Cooperative Principle 2: Democratic Member Control

Posted on Jul 04 2023 in Southern Indiana Power
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Southern Indiana Power provides electric service to its members by adhering to seven cooperative principles. Today we would like to introduce you to the second cooperative principle, “Democratic Member Control.”  Every year Southern Indiana Power conducts an annual meeting for the purpose of electing directors that represent the membership. That means you, as a member of Southern Indiana Power, ultimately choose the individuals who represent you on the co-op’s board of directors and who govern the strategic direction of our local, not-for-profit business.

Southern Indiana Power’s board consists of seven directors. Their duties include hiring the CEO, approving financial reports and setting policies affecting the co-op. Some examples of this include approving budgets, construction work plans, RUS loans, allocation and retirement of capital credits, etc. It’s not an easy task. Responsibilities stack up, and time commitments are considerable. Besides attending hours of meetings every month, directors must continuously educate themselves about the complex business of electricity production and distribution. Directors also spend a lot of their free time training on the intricacies of strategic planning and financial decision-making.

Our board members are Board Chairman Jeff Vogel, Vice Chairman Gary Waninger, Secretary/Treasurer Dirk Stein, Randy Kleaving, David Lynch, Chris Burroughs and Kyle Knieriem. Our President/CEO, Steve Seibert, is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of Southern Indiana Power. However, our leadership and influence reach farther than just our local co-op.

Besides serving as the cooperative’s vice chairman, Waninger serves as the Hoosier Energy board chairman. Hoosier Energy is a nonprofit generation and transmission cooperative (G&T) founded in 1949 to provide wholesale power and services to member distribution cooperatives including Southern Indiana Power. It is the 12th largest G&T electric cooperative in America.  

Kleaving is the statewide board chairman for Indiana Electric Cooperatives. IEC represents the interests of 38 distribution cooperatives in Indiana that serve approximately 80% of Indiana’s geographic area and approximately 1.7 million individuals, families, farms and businesses in 89 of Indiana’s 92 counties. Kleaving also serves as the Indiana director for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. NRECA represents the interests of over 850 distribution cooperatives across America that own and maintain 42% of the U.S. electrical grid and serve over 42 million people in 48 states.

In addition to serving as President/CEO for our local electric co-op, Seibert is the president of the Hoosier Energy Manager’s Association at the G&T level.

It is evident that the values and insights of our local leaders are respected at the highest levels in the electric industry. The employees and directors of Southern Indiana Power take pride in providing safe, reliable and affordable power while improving the quality of life for our members. Like any successful democracy, these decision-making processes do not operate in the dark. We keep you informed about the financial condition of the co-op, tell you when situations arise that could affect your bill or service and educate you about the issues involved. After all, it’s YOUR co-op.

Your Southern Indiana Power Board of Directors