Jerome “Jerry” Fries, -Stearns Electric Association Board of Director, received the Director Gold Credential certificate from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) in April.
Director Gold Credential recognizes directors who have already earned their Credentialed Cooperative Director (CCD) and Board Leadership Certificate (BLC), and who wish to continue learning throughout their service on the board. Fries is the first director in Stearns Electric history to earn the Director Gold Credential certificate.
An ever-changing business
environment has imposed new demands on electric cooperative
directors, requiring increased knowledge of changes in the electric utility industry, new governance skills, and a solid knowledge of the cooperative principles and business model. Stearns -Electric has committed to work through NRECA to sharpen this body of knowledge for the benefit of its electric cooperative member-consumers.
“The education that our directors obtain through NRECA’s training and education program provides a solid foundation of knowledge of the energy industry for our directors, and allows them to better serve our members and lead the Cooperative,” Robin Doege, Stearns Electric CEO, said. “The Director Gold certificate demonstrates to our member-consumers Jerry’s ongoing commitment to advancing his knowledge of the energy industry.”
For a director to earn the Director Gold certificate, they must have already earned the CCD and BLC, and earn three additional credits from the BLC series of courses. Unlike the CCD and BLC certificates, Director Gold includes a continuing education requirement which calls for directors to earn three credits of approved course work and/or conferences every two years to maintain their Director Gold status.
Fries was first elected to the Cooperative’s Board in 2015 to represent District 9, which serves Minnesota Townships St. Joseph, Wakefield, Rockville, and Maine Prairie in Stearns County. He was re-elected in 2018.
NRECA represents the nation’s more than 900 private, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide electric service to more than 42 million people in 47 states, including Melrose-based Stearns Electric Association.
Stearns Electric Association is a member-owned electric cooperative. Since 1937, Stearns Electric Association has provided electricity and related products and services to Central Minnesota. Today, Stearns Electric Association serves over 27,000 members in six Central Minnesota counties including -Stearns, Todd, Morrison, Kandiyohi, Pope, and Douglas. For more information about Stearns Electric Association, please visit http://www.stearnselectric.org.