NEW LONDON - 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 from Firelands.
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 who will graduate from the Management Internship Program this year. MIP participants go through three 10-day sessions designed to challenge and educate in new, innovative management techniques. Participants leave with a better understanding of what consumers want and how to ensure they get it.
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 in the release. "These skills have provided me with a different strategy and style to accomplish multiple objectives," he adds.
Englet has been with Firelands Electric Co-Op since 2000
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.
Purchasing and maintenance of trucks, tools and equipment are also some of his other responsibilities. Over the past 22 years, Englet has seen his job role expand with the rapidly changing pace of the technology in the electric industry and increased safety standards.
Firelands Electric invests in employee training and leadership development with the goal of serving its consumer-members with educated and skilled workers.
"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," said General Manager Dan McNaull in the release. "We are very proud of Don's accomplishments and are pleased to have him as a part of our key staff."
As part of his continued education and learning, Englet accomplished his Bachelor of Science in business from Mount Vernon Nazarene University in 2019. That same year, he also completed a one-year Cooperative Leadership Edge program that was hosted by Firelands Electric's statewide association, Ohio's Electric Cooperatives. An ambassador to the local community, Englet is an active member of the South Central Local Schools Board of Education.
Englet and his wife, Sara, live in Greenwich Township with their two grown sons, Clayton and Jackson. In addition to spending quality time with his family, Englet enjoys camping, fishing, boating and an occasional hunting trip.