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Chief Executive Officer

Columbia Rural Electric Association

Walla Walla, Washington

Columbia REA is a stable and progressive member-owned rural electric cooperative system serving approximately 5,340 consumers in the wine country of southeastern Washington State. The cooperative seeks highly qualified applicants for the position of Chief Executive Officer. The Board has contracted with NRECA’s Executive Search to facilitate the search process.

The mission of Columbia Rural Electric Association is to improve the quality of life for our members. Our core values are honesty, loyalty, responsibility, positive attitude and behavior, and professional image. Since 1940, Columbia REA has delivered reliable electricity to homes, cabins, farms and businesses in rural areas of Columbia and Walla Walla Counties and parts of Umatilla County. In 2000 Columbia REA established Columbia Energy, LLC to provide affordable High-Speed Wireless Internet Services.

As a cooperative, Columbia REA is owned by its members and governed by an elected board of directors. Members receive efficient and friendly service from loyal employees who live and work in their local communities. Columbia REA is accountable to its members and abides by the cooperative philosophy: rates are set to cover the cost of doing business, are not marked up to generate profit, and members receive a share of the revenue over and above the cost of doing business in the form of capital credit refunds.

Columbia REA (columbiarea.coop), a growing, exciting,competitive (with the neighboring IOU) electric coop, has 50 full time employees with an operating revenue of approximately $30M per year. Approximately 80% of Columbia REA’s annual sales come from irrigation, commercial and industrial accounts. The market potential in the area is strong, with continued growth on the horizon. Columbia REA is a leader in member services including community involvement, safety education and power service reliability. The cooperative has a wholly-owned subsidiary (Columbia Energy LLC) that provides webmail and broadband wireless services (Wi-Fi) throughout the area.

Candidate for this position are expected to possess (i) a high standard of integrity, (ii) proven leader skills, (iii) a demonstrated record of career progression and (iv) a strong business acumen with a financial and power supply background. Other highly preferred characteristics including supervisory management and team building skills, and electric utility industry experience. A demonstrated understanding and respect for cooperative principles and the cooperative business model are essential. Knowledge in the areas of strategic planning, member relations, rate structure, power purchase, load monitoring and load distribution are required. The successful candidate is expected to have excellent oral and written communication and personal/people skills, and to be comfortable dealing with the public in maintaining a high community presence. Understanding of evolving technology and a four-year college degree are strongly preferred.

Columbia REA has its main offices in Walla Walla as well as service facilities in the communities of Dayton and Burbank. The entire service area has excellent schools, beautiful scenery, and easy access to the Seattle, Spokane, Portland and the Tri Cities (Pasco, Kennewick and Richland). Opportunities for outdoor activities include skiing (Ski Bluewood), hiking, fishing, golf, boating and biking, and easy access to nearby wilderness areas. Thanks to a truly unique combination of climate, geology, character, charm and culture, the Walla Walla Valley has become one of the premier wine regions in the nation, with more than 120 wineries and 2,800 acres of vineyard. Within Walla Walla and the adjoining community of College Place, there are three institutions of higher education: Whitman College, Walla Walla University and Walla Walla Community College. The community has a rich cultural sophistication and is home to the Walla Walla Symphony, the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival and the GESA Power House Theater.

The company offers a competitive salary and an excellent benefits package commensurate with qualifications. Please send an electronic resume, a minimum of three professional references and cover letter by March 14, 2018 to:

Ken Holmes

Director, NRECA Executive Search

ExecutiveSearch@nreca.coop

All replies are confidential.

- Equal Opportunity Employer of Minorities, Females, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities 

 

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