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How does an MEC member become a co-op director?

Did you know any member of a cooperative can become a director of their co-op? A director candidate must meet certain qualifications to represent their fellow members, but simply using, receiving, and purchasing power from McKenzie Electric Cooperative (MEC) is the first step in becoming a director.

As a democratically organized business, MEC is governed by a nine-member Board of Directors, who are elected on a three-year rotation and represent the consumer-members of their district. Every year, three of the nine director positions are open for election. Any person who is a member of MEC and meets the qualifications for being a director may run for election to the MEC Board in the district where they reside. Two ways to be nominated for a director position are by petition or by the nominating committee.

Members may nominate individuals for election to any director position that will be voted on during the Annual Member Meeting. To make a nomination by petition, members must deliver nominations in writing to the cooperative at least 60 days prior to the Annual Member Meeting. The nomination in writing must include:

  1. The name of the member petition nominee (who is being nominated)
  2. Indication of the director position for which the nominee is seeking election
  3. Contain the printed names, addresses, and telephone numbers, and original signatures of at least fifteen members from the district for which a director will be elected.

Additionally, members who are interested in becoming a candidate for the board, or wish to have another member considered for nomination, may contact the Nominating Committee in the respective district on or before April 7, 2023 (60 days before the annual meeting). The Nominating Committee then meets to nominate at least one individual to run for election for each director position and by director district. Once nominations have been cast, the notice of director nominations is published, and each director position is voted on during the Annual Member Meeting. Should there be a contested election, ballots will be provided to members in attendance.

MEC Service Territory

MEC Service Area_2024

Your board of directors is tasked with representing the interests of their fellow consumer-members and ensuring the cooperative continues to operate efficiently. If you look back to the inaugural year of MEC in 1945, and the goal of bringing electricity to the rural areas of northwest North Dakota, you will see many traits in previous directors that still hold true on our current board. The members-first mindset has kept rates affordable, ensured the cooperative operates in a fiscally responsible manner, and above all, kept our lines and facilities safe and reliable.

Back then, the nine men who compromised the first board shared different backgrounds, ideals, and interests. Some had been born in the area, others had immigrated from other countries in search of land to homestead. Farmers, ranchers, and teachers; some with formal education, and some who had left formal schooling early. These unique individuals brought with them their own perspectives and life lessons which one could say helped form a cooperative that has operated through multiple oil booms, downturns in the economy, and has grown to provide an essential service to the members who fall within MEC’s territory. Over the years, directors with backgrounds as business owners, oil and gas employees, and former public servants have all held a position on the board providing a fresh outlook for the future of the cooperative while defending the values it was initially founded on. 

From approving policies to adjusting rate schedules, your board of directors has a long list of duties. And while meetings are held once a month, directors are always open for questions and are happy to represent the members of their districts. If you would like more information on the qualifications required to become a director, call our office at 701-444-9288.