SDCEA’s Business Model


Sangre de Cristo Electric Association is a cooperative, a form of business owned and controlled by the people who use it— members, who are consumer account holders.

As it is not possible for members to directly make all cooperative decisions, SDCEA is governed by a board of directors, elected by you, the member. Acting as a group, directors employ the cooperative’s CEO, establish guiding policies, and direct the cooperative’s overall business operating goals.

Seven board members govern SDCEA’s business operations and represent geographic areas in SDCEA’s service territory.

  • Two board members represent the service territory at-large
  • Two board members represent Rural Chaffee/Lake counties
  • One board member represents the town of Buena Vista
  • One board member represents Fremont County
  • One board member represents Custer County

All of the board members, like you, receive electric service within SDCEA’s service territory and are charged with representing the interests of members of their service territory while serving on the board. SDCEA’s cooperative bylaws and policies, posted online at our website, contain the exact details about director qualifications and the nomination and election process.

Elections to three-year terms are held during SDCEA’s annual meeting in June. Directors are elected on a rotation basis so that there will always be members on the board who are knowledgeable of SDCEA’s operations and ongoing projects.

It takes a lot of effort to prepare, stay involved, and do the job well. Training and educational programs in the areas of governance responsibilities, utility operations, and management oversight are necessary for a director to function most effectively in his or her responsibilities.

7 Cooperative Principles

Cooperatives like SDCEA have seven principles that help guide operations:

  1. Voluntary and Open Membership — Cooperatives are open to anyone able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership. There is no discrimination based on gender, social status, race, political affiliation, or religion.
  2. Democratic Member Control — Cooperatives are controlled directly by their members. Elected representatives are accountable to the cooperative’s membership, and members are expected to participate actively.
  3. Members’ Economic Participation — Members control the capital of their cooperative and the co-op is expected to operate as a not-for-profit organization. If there is a surplus in capital, it is credited to members in the form of capital credits.
  4. Autonomy and Independence — Cooperatives are autonomous, democratic, and always controlled by members.
  5. Education, Training, and Information — Cooperatives educate and train their members so they will continue to grow and improve. They also inform legislators and the public about the benefits and nature of cooperatives.
  6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives — The cooperative movement is strengthened by collaboration between cooperative organizations. This can happen at the local, national, and international levels.
  7. Concern for Community — Cooperatives work towards sustainable development in their communities through policies agreed upon by their members.

June 2020 SDCEA Board Of Directors

SDCEA Management Team

The management team at SDCEA is charged with day-to-day responsibilities for managing the cooperative.

Chief Executive Officer — Hired by the board of directors, the chief executive officer is responsible for the overall management of all business and service operations of the cooperative. The chief executive officer represents SDCEA’s interests in economic development and in state and national governance and policy-making.

Chief Administrative Officer — The chief administrative officer is responsible for the oversight of employee, consumer and community relations, key accounts and energy use advisory services, communications, technology, metering programs, human resources, board relations, charitable giving, strategic business planning, and business development.

Chief Financial Officer — The chief financial officer is responsible for the oversight of the cooperative’s finances, including income and expenses; federal reporting requirements; and loan, debt, and income management. Consumer service representatives, to whom many of you speak when you call the cooperative, are also based out of this department.

Chief Operations Officer — The chief operations officer is responsible for lineworkers, inventory, project work, engineering, equipment, staking, system capacity, new construction, line maintenance, and system repair. This department, which represents the ‘front line’ of the cooperative, also manages mapping of equipment on the electrical system, processing service upgrades, upgrading services, work orders, developing work plans, and outage response.