After 33 years serving the membership at Kankakee Valley REMC, Chief Executive Officer Dennis Weiss has retired from the cooperative.
“We thank Dennis for his highly successful tenure leading Kankakee Valley REMC. His dedication to the membership is an example of the kind of people who are at the heart of the electric cooperative family,” stated Otto Werner, board president for Kankakee Valley REMC.
Dennis was instrumental in the growth and success of the company, beginning as a staking engineer and advancing all the way to CEO. During his tenure, Dennis played an important part in the development and building of the current headquarters in Wanatah. In addition, he was an integral part and strong supporter of the “Project Indiana: Empowering Global Communities for a Better Tomorrow” program. The program electrified parts of Central America where electricity did not currently exist.
Weiss believed that community went far beyond the boundaries of the Kankakee Valley REMC service territory. His actions spoke to this as he worked both at a local and state level with elected officials to propose and pass policies benefitting rural communities and cooperative members.
The cooperative will begin an immediate search for a new CEO to lead the organization. During the transition, the cooperative has named Scott Sears as chief operations officer, and he will assist the cooperative through the transition period along with overseeing daily operations.
Earlier this year, Kankakee Valley REMC and Jasper County REMC boards of directors began exploring a potential consolidation between the two neighboring cooperatives. This discussion began as the cooperatives looked to meet the growing needs of the members as they plan for the future. The consolidation would have significant benefits to the membership, maintaining affordable rates and continuing the positive impact cooperatives are known for in rural areas.
“The boards of directors are continuing the conversation regarding the consolidation of these two strong cooperatives. We recognize the positive impact consolidation will have on the membership and are committed to continuing that process in conjunction with the leadership search,” stated Werner.