Preparing for the future

McMichael elected as Indiana Electric Cooperatives board president

Posted on Jan 16 2024 in Features
Steve McMichael
IEC Board President

Steve McMichael was recently elected as the president of the board for Indiana Electric Cooperatives. IEC is the statewide trade association representing Indiana’s 38 electric cooperatives and is the publisher of Indiana Connection.

McMichael lives in New Haven, Indiana, with his wife of 36 years, Judy, and their dachshund/beagle mix, Zelda. Their two daughters and their husbands also live in New Haven. McMichael is a retired Realtor/broker and was first elected mayor of New Haven in 2019. He was just re-elected to another four-year term.

Before serving as mayor, McMichael served on the city council and township advisory board. He joined Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative, Inc.’s board in 2013. 

“When I joined the board, I was looking for additional ways to serve the New Haven community,” said McMichael. “At the time, I didn’t know the involvement and education needed to be an effective co-op board member, but I am thankful for the opportunity to serve.”

Since joining the Paulding Putnam board, he has served on various board committees, as vice chairman of the board, and is the current board chair. McMichael has also been a frequent panelist at National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation and National Rural Electric Cooperative Association events regarding board governance. He also traveled to Guatemala with Project Indiana to help train new electric cooperative directors.

McMichael is excited to take on the role of IEC board president. 

“I believe IEC is in a strong position with a great staff, a new and effective CEO, and an upcoming new facility,” said McMichael. “IEC is a vital organization whose mission is to unify, lead, advocate, and serve. As the statewide association — the nation’s first for REMCs — IEC assists local co-ops in serving their members. Over 1.3 million Hoosiers, in 89 of Indiana’s 92 counties, count on Indiana’s REMCs for their power.”

McMichael believes the co-op industry is ever-evolving. “The co-op electric industry is perhaps changing more rapidly than ever in our almost 90-year history,” said McMichael. “It’s important for everyone involved (CEOs, directors, and all staff) to keep updated and educated on changes as we prepare for the future. Our future includes solar, wind, electric vehicles, large scale batteries, baseload retirements, and additional challenges — including broadband for many co-ops.”

McMichael is committed to educating, equipping, and engaging his board-member peers across the state. “I hope to continue to work towards additional resources for board directors through additional education opportunities, networking opportunities, and a new mentorship program we are rolling out in 2024.”