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Lake Country Power was honored to accept the Employer of Veterans Award from The American Legion Department of Minnesota. The award was presented to the cooperative during the Department Convention in Willmar, Minn., this summer. 

Derek Howe, chief operating officer for Lake Country Power, accepted the award on behalf of the co-op. LCDR Howe served as a P-3 Mission Commander and provided intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance during operation Iraqi freedom. 

Speaking before an audience of more than 300 people, Howe said, “Lake Country Power is honored to accept this prestigious award, thank you. Our values at Lake Country Power – integrity, safety and quality, innovation, communication, teamwork and respect – are what you’ll find in each American veteran as well as each person serving in active duty.”

Lake Country Power’s workforce of 134 employees is represented by 11 percent veterans.

The first American Legion Veterans Employment and Education Commission Award was established in 1947, and recognized individuals across the country who had established outstanding records in the employment and retention of workers with disabilities. Since that time, categories were added to the current nine award programs. In 1969, The Veterans Employment and Education Commission expanded its Employer Awards Program when it created an award category for employers of veterans.

Lake Country Power’s award represents medium-sized companies in Minnesota. The co-op was nominated for the award by D. Marvin Hill, a Lake Country Power member who served 38 continuous years between the Army, Minnesota Army National Guard, Army Reserve at Fort Snelling and Independent Ready Reserve at St. Louis, Missouri.

Lake Country Power,, is a Touchstone Energy® cooperative serving parts of eight counties in northeastern Minnesota. The rural electric cooperative provides services to nearly 43,000 members and has offices located in Grand Rapids, Kettle River and Mountain Iron.

Derek Howe, chief operating officer, accepts Lake Country Power’s Employer of Veterans Award from The American Legion Department of Minnesota. D. Marvin Hill, who nominated Lake Country Power for the award, stands second from the right.