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Dakota Electric Association was recently nominated for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s (NRECA) Cooperative Purpose Award. The award, new in 2015, recognizes cooperatives for their efforts at improving the quality of life for their members and communities. 

“The award will go to a co-op for working with its membership to make outstanding contributions that result in visible, lasting improvements to the quality of life and the purpose of the cooperative in the community,” said NRECA President Mel Coleman.

The Minnesota Rural Electric Association (MREA) nominated Dakota Electric because of the cooperative’s ongoing commitment to its communities and members. 

The application cited volunteer projects by Dakota Electric as well as numerous financial donations to improve its service area. The staff and board members serve on boards and with non-profit groups, and the cooperative organizes volunteers to work at local parks. 

“Board members and employees are engaged in improving the quality of life in their communities in many different ways, often taking leadership roles with key organizations,” MREA’s board chair Wes Waller said.

Dakota Electric’s economic development efforts were also mentioned, such as the recent work to help bring in a large data center to Eagan. 

“As a member-owned cooperative, giving back to the community is a priority of ours and one of our founding principles,” President and CEO Greg Miller said. “All of us at Dakota Electric are honored to be considered for this award.” 

There are seven nominees from around the country, including Lake Region Electric Cooperative, Pelican Rapids — the only other Minnesota cooperative — and the final winner will be announced at the NRECA annual meeting in February of 2016.