The dream team: Financial Services staff worked together to make history in 2015

Finance group

The professionals in Basin Electric’s Financial Services department rely heavily on teamwork to accomplish major projects. (Top, from left): Steve Johnson, Basin Electric senior vice president and chief financial officer; Colleen Weeg, Basin Electric senior administrative assistant; Rod Kuhn, Basin Electric chief risk officer; and Jon Klein, Basin Electric vice president of procurement. (Bottom, from left): Shawn Deisz, Basin Electric vice president and controller; Faye Miller, Basin Electric manager of internal auditing; Karen Ulrich, Basin Electric senior administrative assistant; and Susan Sorensen, Basin Electric vice president and treasurer.

Teamwork is the key to a cooperative’s success.

That was the message Basin Electric shared in its Financial Report during the cooperative’s 2015 Annual Meeting. An introductory video for the report features staff in Basin Electric’s Financial Services department describing the role multiple people played this year by contributing their expertise and work ethic. Watch the video.

It was a year of bringing people together, with the goal of best serving Basin Electric’s members, especially during a Rural Utilities Service (RUS) buyout, Southwest Power Pool (SPP) transition, and urea project construction at Dakota Gas.

Behind the scenes: The value of teamwork at Basin Electric

Shawn Deisz, Basin Electric vice president and controller

For Shawn Deisz, the power of teamwork is always important, especially during the annual audit process at Basin Electric. The cooperative received unqualified or “clean” opinions on all its audited financial statements from the past year, thanks to the hard work of many individuals.

Staff from Financial Services and other departments also came together to help Basin Electric transition into SPP, a regional transmission organization. Settlements, tax and accounting sections in the controller division worked diligently with staff from other departments to make the transition go as smoothly as possible, Deisz says.

Faye Miller, Basin Electric manager of internal auditing

Faye Miller’s staff started using a new internal auditing software, “TeamMate Audit Management,” in November. The name is very fitting for what her department is trying to do, which is to make it possible for Internal Auditing employees to share files and better manage data analytics to best serve Basin Electric’s members.

Through the new software, Miller’s employees will take a team approach in order to critique one another’s work, which she says adds value to Basin Electric.

Jon Klein, Basin Electric vice president of procurement

Since 2007, when Basin Electric began construction of the Dry Fork Station, 2015 has been the year with the most transactions. With that kind of growth, Jon Klein says the cooperative’s Procurement staff members needed to work together – especially since some of them were new to the cooperative.

Klein’s employees worked on projects involving the construction of the Lonesome Creek and Pioneer Generation stations in western North Dakota, the urea facility at Dakota Gas in Beulah, ND, and the Headquarters expansion in Bismarck, ND.

To Klein, Basin Electric is more than just a team – it’s a family.

“Procurement employees have done a good job of becoming part of the cooperative family,” he says.

Sue Sorensen, Basin Electric vice president and treasurer

Basin Electric’s employees in charge of forecasting and budgeting, as well as other departments, were essential in helping the cooperative buy out of RUS, Sue Sorensen says.

For almost two months, staff from many departments worked tirelessly to prepare a 250-page document that included information that would help investors learn more about Basin Electric.

Sorensen also participated in a financial roadshow with senior staff members, during which they visited 11 states to present to potential investors. The traveling team worked together to give 27 presentations, as well as answer more than 200 investor questions after the trip.

Basin Electric eventually locked in $1.5 billion worth of financing for the RUS buyout, a goal that couldn’t have been accomplished without an exceptional team, she says.

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