Frequently Asked Questions
If you do not find the help you need in the Frequently Asked Questions posed here, please contact us.
MREA General Information
- How is MREA funded?
- How is MREA governed?
- How does MREA provide service to a diverse group of organizations?
- What does MREA offer directly to me as a co-op employee?
Rural Electric Management Association (REMA)
MREA Events & Online Registration
- Where can I find a listing of MREA’s training opportunities?
- What is the suggested attire at MREA events?
MREA Vendor Membership
ACRE & REPAC
MREA is a nonprofit member-service organization. MREA’s expenses are covered by two sources of revenue – dues and non-dues revenue. Dues are assessed to our distribution cooperative members based upon a formula that considers several factors. The rest of our revenue comes from non-dues sources in the form of registration fees, attendance fees, and user fees for specific programs and events.
MREA exists for its members, to provide service, unity and leadership, and is responsive to member feedback and needs. In line with the 2nd Cooperative Principle, “Democratic Member Control,” MREA is governed by our members. Across the state, MREA member co-ops are divided into seven districts. A fourteen-member board of directors, two from each district, governs this association. These directors represent your electric co-op’s interests on the MREA Board.
You may contact your district’s directors to voice concerns and help find solutions to your needs. MREA is responsive to our members’ needs and wants. Please use our online feedback form or call us anytime at 763-424-1020.
MREA’s mission is “to provide valued service promote unity among our members through collaborative leadership and expertise.” MREA works hard to provide service to ALL members – large and small – without regard to their size. This can be challenging as we recognize the incredible diversity that exists among our members. Our members range from co-ops with 1,900 consumers to co-ops that serve more than 129,000 consumers. Our members are diverse in other ways too, including their geographic location, which generation and transmission co-op provides their wholesale power, how many states they operate in, etc. Although MREA responds to a wide range of issues, our goal is to always act in the best interests of all members. Whether we’re connecting members to the information they need, conducting a safety service day, or lobbying at the capitol, MREA’s purpose is to create value for each member and maintain unity among our co-op members.
MREA offers 70 – 80 annual training opportunities. Whether you are a CEO, line worker, administrative assistant, engineer, or member service manager, MREA can provide tools to do your job better and more safely. Annually, we train more than 2,800 co-op employees and directors at workshops, conferences, schools and special events. In addition, many of our member co-ops receive several hours of interaction with MREA safety & loss control specialists or call upon staff as a source of information for their day-to-day needs. For more details visit: What we do.
The Rural Electric Management Association (REMA) furthers the fifth cooperative principle of providing education and training for its members by investigating, compiling, and disseminating information that is critical for effectively managing rural electric cooperatives. It is organized under Minnesota Rural Electric Association (MREA), which also facilitates REMA’s functions as one way of carrying out MREA’s vision of preparing members for success in an evolving industry. REMA has five sections: CEOs, Financial Managers, Member Services, Line Superintendents and Engineers & Operations. Each section has a board comprised of member representatives from MREA’s seven districts, which help plan the section’s events.
REMA’s sections are comprised of dues paying members from cooperatives in Minnesota and surrounding states. REMA membership dues of $350 per co-op, per section and cover the cost of attendance for one co-op representative per section for conferences held throughout the year. REMA member cooperatives are invoiced for additional attendees at $185. Wisconsin and North Dakota co-op attendees are billed $185 per person. Some REMA sections invite Vendor Members and non-REMA members to participate in their conferences, as well. For those that do, Vendor Members and non-REMA members pay $275 per person to attend.
The MREA online event calendar is the most current resource for educational opportunities – we are constantly updating it. In addition, MREA publishes an annual Calendar of Events, which is sent to members in late fall so they can plan and budget for the following year. Our strategy is to provide education and expertise that uniquely focuses on members’ needs which involves listening to members and identifying evolving industry trends and challenges. Please contact us with your training needs and ideas.
What is the suggested attire at MREA events?
Please dress in a manner most appropriate to the context of the event, based upon the work and activities you will be doing, the location and the weather (i.e. smart casual). The majority of MREA events and workshops are either business casual, or in the case of hands-on S&LC events, casual construction wear. Occasionally, traditional business wear is most appropriate. For example, when visiting the State Capitol or at meetings in Washington, D.C., traditional business wear is recommended.
Here are short definitions to common terms:
- Traditional business wear is more formal attire, including a dress suit with jacket and dress pants or skirt. Ties for men are appropriate.
- Business casual is defined as less formal than traditional business wear, but still intended to give a professional and businesslike impression. In the electric co-op culture, this is usually a co-op logo shirt and comfortable dress pants.
- Smart casual is defined as appropriate casual wear, based up on its context, theme, people, location, weather and spirit. For example, construction wear is appropriate most S&LC events. Also, summer MREA events are usually a bit more casual due to hot weather.
Vendor (or associate) members may participate in valuable networking opportunities and trade shows, sponsor events and receive several other benefits including:
- Access to MREA’s many conferences, training events and workshops.
- The opportunity to engage in MREA’s online community groups.
- First priority for advertising opportunities through the Minnesota Utility Marketplace, newsletters, publications and the member directory.
- Discounted directory advertising rates.
- Timely industry information through our website and newsletters.
- Gold and Platinum members receive some free ads in each of the MREA newsletters and receive complimentary activities (golf & sporting clays) at the REMA outing.
Electric industry reliability, conservation, renewable energy, and air quality are all topics related to your job and they continue to be major issues in Congress and at Minnesota’s Legislature. The importance of these issues means that the electric co-ops’ grassroots political efforts are vital. Because energy policy crosses political party lines, REPAC and ACRE provide bipartisan support.
Contributions to the political action committees help increase our exposure with both state and federal decision-makers. That exposure keeps issues important to your job and your members very visible. By themselves, our small individual contributions may not seem like much, but our Legislators and Congresspersons appreciate that these contributions are from their own district constituents. Employees, spouses and directors are invited to contribute. ACRE embraces the support of residential co-op members with Cooperative Owners for Political Action (COPA). More information