Cold, hard Cash: Manager loves gaining skills, work-life balance at Basin Electric

Ted Cash

Employees take pride in bettering the cooperative

Ask Ted Cash about an average day at Basin Electric, and you might need to clear your schedule.

As manager of media and support services, he knows there’s always lots of ground to cover.

“I’ve often said that my day, as a producer and a manager, could be standing hip deep in a snowbank at 40 below to get the right video to tell the story of a large piece of equipment being transported into a new facility, or it could be dragging a coax cable across a stubble field for a satellite downlink in the middle of nowhere,” he says. “I may get a call from members in New Mexico saying, ‘We need 500 helium balloons up in the next 24 hours.’”

Work with other professionals

But with every chilly assignment, lengthy trek and last-minute project request, Cash knows none of it would be possible without his team.

Cash raves about his employees, mostly about how incredibly eager they are to support the cooperative’s member-owners through their work.

“Many times, I have to make sure the people I work with don’t push themselves to the breaking point all the time,” he says. “That is a really good problem to have.”

Cash adds that kind of dedication can be seen throughout Basin Electric, which is one of the reasons he has spent 18 years with the cooperative.

“That is what I am most proud of and what I enjoy seeing: groups that have very different responsibilities and skill sets coming together,” he says.

Grow within the cooperative

A large part of what Basin Electric does for its employees is give them opportunities to grow their professional skills.

For Cash, an opportunity to work with the cooperative emerged while he was studying English and Communications at University of Mary in Bismarck, ND.

Basin Electric made it easy for Cash to learn and become a valued professional. His supervisors worked around his school schedule, full-time summer work was a plus, and the pay was excellent. Plus, Cash was able to follow his interests by working with video.

“One of the things about Basin is how much effort they’ll put forth into building an employee as an asset,” Cash says. “It’s guidance and mentorship like that that makes Basin different. It’s not all about ‘me me me me me’ as an institution; it’s about you as an asset and you as a person.”

There wasn’t a full-time position available when Cash’s internship ended. He spent time elsewhere, exercising his skills in everything from video production, to business consulting and efficiencies work.

Eventually, opportunity revisited Cash and he found his way back home. He has since advanced into a managerial role at Basin Electric.

Be proud of the work you do

Cash often goes back to his roots as a video producer. He values the role imagery and communication play within Basin Electric, as well as the joy in knowing he helped support such areas through his work.

“I felt I was good at what I did,” he says.

Basin Electric takes care of its employees. Watch the video

Like others, Cash appreciates the care the cooperative shows its employees. It’s a culture where employees find work-life balance with the support of the cooperative.

“I don’t want anyone, especially anyone I work with, to feel when they get to age 60 and are starting to look at retirement that they gave up parts of their children’s lives, their home lives to get to where they are at Basin,” he says.

Basin Electric takes care of its employees through a competitive benefits package. Cash says the cooperative is always concerned about maintaining strong benefits, which is unique these days.

“Basin does a good job at trying to target what we need,” he says.

Cash stresses how wonderful it is to work for a cooperative that puts focus on employee growth, the concept of family and future well-being.

“It is a pretty doggone good environment to work in, and it’s one of the few places left that you can truly say, ‘I have a career,’ at any level,” he says.

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