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Rushford, MN (9 a.m. December 8, 2016)— Tri-County Electric Cooperative (TEC), of Rushford, Minn., will officially merge with Hawkeye REC, of Cresco, Iowa, to become MiEnergy Cooperative on January 1, 2017.
The new name and its spelling reference the joining of a Minnesota (M) cooperative and an Iowa (i) cooperative. The name, pronounced with a long I, also demonstrates the ownership by individual members – MiEnergy is “my energy cooperative”.
Members have seen gradual signs of the official merger date approaching. Vehicles, clothing and outdoor signs have been rebranded.
As the two co-ops become one, providing quality, local service will continue to be the top priority.
“Our commitment to our members has never been stronger,” said Brian Krambeer, president/CEO of both cooperatives. “The purpose of this merger is to make two strong electric cooperatives even stronger and better prepared for the future.”
Directors, staff and employees have been working since April to ensure a smooth transition.
“You will still be able to stop by the local office to ask a question. We will continue to have employees answering and routing your calls during normal business hours, not an automated attendant,” said Krambeer. “There will be a new name in January, but the employees who members have gotten to know and trust over the years will remain.”
TEC and Hawkeye REC have worked together for over a decade to help save on costs. By pooling their resources, they have offered programs and services they couldn’t have managed individually. The investigation into a merger began in 2014. For several months, the consolidation study committee made up of three board members from each co-op met with lawyers, auditors and other electric cooperatives to gather information and make a recommendation. In March 2015, board directors of both cooperatives unanimously agreed to develop a merger plan and put the question of merging up for a vote by the membership. TEC and Hawkeye REC members overwhelmingly voted to support the plan of merger in April 2016.