Don Englet, Firelands Electric Co-op's director of operations, recently completed an intensive program in electric utility management with the University of Wisconsin – Madison, according to a news release.
The Robert I. Kabat Management Internship Program (MIP) is a series of workshops offered by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin.
The program guides participants through all facets of the electric utility industry, including the many changes occurring around the nation.
Englet is one of only a few electric utility staff members that will graduate from the Management Internship Program this year.
Participants in the program go through three 10-day sessions designed to challenge and educate in new, innovative management techniques.
They leave with a better understanding of what consumers want and how to ensure they get it, according to the release.
By also covering the unique principles that govern the operations of electric cooperatives, the program helps participants analyze their co-ops present operations as well as enhancing the core organization to deliver increased value to its members.
This program allows greater emphasis of study on management and leadership challenges and the aspects of consumer-ownership that cooperatives enjoy.
Participants focus on member value as part of day-to-day decision making.
"The MIP program has allowed me to learn and embrace new skills, along with the strengths to manage resources shared by multiple processes to integrate them into organizational systems," Englet said. "These skills have provided me with a different strategy and style to accomplish multiple objectives."
Englet has been with the cooperative since 2000.
After completing his apprentice lineman coursework, he was appointed as the cooperative's engineering services representative, where he handled new services and upgrades, until being promoted to line supervisor in 2005, and then appointed as director of operations in 2018.
Englet oversees and manages the operations department, which includes the entire physical plant and distribution system.
He is responsible for managing power quality and for ongoing and future rebuild projects to modernize the cooperative's facilities, which is necessary to accommodate increasing future power loads.
"Our cooperative is not just an electricity provider — we're here to make our local areas even better places to live, work, and serve. This includes investing in our employees," says General Manager Dan McNaull. "We are very proud of Don's accomplishments and are pleased to have him as a part of our key staff."
Englet and his wife, Sara, live in Greenwich Township with their two grown sons, Clayton and Jackson.