Why Basin? Find peace, purpose at the co-op

Ken DolanKen Dolan has worked and taught all over the world, but it seems he’s found a perfect fit at Basin Electric.

Four months ago, the Chicago, IL, native started working as director of enterprise risk management for the cooperative.

Throughout his career, Dolan has traveled throughout the world. He even lived in Russia for a spell, starting two companies that thrive there to this day. His favorite internship was with Lloyd’s of London, one of the largest insurance organizations in the world.

Dolan’s expertise in risk management stems from his interest in both entrepreneurship and analytics, an odd combination by his own admission.

He worked as a private equity consultant for a number of years and has frequently consulted to large organizations in the energy space on research and planning topics.

Dolan has specialized in development of systems and infrastructure that meld together, planning and operating, governance, risk and compliance.

He serves on an enterprise risk steering committee for Associated Electric & Gas Insurance Services, an insurer that writes policies for more than 90 percent of the utility-based organizations in the U.S. He is also a certified instructor with the International Risk Management Institute, and has served in adjunct roles with the Insurance Institute of America and the University of Washington.

He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in risk management and finance, a Ph. D. in business studies with an emphasis in risk and insurance, and also several industry designations. Most recently, Dolan worked for MDU Resources Group.

Dolan was attracted to Basin Electric primarily because of the unique operating style of the cooperative business model.

“There seems to be less operating stress at Basin Electric, although much work needs to be done to prepare the cooperative to cope with the present uncertainties and develop a solid basis for future sustainability and growth,” he says.

Dolan’s work at Basin Electric has started in the Financial Services area and will extend to other departments in the future.

“The goal of enterprise risk management is to provide decision-makers with accurate and timely information about the environment in which Basin operates, thus enabling the company to anticipate and respond to changing conditions,” he says. “A key measure of success is the ability to quickly capture, examine and implement the best ideas from within and outside of the organization, while at the same time building the cooperative risk-sensing capabilities.”

“The Basin culture is conducive to forward thinking as long as insular operating styles can be modified to allow the inherent, creative ideas of employees and other stakeholders to emerge.”

Relaxing background music can be heard playing on his nearby computer. Classical is his favorite; it tethers him to a peaceful state of mind as he works throughout the day.

“It’s a little calm in the midst of the chaos,” he says with a smile.

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