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2011 Education Menu
Please select a course from the drop-down menu below.

REGISTER one of three ways:

  1. Send an e-mail to Pamela Clark-Stein
  2. Print the registration form and fax it to 701.663-3745
  3. Register online.

Understanding the Electric Business
Jan. 11—Ulmer Center, Mandan
Registration deadline: Dec. 23
Register Online
Registration Form

This course is designed to help directors understand the electric utility industry is an evolving high-tech system that must be designed and engineered to meet regulatory and consumer standards for reliability, quality and safety. This in turn requires an appropriate investment on a planned and ongoing basis. This course provides directors with an understanding of the key components of the electric utility industry.

Key Topics

  • Basic functions and cost components of generation, transmission and distribution
  • Current and emerging technologies that are impacting utility operations and policies
  • Issues related to distributed generation the board may need to address
  • Environmental issues and national policies that impact the cooperative
  • The board’s role to ensure a safe working environment

Instructor: Wallace Barron has nearly 40 years of experience in the electric utility industry, 15 of which have been associated with cooperative systems. He is currently president of the consulting firm, Barron & Associates, Atlanta, which specializes in consulting to the energy industry in the areas of strategic planning, marketing, rates and customer service, both domestic and international. Barron previously worked as the vice president of marketing, customer service and distribution technology at Florida Power Corporation in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Strategic Planning
Jan. 12—Ulmer Center, Mandan
Register Online

Boards have ultimate responsibility for ensuring and evaluating the long-term health of the organization. They help fulfill this duty by identifying goals through strategic planning and by authorizing the appropriate allocation of resources through the adoption of financial policies, budget review and approval. This course teaches directors how to participate effectively in a strategic planning process.

Key Topics

  • Understanding the purpose, value and components of strategic planning
  • Preparing for a strategic planning session
  • Understanding the components of a strategic plan
  • Using a “SWOT” analysis to assess strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
  • Translating board guidance into operational plans by staff
Instructor: Wallace Barron

Social Media Marketing for Business
Jan. 18Bismarck
Register Online

This seminar is co-sponsored by the N.D. REC Member Services Association (NDMSA), and will be held in conjunction with the NDMSA winter meeting. Corey Perlman, author of “eBoot Camp: Proven Internet Marketing Techniques to Grow Your Business,” will provide the techniques to maximize your cooperative’s exposure on the Internet. Learn whether and how to use Web sites, blogs, Twitter and other social networking sites, press releases and video. Perlman will give many practical tips to get your co-op noticed. Most importantly, participants will learn the maintenance required for each Web medium to achieve benefits and avoid negative results.

Key Topics

  • How to successfully promote your business with Facebook
  • How to use LinkedIn and Twitter to grow your business
  • How to use blogs, articles, press releases and e-newsletters to stay connected with your customers and build your brand
  • Why video is the quickest and easiest way to get your message out to the masses
Instructor: Corey Perlman is the author of the social media and Internet marketing book, “eBoot Camp: Proven Internet Marketing Techniques to Grow Your Business,’ which became an bestseller and is in major bookstores worldwide. Perlman is also the co-founder of Urbane Camp, which is a social-media marketing company that builds and manages online marketing campaigns for businesses. His true passion is teaching and in 2010 alone, Perlman conducted his critically acclaimed eBoot Camp workshop at more than 25 conferences and events in cities across North America. To learn more, visit

Engineering & Operations Conference
Feb. 16 and 17Fargo
Register Online

The N.D. REC Engineering and Operations Association collaborates with NDAREC every year to provide technical training locally, for engineers, construction and operations personnel. This year’s conference will feature an opening keynote presentation by Jason Makansi, author of “Lights Out: The Electricity Crisis, the Global Economy and What It Means to You.”

Key Topics

  • Alternative energy interconnection
  • Right-of-way management
  • Substation integration and automation
  • Oil spill cleanup
  • FEMA hazard-mitigation programs
Keynote Speaker: Jason Makansi. A prolific author, respected industry thought leader and seasoned communicator, Jason Makansi has been analyzing the technological, business and regulatory issues in electricity production and delivery for more than 25 years. His experience includes serving as director of Power Generation for, a division of Honeywell, and as editor-in-chief of Power and Electric Power International magazines. During his 18-year tenure with the McGraw Hill Companies, Makansi researched and analyzed every aspect of electricity generation — visiting power plants around the globe.

Challenging Financial Management
Aug. 16Brainerd, Minn.
Register Online

This course will be offered as a pre-conference session for the Finance Managers Quad-State Conference, August 17 to 19. This seminar will give participants the opportunity to actually calculate about 150 key ratios, using their system’s last three years of year-end Form 7s. A working knowledge of Excel and how to make changes to formulas is recommended. Participants are asked to bring a laptop computer, the last three years of Form 7 with the Excel spreadsheet filled out, and a calculator.

