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Upper Missouri Power Cooperative manager recognized for cooperative leadership

BISMARCK, N.D. — The North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives (NDAREC) recognized Claire Vigesaa, general manager of Upper Missouri Power Cooperative, with the Cooperative Leadership Award at its 79th annual meeting on Jan. 19.

“Claire is a cooperative leader who has earned respect from his peers across the state and country. He has developed a reputation for his thoughtfulness and passion for the cooperative values and principles that we hold in high regard. It’s truly an honor to work with him and present him this award,” says NDAREC General Manager and Executive Vice President Josh Kramer.

Throughout his 40-year career, Vigesaa worked for North Dakota’s electric cooperatives in a variety of capacities, making many contributions to the electric utility industry. As a key staff member of Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Vigesaa helped facilitate a consolidation with Baker Electric Cooperative to form Northern Plains Electric Cooperative in 1997. As a board member of Mid-West Electric Consumers Association and Western States Power Corporation, Vigesaa helped to preserve preference power and keep the organizations on track through many political changes. And, as the general manager of Upper Missouri Power Cooperative, he led his co-op through a time of unprecedented growth and change.

“One of the most important traits a rural electric cooperative general manager or CEO must possess is to always have the best interest of the members at the end of the line in mind. Claire holds this trait close to his heart. Furthermore, Claire is able to maintain his vigilance of member concern, even when politics or peer pressure dictate otherwise. For this alone, Claire is most deserving of the Cooperative Leadership Award,” says former McKenzie Electric Cooperative CEO John Skurupey.

Vigesaa is a strong representative of North Dakota’s electric cooperatives and a successful leader. NDAREC congratulates him on receiving the Cooperative Leadership Award.

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, professional development, cooperative business development and communication services, including publication of the North Dakota Living magazine.