Bennetts appointed to SDCEA board
Buena Vista native Blake Bennetts was appointed to the SDCEA Board of Directors during their monthly meeting June 29. Bennetts will represent consumer-members in the town of Buena Vista on the board, a seat which was vacated by the resignation of Dave Volpe in April.
After graduating from Buena Vista High School, Bennetts obtained his Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering, with an emphasis in water resources, from Colorado State University. Post college, Bennetts worked for a civil dam construction company for 10 years as a project manager. He currently works for ACA (Asphalt, Concrete, Aggregate) Products in Buena Vista as the sales & development manager.
“I am husband to an amazing wife and father to three very energetic kids. We moved back to Buena Vista in 2019 after living all over the United States, with the hopes of settling down. We love the small town, community feel, and enjoy being back around our family and friends. When I’m not at work, you can find me outside hiking, fishing, hunting, and exploring with my family.
“I hope to bring a long-term, local, perspective to the board, along with my project management skills. I am excited to learn from the current directors, help create more transparency and improve the morale within SDCEA and all co-op members. It is more important than ever to work together as a rural community,” Bennetts said.
“Blake is very familiar with the area and the issues that are important to its residents. He will bring a unique perspective to the board and will be an invaluable asset in shaping the future of the SDCEA. He is committed to representing the best interests of his constituents and ensuring that they have a strong voice in decisions that affect them. We are confident that he will serve Buena Vista and SDCEA with distinction,” SDCEA board president Joe Redetzke said.
Bennetts said he is interested in learning from the current directors about how the cooperative is led, and is encouraged by the community to be part of a solution to help bring safe and reliable electricity to the SDCEA cooperative members.
“I am interested in learning all the challenges with rural electricity and hope to offer another perspective to help bring solutions along with the other directors,” Bennetts said.
Bennetts is a member of the town of Buena Vista Planning and Zoning Commission, as well as a youth wrestling head coach.
Per SDCEA policy A-4, if an SDCEA director resigns more than eight months before the end of their term, the selection of a new director shall be carried out within three regular board meetings of the occurrence of said vacancy.
Notice of the vacancy was advertised in local papers allowing a minimum of two weeks for interested candidates to respond. Ultimately, four candidates submitted letters of interest and candidate disclosure and bio forms. The search committee reviewed the candidates’ submissions and determined all to be eligible, qualified, and willing to serve. Based on that determination, all four candidates were offered and accepted the opportunity to meet with the committee for an interview on the afternoon of June 3. Three interviews were in person and one was conducted remotely, via internet connection.
The search committee developed a list of 9-10 questions, all of which were asked of each candidate. Candidates were also given the chance to ask the committee members questions. Each interview was conducted in approximately 45-60 minutes. The committee discussed each candidate briefly after each interview. After all four interviews were completed, the committee reviewed the interviews, shared their perceptions of the candidates, discussed the benefits each could bring to the board, and arrived at a consensus on the best candidate for appointment. The committee unanimously recommended Bennetts to the full board for approval.
Bennetts will take his seat at the board’s July 27 meeting. Recently-elected board members Sandra Attebery and Nick Hellbusch were seated at the June 29 meeting.