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President/CEO Steve Shurts to retire

After nearly ten years as President/CEO, Steve Shurts is preparing to step down. The fourth general manager to serve in ECE’s 83-year history, Shurts began his tenure with the cooperative in July 2010. In the years since, the cooperative celebrated a milestone 75-year anniversary, seen a solar array constructed at Braham Headquarters, bought our first electric vehicle, and improved reliability with an upgraded metering system.

“I am incredibly proud of everything we have accomplished over the last decade,” Shurts said. “To be frank, ECE is the best place I’ve worked in my 43-year career.”

Shurts began his career as a nuclear engineer and eventually became a manager at United Power Association before it merged with Cooperative Power Association to become Great River Energy in 1999. After a vice president position at Split Rock Energy, Shurts served as general manager of Owatonna Public Utilities before coming to ECE. 

Board Chair Linda Laitala noted, “Steve’s leadership has sharpened our focus on members. He has positioned the cooperative for continued success while creating an upbeat, positive culture in the organization. We’re going to miss him. We’re grateful for the years of service Steve has provided and wish him the very best in retirement.”

The Board of Directors is conducting a comprehensive search for ECE’s next President/CEO and plans to hire a successor before Shurts’ July 2020 retirement date.

“We are beginning a deliberate and thoughtful recruiting process,” Laitala shared. “The board’s main goal is to hire a President/CEO who can guide ECE into the future while maintaining the mission, vision, culture and values that have been built over the years. The future of energy is changing; we’re looking for a leader who will help us adapt.”

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