Preparing for the Future
FreeState Assistant General Manager Chris Parr has completed an intensive program in electric utility management with the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The Robert I. Kabat Management Internship Program (MIP) is a series of workshops offered by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin. The program guides participants through all facets of the electric utility industry, including the many changes occurring around the nation. Parr is one of only a few electric utility management staff who will graduate from the Management Internship Program this year.
“This is a prestigious program in the electric utility industry,” said Steve Foss, FreeState CEO. “It’s not a distinction every cooperative leader has, and it takes hard work and dedication.”
Foss, who completed the MIP program in 2006 added, “Chris [Parr] is an asset to the cooperative and understands the meaning and importance of member service. He was able to take his leadership skills and knowledge to the next level and this is an incredible accomplishment.”
Earning the distinction took a significant amount of time and commitment. MIP participants go through three 10-day sessions designed to challenge and educate participants in new, innovative management techniques. Participants leave with a better understanding of what members want and how to ensure they get it. By covering the unique principles that govern the operations of electric cooperatives, the program helps the co-op analyze other business ventures it may want to enter as well as enhance the core organization. This allows greater emphasis of study on management challenges and the aspects of consumer ownership that cooperatives enjoy. Participants learn to focus on member value as part of day-to-day decision-making.