Rick Koupal has represented District 6 on the Bon Homme Yankton Electric Board of Directors for 18 years. He started his term in 2002, and during that time he also served 11 years on the East River Board of Directors and 4 years on the South Dakota Rural Electric (SDREA) Board of Directors.
Rick decided to run for the board of directors in 2002 because he has been around Bon Homme Yankton Electric his entire life, and it felt like the right thing to do. He grew up just a block away from our main office in Tabor, and all his siblings worked at Bon Homme Yankton Electric at one time or another. Rick even worked at the cooperative in the summers through college.
Having grown up around the cooperative, not much surprised him in his role as a director. However, he did learn about the complexity of the energy industry. As well as the large and sophisticated cooperative model that spans from local co-ops to national co-ops.
Rick has many good memories from his time as a director and with all the people in the co-op world. He retires with an appreciation for the other board members and the employees at Bon Homme Yankton Electric due to their dedication to serving the membership.
After 18 years of experience, Rick has some advice for members who are interested in running for a seat on the board of directors now or in the future. He says be prepared to dedicate time and energy to the job. There is a lot of learning, studying, and training to do the job. You will be able to meet many great co-op people from across the country, but you must remember that you are there to represent Bon Homme Yankton Electric members. You may have to make difficult decisions along the way for the best interest of the cooperative and the members.
Rick says, “I feel privileged to have represented the membership for 18 years and honored to have represented my neighbors.” He plans to continue paying attention to energy news because it is something he will always feel passionate about.