North Dakota, and at National Information Solutions Cooperative, located at 3201 Nygren Dr. N.W., Mandan, N.D.
The alliance, which was formalized Jan. 1, 2008, by the Roughrider, Slope and Mor-Gran-Sou boards of directors, began as a management-only alliance known as Innovative Energy Alliance, LLC. Its first managers were Franklund, who had served as general manager/CEO of Mor-Gran-Sou, and Clayton Hoffman, the former general manager/CEO of Oliver-Mercer Electric Cooperative. [Oliver-Mercer was in the process of consolidating with West Plains Electric Cooperative. The consolidation to become one cooperative corporation, known as Roughrider Electric Cooperative, would become official the same day the alliance was incorporated as an LLC.] Hoffman retired in January 2013. He was replaced by Chris Baumgartner in May 2012. Baumgartner resigned in July 2017 to work for Basin Electric Power Cooperative. Kupper, who was the alliance’s chief financial officer, was hired as co-general manager/CEO in January 2018.
KEM contracted with the alliance in June 2012 to receive temporary management services, with the option of becoming a full member. KEM later requested to join permanently, and after Roughrider, Slope and Mor-Gran-Sou approved the request, the alliance board of directors voted to accept KEM as a full member starting January 2013.
The alliance has an eight-member board of directors, comprised of two directors from each of the member cooperatives. They meet at least quarterly, and hold an annual meeting within the first quarter of each year.
In November 2016, Innovative Energy Alliance, LLC converted to Innovative Energy Alliance Cooperative. IEA, LLC was officially dissolved at the annual meeting in February 2017.
In the cooperative spirit of working together for the greater good, the concept of sharing resources to streamline processes and add efficiencies gained momentum. The alliance expanded, adding key positions that were necessary at each of the cooperatives and could be shared. Just like the co-general managers, alliance employees are hired to split their time and talents among the four cooperatives.
The alliance currently has 14 employees. In addition to Franklund and Kupper, they include: Charlie Dunbar, chief information officer; Rob Kelly, manager of engineering; Teresa Bauer, manager of human resources; Darren Stastny, safety coordinator; Trisha Samuelson, assistant engineering manager; Taylor Van Dyke, civil engineer I; Linda Peterson and Sandi Wade, Accountant IIs; Adam Bloms, system administrator; Joe Volk, transmission and substation maintenance manager; Sarah Helbling, HR generalist; and Carmen Devney, communications coordinator.