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The North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives (NDAREC) recognized John Lee Njos, former director of Slope Electric Cooperative, with the Community Service Award at its 77th annual meeting on Jan. 21, 2020. Njos served on the Slope Electric Cooperative Board of Directors for 24 years and the Innovative Energy Alliance Cooperative Board for 11 years. He’s also served as a director for Operation Round Up, Slope Services and 3 C Construction.

Njos was instrumental in the formation of the Innovative Energy Alliance Cooperative. He became its first president, a position he held for seven years. He served on the board from its formation until his retirement.

Roughrider Electric Cooperative President Roger Kudrna recommended Noys for the award. He says, “John Lee was one of the early supporters who said we could set any differences aside, work together on behalf of our diverse memberships, and create a cooperative that would allow the respective boards to retain local control, yet do things that would be unattainable if we remained separate. For more than a decade now, John Lee has guided the path and progress of the Alliance, which continues to grow by evolution.”

North Dakota’s electric cooperatives congratulate Njos on receiving this recognition and thank him for his years of service to his cooperative and community.

“John Lee is a humble leader, who has taught many about the value of service and dedication to cooperative and community. It’s an honor to have worked with him and to present him with this award,” says NDAREC General Manager and Executive Vice President Josh Kramer. 

Every year, NDAREC recognizes individuals for their generous contributions to North Dakota’s electric cooperatives and the communities they serve. An eight-member committee of the NDAREC board of directors selects award recipients from nominations submitted by NDAREC’s members, which includes 16 electric distribution cooperatives and five generation and transmission cooperatives. 

NDAREC is the statewide trade association for 16 electric distribution cooperatives and five generation and transmission cooperatives operating in North Dakota. The distribution cooperatives provide electricity to nearly 250,000 North Dakotans. NDAREC services include legislative advocacy, lineworker safety training and professional development services, cooperative business development and communication services including publication of the North Dakota Living magazine.