Directors serving for the next four years
Service on the ECE Board of Directors is one way you, as a member, participate in the operation of your cooperative.
Nominations closed February 16 for director candidates in districts 1, 3, and 6. Three candidates, one in each district, were nominated by petition. All three were confirmed and acclaimed winners by the Credentials and Election committee. Voting by ballot in districts 1, 3, and 6 will not be necessary this year.
Serving as directors for the next four years are Mike Kapalin, district 1; Wayne Eller, district 3, and Wesley (Inky) Siemers, district 6.
District 1 - Mike Kapalin
Mike Kapalin, from Superior, WI, has served as an ECE Director since 2012. Recently retired, he has been actively involved with government regulations, alternative energy fuel sources, customer relations and workplace safety.
“As a current director, I also bring a firm understanding of the electrical industry to my position,” he said.
Mike believes the biggest challenge facing ECE is being the electrical expert members seek out when it comes to energy conservation, energy efficiency and state-of-the-art home and business power concerns.
“My family has instilled in me the importance of serving others in my community. By serving as an ECE Director, I can help ensure we, as member-owners, receive safe, reliable and affordable power now and in the future.”
In addition to his service on the ECE Board, Mike has been a member and secretary of the Como Oil and Propane Board.
Serving Wisconsin: Amnicon, Bennett, Blaine, Dairyland, Frog Creek, Gordon, Hawthorne, Highland, Lakeside, Minong, Oakland, Parkland, Solon Springs, Summit, Superior, and Wascott.
Serving Minnesota: Arna, Atkinson, Birch Creek, Blackhoof, Bremen, Bruno, Clear Creek, Danforth, Dick, Finlayson, Fleming, Holyoke, Kerrick, Kettle River, Millward, New Dosey, Nickerson, Norman, Park, Partridge, Pine Lake, Silver Brook, Sturgeon Lake, Twin Lakes, Wagner, Wilma, Windemere, and Wrenshall, including the cities of Denham and Finlayson*.
District 3 - Wayne Eller
Wayne Eller, North Branch, brings extensive experience in developing organizational and business budgets, policies and work plans to his new role as an ECE Director.
Wayne served as ECM Habitat for Humanity’s executive director for 14 years and has been a board member for A Place for You, the transitional shelter in Pine City. A U.S. Army veteran with a history of community service, he worked as a DNR conservation officer for 21 years.
“Cost controls on operations to moderate rate hikes may become the greatest challenge to accommodate increasing consumer needs,” he said. “Moreover, wholesale energy supplier’s costs and restrictive governmental controls may further strain budgets. Necessary capital improvements may be delayed or adjusted while the retention of skilled workers may require enhancing compensation packages.”
Wayne said he’s noticed, as a customer and home builder with Habitat, that “ECE employees go that extra mile to provide courteous, professional services.”
“The positive culture of ECE employees to help resolve customer concerns encourages me that my representing and serving the needs of district 3 will achieve successful results, however challenging.”
Serving Minnesota: Amador, Chisago Lake, Fish Lake, Franconia, Lent, Nessel, New Scandia, North Branch, Oxford, Rushseba, Shafer, and Sunrise, including the cities of Harris, North Branch*, Rush City, and Scandia*.
District 6 - Wesley (Inky) Siemers
Wesley (Inky) Siemers brings his knowledge of business to his new role on the ECE Board of Directors. He and his wife have owned and operated the Peterson-Johnson Funeral Home in Milaca for over 28 years. He grew up in a family business and worked within the business for over 20 years.
“Keeping ECE financially strong and bringing good service and affordable electricity to our patrons” is the biggest challenge he feels ECE faces.
“I am happy to serve as a director and be the voice of district 6 members.”
Serving Minnesota: Alberta, Blue Hill, Buckman, Gilmanton, Glendorado, Graham, Granite Ledge, Greenbush, Haven, Langola, Mayhew Lake, Maywood, Milaca, Milo, Minden, Morrill, Palmer, Pease, Sauk Rapids, St. George, Santiago, and Watab, including the cities of Foley*, Foreston, Gilman, Glendorado, Milaca, Pease, Rice*, Ronneby, Santiago, Sauk Rapids*, and St. Cloud*.
* All or part of the areas listed may be served by ECE.