Established in 1938, High West Energy is a non-profit electric distribution cooperative headquartered in Pine Bluffs, Wyoming. High West’s mission is to provide safe, reliable and competitively priced energy and other services to their members and communities located in Wyoming, Nebraska and Colorado. In addition to providing affordable and reliable power, High West has two subsidiary companies: High West Digital Solutions and High West Wiring that provide a number of valuable services. High West generates annual operating revenue of approximately $53 million and provides electricity to approximately 10,400 active services through more than 3,700 miles of electrical line. The cooperative’s customer base is comprised of several large oil & gas customers (up to 10 MW), as well as a robust irrigation customer base and enviable residential growth. High West’s culture is one that embraces collaboration and teamwork while striving for continuous improvement and innovation.
HIGH WEST ENERGY For more than 80 years, High West Energy has worked to provide members in Wyoming, Nebraska and Colorado with safe, reliable, and affordable energy and other valuable services.
High West is highly involved in economic and community development activities. The membership base includes heavy industrial load comprised of oil & gas companies and 900 irrigation accounts. In addition, High West serves the suburban areas around Cheyenne and the Warren Air Force Base.
High West’s peak load is approximately 80 MW. The co-op receives power supply and transmission services from Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association. High West is an all-requirements, member-owner of Tri-State, with a voting member on their Board of Directors.
High West has been executing a plan to modernize their grid by installing AMI, SCADA and a microwave system for internal communications and demand response. The co-op is also working on installing a fiber backbone and evaluating a 2MW community solar project and a behind-the-meter solar offering to diversify its power supply resources for the benefit of members.
In 2008, High West Energy recognized the need to provide members with a host of services not conveniently available in the communities they serve. The co-op added two organizations to the High West family of companies, High West Wiring (electrician services) and High West Digital Solutions (IT services and computer/mobile device repairs). High West Digital Solutions provides information technology, cybersecurity support, and system inspections via drone to High West Energy and other electric cooperatives.
High West recently announced its EV-23 Initiative, a four-year plan that will add electric vehicles to the High West fleet and includes development of public EV charging stations. Members will have the opportunity to take advantage of a flat rate on electricity used to charge their vehicle. In addition, High West has a demand response pilot program called EmPower Savings available to members interested in using smart technology to reduce electricity consumption and save money.
High West is now in the third year of a five-year plan to upgrade rates in a way that promotes fairness and offers members a wide range of choices. As part of this rate program, High West lowered their kWh charge while increasing their Grid Access Charge. The current Grid Access Charge is $44 with a goal to reach $50 by 2023. All rate changes have been revenue neutral to the co-op.
High West’s total assets are approximately $128 million and margins in 2019 were just under $3.4 million. The cooperative’s modified distribution equity ratio equity is 39%. In 2020, the High West Board voted to retire close to $1.3 million in patronage dividends, this is the 35th consecutive year members received patronage dividends.
THE COMMUNITY High West Energy’s headquarters are in Pine Bluffs, Wyoming, which has an estimated population under 2,000. The town is situated approximately 40 miles east of Cheyenne. Pine Bluffs offers a low cost-of-living, small-town atmosphere, good schools, a stable economy, and year-round recreational opportunities with miles of flat open spaces as well as several hiking and biking trails
High West seeks a CEO/General Manager who will bring compelling vision and strong leadership skills to ensure continued success and positive organizational progress. The CEO/General Manager sets the professional tone for the entire organization and is expected to consistently elevate performance metrics, financial results, and service delivery for the benefit of members. He or she must also be an effective communicator who will work collaboratively and transparently with High West’s seven-member Board of Directors, employees, and members. The CEO/General Manager will lead an 85-person workforce.
Under the Board’s direction, guidance and oversight, The CEO/General Manager’s responsibilities shall include, but not be limited to:
Plans agenda with President for regular and special meetings of the Board; plans Annual Meeting program with Board for Board approval.
Advises the Board of any developments – legal, regulatory, competitive or otherwise, which are likely to affect the Cooperative, and after consultation with Attorney and others, as required, recommends plans appropriate to the situation.
