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NDAREC honors two with awards

The North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives awarded Jay Jacobson with the Cooperative Leadership Award during its 71st annual meeting Jan. 9-11.

Jacobson, the general manager of Dakota Valley Electric Cooperative and Northern Plains Electric Cooperative, began his career as a lineman for Central Power Electric Cooperative in Minot. His leadership skills and vision helped him climb the ranks from lineman to department manager to his current position as general manager, said NDAREC General Manager Dennis Hill.

The Cooperative Leadership Award is given in recognition of outstanding leadership demonstrated by a rural electric cooperative board member or manager.

Jay JacobsonJacobson demonstrated his leadership abilities as one of the founding managers of the alliance-management concept for North Dakota’s electric cooperatives, Hill said. Jacobson served as a co-manager of the very first alliance in the state.

“Jay’s leadership is evident,” Hill said. “As general manager of Northern Plains and Dakota Valley, Jay manages what used to be four distribution cooperatives.”

Throughout his career, Jacobson has demonstrated leadership at the state and community level, including his involvement in the Milnor School Board, Dollars for Scholars, Renaissance Zone for Economic Development and the Sargent County Job Development Authority. During his 42-year career, Jacobson has also served as president of the North Dakota Managers Association on various NDAREC committees.

NDAREC also recognized Katie Ryan-Anderson, member communications manager for Dakota Valley Electric and Northern Plains Electric, with the 2013 North Dakota Living Local Pages Award. This award, which highlights the most deserving North Dakota cooperative professional communicator, recognizes excellence in design and clarity of presentation of information to cooperative members.

In her position as head of the communications department for Dakota Valley Electric and Northern Plains Electric, Ryan-Anderson serves as editor of the North Dakota Living local pages for the two cooperatives and manages all forms of communication — both traditional and digital — between the cooperatives and their members.