Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative's board chairman announced Saturday during the cooperative's 2013 annual meeting that Rick Olesen has been selected as the cooperative's new president and CEO. Olesen succeeds Terry L. Bruns who retired in September 2012.
Olesen began his career at Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative in January 1987. In his most recent role as vice president of operations and engineering, which he held for the last 21 years, Olesen was responsible for the safe and efficient construction, operation and maintenance of the Cooperative's distribution system. Additionally, several major projects were successfully completed under Olesen's leadership including the deployment of the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system and the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) smart meter technology. Olesen was also instrumental in developing the Cooperative's two 10.5 megawatt wind farms. Prior to joining Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative, Olesen worked for Texas Utilities, Dallas Power and Light, Dallas, Texas.
"The cooperative board selected Olesen from pool of well qualified candidates following a comprehensive national search," said board chairman, Steven Williams. "We look forward to working with Olesen as he leads the cooperative through the challenges and opportunities that the electric industry will face in the future."
"It's been privilege to be a part of the Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative team for over 26 years," said Olesen. "To have the opportunity to play a leadership role in one of the most dynamic and well respected electric cooperatives in the nation is indeed an honor. I've had some great mentors in Bruce Bosworth and Terry L. Bruns and my goal is to continue and enhance the tradition of excellence they promoted at Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative by delivering value in membership."
Olesen was born and raised in Estherville.
He received his bachelor's degree in Business/Entrepreneurship from the Buena Vista University. He also completed the National Rural Cooperative's Management Internship Program, which is an extensive program in electric utility management. Olesen has three grown children, Aaron, Adam and Alexandra and one son Evan, who is in seventh grade at Estherville Lincoln Central. Olesen is a very active member within his community, supporting many foundations, area schools, Iowa Lakes Community College, and a variety of youth athletic activities.
Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative serves over 12,000 member-owner accounts locally in Buena Vista, Cherokee, Clay, Dickinson, Emmet, Kossuth, Palo Alto, and Pocahontas counties. Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative is dedicated to leadership, growth and environmental responsibility by providing reliable, competitively priced energy while offering valuable service to benefit our member-owners and the communities we serve.