Telesz to lead Basin Electric Power Cooperative

Todd Telesz

Basin Electric Power Cooperative announced July 26 that Todd Telesz will lead the cooperative as chief executive officer and general manager beginning Sept. 1, 2021.

Basin Electric board of directors’ president Wayne Peltier made the announcement. “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,” he said.

Telesz, from Parker, Colorado, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science degree in economics with a dual concentration in finance and strategic management. Prior to accepting this position, Telesz served as senior vice president of the Power, Energy, and Utilities division at CoBank. CoBank is a cooperative, providing loans and financial services to cooperatives, agribusinesses, rural utilities, and farm credit associations throughout the United States.

Telesz has led CoBank’s efforts in the generation and transmission sector for more than a decade and worked extensively with Basin Electric and its Class A members during that time.

“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 allows us to operate from a position of strength to address the opportunities and challenges facing the cooperative. Basin Electric and its members’ shared purpose and focus on improving the quality of life and driving the economic vitality in rural America is only exceeded by our responsibility to provide the member at the end of the line with affordable, reliable, and responsible electricity provided by a diverse portfolio of power generation.”

“I am confident that Todd will be an excellent match for this position and a strong asset to Basin Electric,” Peltier said.

Telesz grew up in Warren, Ohio, and will be relocating from Colorado to Bismarck in August with his wife, Ree Kae. Together they have two children: Shane, a senior at Doane University in Crete, Nebraska; and Abbey who will be a freshman at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania.

“I enjoy almost all outdoor activities – hunting, hiking, camping, recreational running – and am a huge youth sports fan,” Telesz said. He also serves on two not-for-profit boards of directors: treasurer for the Prince William Sound Science Center in Cordova, Alaska, which is an ocean habitat research center; and, founder and treasurer for Parker Youth Baseball Club, Inc., a volunteer-run and coached organization that supports competitive and travel baseball teams in the Denver, Colorado area.

Telesz replaces retiring CEO Paul Sukut. Directors thank Sukut for his commitment to Basin Electric and its member-owners. “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 who continue to support the communities in which we serve,” Peltier said in a message to employees.