Stay Basin: Word of mouth sparked long career


When Kevin Dissell tells new employees how long he’s worked for Basin Electric, as well as the numerous jobs he’s earned along the way, their jaws drop to the floor.

Dissell is an asset recovery coordinator, and it’s his job to find a home for the cooperative’s retired inventory, mostly through sales to outside buyers. But he’s held many posts during his 36-year run at Basin Electric

Word of mouth can lead to a cooperative career

Dissell first worked for Basin Electric at Leland Olds Station, four miles southeast of Stanton, ND. It was word of mouth that got him in the plant as a laborer.

In 1978, two cooperative-employed friends, the father of one of Dissell’s basketball players and a fellow Stanton Jaycee member, encouraged him to apply for a job at Leland Olds. He likes to remind today’s working generation of “young kids” of how the hiring process has changed.

Education will get you far, he says, but being vouched for by others is very beneficial.

Dissell has always enjoyed working with others, and he takes great pride in seeing the next generation of employees step up to carry the torch. “They’re so happy they have a job,” he says.

Grow within the cooperative

Dissell says he’s enjoyed getting to know other people through the different jobs he’s done for Basin Electric. After starting as a laborer, he was soon promoted to a temporary coal handler position during a unit outage. He returned to being a laborer, only to be offered an operations boiler attendant position shortly after.

It was a busy time in Dissell’s life. When he thinks back to his basketball coaching days, he can still picture the school bus that would pull up to the plant to pick him up for practice.

With activities outside of work, and his wife and young baby at home, Dissell later took an opportunity to move beyond shift work and into a completely different setting: the warehouse. For 10 years, Dissell assisted with warehouse management, making many friends along the way.

“You do meet so many people when you’re at a warehouse window, handing out parts and materials,” he says.

From warehouse work at Leland Olds, Dissell eventually relocated to Basin Electric Headquarters in Bismarck, ND, to take an expediter position that had opened up in the Procurement department.

It was when he later merged into the position of inventory analyst that the idea of surplus inventory management came into the picture.

From Headquarters, Dissell took a four-year assignment as warehouse manager at the former Glenharold Mine, which once provided coal to Leland Olds. He has since returned to Headquarters to work in asset management.

Challenge yourself, continue learning

He says surplus management is challenging sometimes, considering some specialty items can be difficult to sell, but the work is also very rewarding. Dissell’s career at Basin Electric has helped him learn and continually grow his professional skills, and he’s thrilled to have a job in which he can thrive.

“I feel very comfortable and stable at Basin Electric,” he says. “It’s a great place.”

Visit Basin Electric’s Surplus Marketplace online: Basin Electric Surplus MarketPlace

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