Stay Basin: The cooperative values your professionalism and drive

Shelly WanekIn the world of continued education, Shelly Wanek is a rockstar.

It was in 2003 when Wanek decided to go back to school, and she had no idea it would lead to a career at Basin Electric.

Thanks to support from her husband and three daughters, Wanek decided to attend a program through Bismarck (ND) State College. Shortly after, she earned an internship position in Basin Electric’s Human Resources department.

“I was very, very fortunate to be selected for an internship,” says Wanek, whose face lights up as she thinks back to when she got the job. “I know I could not have accomplished what I did with education if I hadn’t had support from my husband and kids.”

And when it came time for her internship to end, it turns out Wanek’s cooperative family wasn’t quite ready to let her go. Her internship was extended to two years before she stepped into a full-time position.

Today, Wanek serves as Basin Electric manager of compensation/EEO/recruiting. Ten years after joining the cooperative, she describes her career as a dream.

“Every time I talk about my job here I get a little emotional,” Wanek says.

When she first started working at Basin Electric, Wanek says many of her colleagues had worked at the cooperative between 15 and 35 years. Access to that kind of institutional knowledge helped her thrive.

“I was surrounded by a lot of good people who wanted to share their knowledge with me,” she says.

Wanek has had the opportunity to work with some amazing people. She also comes from a family of amazing women. Her daughters, one of whom joined the military and served in Iraq, pursued college educations at the same time as their mom.

Wanek, now a proud grandma, enjoys showing pictures of her seven grandkids to all who visit her office.

“That’s one thing I think really shines about Basin Electric – they’re very supportive of families,” Wanek says.

Basin Electric is flexible when Wanek wants to take time to visit her grandkids. She’s especially looking forward to seeing them on Halloween this year.

“Our family decided it would be fun for all the little kiddos to be together and share their costumes,” she says.

At the end of the day, Wanek is living her dream. She works in a supportive family atmosphere and enjoys interacting with other hardworking people. She especially values employees’ commitment to community and strong support for Basin Electric’s membership.

“I’m so fortunate to be surrounded by a great workforce,” she says. “They operate on the principles of integrity, respect, teamwork and professionalism.”

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