Develops, with staff, and recommends to the Board, new and changed objectives, plans, and policies as required by changing circumstances for the security and growth of the Cooperative.
Develops with staff, department objectives and control reports and other measures of results to assure that activities are directed toward objectives and results are measured.
Plans and recommends changes in electric service rates, rules and regulations to the Board on the basis of rate studies; secures approval of changes from regulatory bodies as required.
Develops long range system design plans and requirements for power supply with staff and recommends to the Board for approval.
Develops with staff long range and year to year financial forecasts and cash flow analyses and makes appropriate recommendations to the Board.
Staffing - Interviews, screens, selects, appoints, promotes and terminates all members of senior staff, and reviews, subject to disapproval, all appointments and terminations of employment made by staff for positions in their respective departments.
Training and Development -Sees that his/her staff is thoroughly trained to meet the qualifications and requirements of their positions now and in the future.
Salary Administration - Develops and reviews periodically the Cooperative’s wage and salary plan and recommends to the Board of Directors the wage and salary plan best suited to carry out the objectives, plans and programs of the Cooperative.
Reviews working conditions, employment benefits and practices, and employee relation policies, practices and procedures with staff periodically. Recommends changes to the Board where this is required.
Sees than an effective safety program is carried on throughout the organization.
Reviews annually the insurance coverage for the Cooperative.
Adjusts, adds or deletes coverage to keep the Cooperative adequately insured.
Directs the activities of the Cooperative. Makes assignment of appropriate activities and delegates authority with full recognition that he/she cannot be relieved of his/her overall accountability to staff.
Interprets approved viewpoints, objectives and policies to staff, and sees that such interpretations are extended through appropriate channels and delegations to all personnel concerned. Advises and counsels with his/her staff on special items beyond their authority and makes necessary decisions.
Signs reports to Federal and State regulatory and administrative agencies as required.
Recommends to the Board of Directors the “write off” of delinquent accounts.
Approved purchases of major apparatuses, transportation equipment, supplies, tools and general plant items for the office in accordance with established policies and procedures and approved capital expenditure budget. Sees that assigned equipment is maintained and used properly.
Prepares, with the assistance of staff, application for loan funds and recommends to the Board of Directors for approval.
Reviews and when required or necessary, recommends to the Board of Directors for approval, agreements for services of contractors.
Approves agreements for joint use of poles.
Approves line changes due to major highway construction.
Administers the approved budget and capital expenditure budget.
Directs the investment of Cooperative funds to maintain cash position on security of investments as approved by Policy Bulletin. Recommends for Board approval, investments in other than government or government guaranteed or insured securities.
Performs and participates in such other activities as directed or required by the Board of Directors.
THE SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATE
The ideal candidate will be an experienced utility industry manager who can build upon High West’s current record of safety, reliability, and value. Of paramount importance are innovative and entrepreneurial leadership and managerial skills utilizing an inclusive team approach.
The Board seeks candidates who possess excellent people skills and a strong commitment to member service and cooperative principles. Fully qualified candidates will possess a broad understanding and/or experience in power supply, finance and accounting, rates, engineering and operations, and Board relations. Experience with the challenges inherent to a growing electric cooperative, is considered ideal.
Candidates must possess unquestionable ethics and integrity. The CEO/General Manager is expected to work as part of a team in an innovative, open and participatory environment. He or she must possess a successful track record of proactive and collaborative communication with Board members, employees, community leaders, utility members, and industry peers.
Ideal qualifications include a Bachelor's degree and ten years of related industry experience.
COMPENSATION, BENEFITS AND RELOCATION
The total compensation and relocation package is competitive and will be dependent upon qualifications and experience. In addition to salary, High West offers an excellent benefits package that includes participation in a 401k plan with up to a 12% employer match and affordable health plan options.
Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume no later than May 7, 2021 to: [email protected]
Joyce Ann Gallo
Mycoff Fry Partners LLC
PO Box 1310 Conifer, CO 80443
High West is an Equal Opportunity Employer: Employer: Females/Minority/Veterans/Disabled/Sexual
Employer will assist with relocation costs.
About High West Energy
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