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Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Benton Rural Electric Association

Location: Prosser, WA US
Position Type: Full Time
Rqd Education: Bachelor's Degree
Rqd Experience: General Management
Date Posted: December 15, 2022
Reference Code:

The Board of Trustees at Benton Rural Electric Association (BREA) is looking for an experienced, high-integrity, strategic, and people-focused leader to join the cooperative as its next CEO.  The preferred start date is June 2023.

BREA has engaged GreatCo-Ops (www.greatcoops.com) to assist with this search.

BREA’s new CEO must exhibit excellent leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills.  He or she must have a strategic mindset and be able to collaboratively create a vision for the co-op’s future that is compelling and widely accepted by the board, employees, and membership.  The next CEO must be committed to building a culture where employees thrive and provide exceptional service to the members.

An unwavering commitment to ethics, safety, accountability, quality, innovation, effectiveness, efficiency, and BREA’s values, are a must, as are the team orientation and self-awareness that are hallmarks of good leadership. 

The CEO of BREA must have the experience and leadership competencies required to ensure that the cooperative achieves excellence in culture, safety, reliability, operations, and financial soundness.  He/she must have the skills required to build productive relationships with the members, regulators, legislators, power suppliers, statewide association, and other key stakeholders.

About Benton Rural Electric Association

Located near the confluence of the Columbia, Snake, and Yakima Rivers in southcentral Washington’s beautiful Yakima Valley, BREA serves more than 11,000 members in portions of Benton, Yakima, and Lewis counties.  The cooperative’s power supply comes from Bonneville Power Administration.

BREA is an active and vital part of the communities it serves.  The co-op’s employees are committed to educating the region’s youth about energy, water conservation, electric operations, safety, and more.  Each year, the cooperative provides up to eight scholarships to BREA members or their children for academic, line school, and/or trade and technical training.  In addition, the co-op provides financial donations to schools and school-sponsored programs, youth activities, civic organizations and Chambers of Commerce, community health organizations, and to support community events.

The cooperative takes an active role in economic development for the communities it serves, including loan programs to help spur business expansion and relocation.

The co-op offers a variety of programs for members to help them save money and become more environmentally sustainable, including energy efficiency rebates, net metering, community solar, and EV incentives.

The cooperative’s PowerNET Internet service has more than 1,600 accounts.  In addition, BREA provides other services, including computer repair, tech support, and business IT services.

The co-op’s service territory is divided into eight districts, each of which is represented by engaged and experienced directors who look forward to working collaboratively with the cooperative’s next CEO.

Fast Facts about Benton REA

  • Approximately 11,000 members
  • Approximately 15,500 active electric accounts
  • 1,792 miles of line
  • Serves approximately 8.6 accounts per mile (including both very densely and very sparsely populated areas)
  • Electric revenue approximately $43 million in 2021
  • Approximately 70 employees

Additional Information about Benton REA

About the Region

With a population of nearly 300,000, the Tri-Cities (Richland, Kennewick, and Pasco) area enjoys a robust economy and a terrific quality of life.  There are more than 200 wineries and 10 golf courses in the region, along with 300 days of sunshine per year.  Museums, performing arts theaters, public parks, and recreational opportunities (including hiking, skiing, fishing, water sports, and wildlife viewing) abound.  There are festivals, expos, and events in the community every month of the year. 

The Tri-Cities area was ranked among the “Top 10 High Technology Communities in the Nation” by the Milken Institute.  Washington State University and a community college have local campuses, providing access to higher education and cultural opportunities, along with high quality K-12 education.  Moreover, the region has a very attractive cost of living. 

More information about the community can be found here and here.

Mount Rainier National Park, the Columbia River Gorge, Seattle, Portland, and the Pacific Ocean are all just a few hours’ drive away.

Qualifications          

            Required

Applications from those who do not meet the required qualifications will not be considered.

  • Verifiable, successful leadership experience at the Vice President level (or equivalent) or above with an electric utility (We recognize that many utilities refer to those reporting to the CEO/GM as something other than “Vice President.”  In such situations, individuals who are direct reports to the CEO/GM are welcome to apply, and they must be clear that they are a direct report to the CEO/GM in the cover letter or resume.)
  • Excellent leadership and communication skills
  • Demonstrated success in building high-performance teams and excellent organizational cultures
  • The ability to build a workplace culture that aligns with the mission, values, and policies of BREA and adheres to federal and state employment regulations
  • A demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and inclusively with boards of directors, executive teams, and employees
  • A commitment to fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace
  • A demonstrated ability to build effective relationships with key external stakeholders
  • Knowledge in electric utility operations, safety, power supply, customer/member needs and expectations, finance, and technologies
  • An understanding of electric utility industry trends, their likely effects on cooperatives, and ways to leverage those trends for the benefit of BREA and its members
  • An understanding of – and an appreciation for – the cooperative business model and Seven Cooperative Principles
  • A commitment to professional growth and development for self and the employees
  • A willingness to travel for meetings at the local, regional, and national levels
  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited university; or an equivalent combination of education and experience

Preferred

  • Significant work experience in the electric cooperative industry
  • An understanding of the regulatory, political, and legislative environments facing the electric utility industry
  • Experience with rural Internet/fiber
  • Experience with the RUS lending process
  • An advanced degree or certification in an area relevant to leading an electric utility, including but not limited to law, management, finance, accounting, economics, or engineering

Compensation and Benefits

Salary Range: $186,000 to $280,000 per year

Benton REA offers the following benefits to all full-time employees: Medical, Dental, Vision, Life, AD&D, STD, LTD, and Business Travel Accident insurance; 401k plan w/employer match; EAP; Tuition Assistance; Training and Development opportunities

Application Process and Deadline

Interested individuals who meet the required qualifications must email a cover letter and resume to Monica Beavers, Director of Client Services at GreatCo-Ops, at mbeavers@greatcoops.comIn addition to discussing the applicant’s fit for the role, the cover letter must also include the individual’s perspectives on one significant trend in the electric utility industry and how it is likely to affect BREA, given the cooperative’s unique characteristics.

References will be requested at a later time for applicants who progress through the process.  Finalists must be willing to undergo a comprehensive background check.

Applications are preferred by February 1, 2023, at 5:00 pm Pacific.  However, applications will be reviewed until the position is filled.