Key Topics

  • Calculate your system’s Borrower Statistical Profile and CFC’s Key Ratio Trend Analysis
  • Analysis of system’s optimum equity
  • Data management
  • Data management
Instructor:Kim Mikkelsen is president of KW Consulting, a firm based in Yakima, Wash. For more than 30 years, she has served as a consultant and trainer across the United States in the areas of public power finance and accounting issues. As a consultant, Mikkelsen conducts customer accounting training; on-site training of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Rural Utilities Service office personnel; conversion of computerized systems; development and delivery of courses on rates, accounting and work orders; financial forecasts; and work order procedures.

Effective Boards: Why Some Succeed and Some Fail - NRECA #938.1
Oct. 5Mandan.
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Boards of electric cooperatives and other corporations are composed of community and business leaders who want to do a good job. But as demonstrated in recent corporate scandals, boards can fall into habits and modes of behavior that lead to failure. This course is for experienced directors who will work in small groups to analyze actual case studies in corporate governance. The groups will review news articles and governance documents, involving real corporate boards received a great deal of public scrutiny and lawsuits brought by owners and investigations by committees of Congress.

Key Topics

  • Relevant facts in the case that are significant from a board perspective
  • Critical governance issues
  • Board actions that caused it to get into trouble
  • Actions to decrease risk of lawsuits or investigations by legislative or regulatory bodies
Instructor:Monica Schmidt leads NRECA’s National Consulting Group in delivering value to its membership in the areas of governance, strategic planning, utilities management, executive search, safety and human resources process improvement. She has more than 20 years of broad-based strategic leadership experience in the electric utility industry, specializing in corporate and non-profit governance and the emerging trends likely to impact the cooperative sector.

Bills, Bucks and Business
Nov. TBAMandan.
Register Online

This workshop is based on the premise that every co-op employee and every task performed at the utility has an impact on the ultimate bill sent to the member-owner. Participants will learn how the impact of their jobs can be measured and evaluated, and how to improve favorable outcomes and minimize those that are not as favorable. Participants need to bring the cooperative’s last two year-end financial statements and a calculator.

Key Topics

  • Analysis of the financial report
  • Review of key ratios
  • Accounts turnover ratio, write-offs, over 90-day accounts
  • Inventory turnover ratio, inventory as a percentage of total plant and acceptable inventory variances
  • Engineering and operations: construction work, pole replacement, depreciation, idle services, overtime ratio, contributions in aid of construction and continuing property recordss
  • Financial management: equity changes, capital credits, TIER, general funds, cash management and cost-of-service study

Instructor:Kim Mikkelsen.

Rate Strategies for 21st Century Challenges, NRECA #974.1
Nov. 8Mandan.
Register Online

“21st Century Rate Strategies for 21st Century Challenges,” a publication developed jointly by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC), is featured in this course. Cooperative directors will discuss the complex issues they must balance when they consider business plans, financial policies, alternative rate philosophies and strategies, and the current focus on energy efficiency and conservation. They will gain an understanding of how current rates methodologies affect rising power costs. Case studies will be used to analyze and discuss issues such as equity goals, long-range revenue requirements, achieving fairness for multiple rate classes, and dealing with proposed rate increases.

Note: This course is recommended for all directors and managers, including those directors who have completed Advanced Rate Decisions for Experienced Directors, NRECA #968.1. This course replaces NRECA #968.1, which is no longer offered. Directors who completed #968.1 have earned one credit toward their Board Leadership Certificate (BLC) and are eligible to earn one additional credit by completing #974.1.

Key Topics

  • Components of a rate philosophy
  • Key steps in the rate-making process
  • Integration of rates with the business plan
  • Effective rate design that will support financial and other strategic goals

Instructor:Scott Luecal. Since 1991, Scott Luecal has been providing consulting and training services to consumer-owned utilities, their business subsidiaries and community-directed organizations. These consulting services have included strategic planning facilitation, financial planning, cost-of-service and rate design, organizational structure and related personnel decisions, board and CEO evaluations, diversified business plans, and programs related to training and educating directors and management on the changes taking place in the electric utility industry.

Capital Credits: Legal and Financial Issues, NRECA #975.1
Nov. 9Mandan.
Register Online

According to the Capital Credits Task Force Report of 2005, adopting and implementing a capital credits policy is a key responsibility of a co-op's board of directors and management. As the elected representatives of the members, directors must understand the co-op's capital credits policy to be able to explain why it was adopted and how it works, to members who have questions. Management and staff are responsible for executing the board's policy.

Note: This is an advanced course for REC board members. NRECA recommends that board members who wish to take this course, have completed NRECA #2640.

Key Topics
  • Funds allocated to members
  • Member notice of allocations
  • Amount of capital credits to retire each year
  • Retirement method to use
  • Special retirements
  • Discount of any retirements and the discount rate to use
Instructor:Scott Luecal.

  North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives| 1.800.234.0518 |PO Box 727, Mandan, N.D. 58554 | |

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