Be the light: Happy to be in the co-op world

A new ad campaign is being developed by Basin Electric with the line “Be the light.” The ads show how Basin Electric and its member cooperatives can be the light in communities and homes like only a cooperative can.

You may have seen the story in the March/April 2016 Basin Today Magazine, Be the Light: How Basin Electric employees shine in their work. In addition, we’re starting a blog feature here, by the same name.

Mike Wanzek Be the light

When Mike Wanzek and his family decided to leave Minneapolis, MN, and a career with Great River Energy to move to Bismarck, ND, Wanzek didn’t jump into the corporate workforce right away. He took what turned out to be almost two years away from a desk job and worked for his brother-in-law’s landscaping business. “I didn’t plant any trees,” Wanzek says. “But I worked on office projects and a variety of other things that needed to be done.”

But opportunity struck, thanks to relationships he’d developed during his years in the electric co-op business. In 2014, he learned Basin Electric was hiring. “I was wrestling with that. Is this where I’m meant to be?” he asked himself. “Or do I get back into what I’ve done for most of my career?”

Today, Wanzek is adamant he wouldn’t have come back into this career with a Bismarck business other than Basin Electric. “I appreciate the way a cooperative works. I was happy to be in the co-op world again,” he says.

He says he likes a little bit of timeline-induced stress at times and always enjoys the opportunity to work with others. Wanzek says he feels proud to work at the co-op. “There is so much community support. It’s fun to see the Basin Electric logo on sponsorship signs everywhere,” he says.

“Another thing that’s great here is that you can make your job whatever you want it to be,” Wanzek says. “There is so much opportunity to get into things … work projects, committees, volunteering (Our Power, My Safety Headquarters Implementation Team, BE Involved, Wellness Committee). I like what I do and I like our group. I also like that we are encouraged to get involved. Basin is full of great people.”

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