Dawson PPD Vice President
- Area served: Buffalo Subdivision
- Years of service: 27 years
- National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Credentialed Cooperative Director
- National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Board Leadership Certificate
- National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Director Gold Credential
What do you do outside of serving on Dawson PPD’s Board of Directors?
I farm/ranch approximately 20 miles northeast of Kearney with my brother. I serve as Vice Chairman of the Nebraska Generation and Transmission Cooperative; a member of several other local boards and I am active in my church.
What made you want to serve on the Dawson PPD Board of Directors?
My dad’s cousin was retiring from the board and asked me to attend a Dawson board meeting and I became very intrigued with the concept of public power. At this meeting, it was very apparent that this board was about serving the customer with reliable and affordable electricity. Public power is nonprofit and all about service to the customer and the area that we serve.
What is your favorite memory serving on the board?
I enjoy learning and being challenged and whether it be a Dawson PPD board meeting, a NPPD meeting, or a regional or national meeting or conference. Paul Neil, Dawson PPD’s former board president, once told me that the changes that occur in one year today used to take 10 years when he first was on the board. The initial learning curve is extremely steep, but as time has gone by it has gotten easier, and combined with the relationships I have made, I can always find someone with the answer.
What do you prioritize as a board member for Dawson PPD?
Nebraska is the only state that is all public power, and it has worked extremely well for Nebraska. We remain one of the lowest-cost states for electricity. This low-cost electricity has not only benefited our customers but has drawn new economic development to our state that benefits the state in numerous ways.
Dawson PPD’s Mission Statement is: “We exist to safely provide reliable, low-cost power using effective technology to meet our customers’ needs.”
This mission statement says it all, but real challenges exist with the current political environment, climate concerns, technology advances, and the push for electric vehicles and pressure on the electrical grid. But just as these are challenges, they can also provide real opportunities. It requires the Dawson PPD Board to be involved in local and statewide affairs, understand current issues, look at new technology and not being intimated by it, maintain a first-class labor force, and never lose sight of our mission statement.
Don’t add stress to your holiday season. Knowing how to properly use and hang lights could prevent injury or fire.
General Manager Gwen Kautz reflects on Christmas traditions, shopping habits, and how technology is changing relationships with family/loved ones.
A list of 2023 community Christmas events within Dawson PPD’s service territory