Todd Telesz spent more than a decade providing analysis and insight into Basin Electric Power Cooperative for a leading co-op financial institution. So when the nation’s largest generation and transmission co-op needed a new leader, he was a natural fit.
“Todd brings experience and a proven track record of success in finance and energy, which will be invaluable in meeting our cooperative’s goals and objectives,” said Wayne Peltier, board president of the Bismarck, North Dakota-based G&T. “Todd will be an excellent match for this position and a strong asset to Basin Electric.”
Telesz will replace Paul Sukut, who is retiring after 38 years with Basin Electric, including seven as its CEO and general manager.
“Not only has Paul provided leadership to the cooperative and throughout the energy industry, but he has led us through many difficult situations and managed a strong workforce,” said Peltier.
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Telesz, who begins his new job on Sept. 1, has served as CoBank’s senior vice president of power, energy and utilities for more than a decade. That experience gives him a working knowledge of Basin Electric and its 19 Class A members, which include several G&Ts engaged in wholesale power distribution.
Basin Electric’s 131 member utilities in nine states serve nearly 2.9 million consumers. With about 1,800 employees and a diversified portfolio of generation assets and other facilities, the co-op is active in the Southwest Power Pool and the Western Energy Imbalance Services Market. It also participates in Midcontinent Independent System Operator, which operates the power grid in 15 states and the Canadian province of Manitoba.
In a recent statement to Basin Electric employees, Telesz praised the G&T’s members for their commitment to rural economic development and their shared mission of providing affordable, reliable electricity.
A native of Warren, Ohio, Telesz is an outdoor enthusiast and youth sports booster. He and his wife, Ree Kae, are relocating to Bismarck from Colorado this month. Their two children, Shane and Juniata, attend college in Nebraska and Pennsylvania.
“I am honored and humbled to be selected to lead Basin Electric and to succeed Paul Sukut,” said Telesz. “As we celebrate our 60th anniversary, our membership’s history, cooperative business model, financial strength, and dedicated employee base allow us to operate from a position of strength to address the opportunities and challenges facing the cooperative.”