July 29, 2020 – CarterBaldwin Executive Search recently placed former Energy Northwest executive Brent Ridge as the new president and CEO of Dairyland Power Cooperative. He succeeds Barbara Nick who recently retired and has led Dairyland for the past five and a half years. Chris Guiney, partner and energy and infrastructure practice leader for CarterBaldwin, led the assignment along with consultant Mike Little.
“The board is confident that Brent will be an asset to Dairyland’s cooperative membership as we continue to work for safe, sustainable and reliable power in our four-state service area,” said Ed Gullickson, chair of Dairyland’s board of directors. “Brent is well respected as an ethical and transparent leader. He will bring broad strategic, financial and operational expertise gained by working with cooperatives and public power utilities throughout his career.”
Mr. Ridge comes to Dairyland with extensive leadership and utility operations experience from Energy Northwest, where he worked since 2002. In his most recent role as vice president, corporate services, and chief financial officer and treasurer, his responsibilities included finance, treasury, enterprise risk management, asset management, human resources, supply chain, information services, and energy services and development. He was also vice chairman of the corporate nuclear safety review board for Columbia Generating Station.
“My family and I are excited to join the Dairyland family,” said Mr. Ridge. “I’m honored by the opportunity to join such a strong member-based organization that has a great reputation for excellence and integrity. The community is a perfect fit for our family. I look forward to working with the entire team as we look to the future.”
Earlier in his career at Energy Northwest, Mr. Ridge served as asset manager, controller and chief risk officer. He was also the manager of construction and maintenance services, responsible for power plant modifications, outage and online major maintenance, facilities and commercial engineering. Before that, he was a manager for a construction company specializing in municipal water treatment plants and industrial installations at U.S. military facilities.
Dairyland, a Touchstone Energy cooperative, was formed in December 1941. Headquartered in La Crosse, WI, Dairyland provides the wholesale electrical requirements for 24 distribution cooperatives and 17 municipal utilities. These cooperatives and municipals, in turn, supply the energy needs of more than a half-million people in the four-state service area. Today, the cooperative’s generating resources include coal, natural gas, hydro, wind, solar and biogas. Dairyland delivers electricity via 3,200 miles of transmission lines and 420 substations located throughout the system’s 44,500 square mile service area.
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Headquartered in Atlanta, CarterBaldwin provides executive search services in the healthcare, technology, non-profit, consumer services, industrial and media/telecom sectors. Its clients include a number of name-brand institutions, such as KPMG, ADP, Teradata, First Data, Duke University, Pepperdine University, New York Life, Fleet Pride and Berkshire Hathaway.
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Mr. Guiney’s clients include energy, power, utilities, communications and infrastructure businesses as well as professional services firms. For over 25 years, he has assisted companies with critical team building initiatives including executive search, succession planning, executive effectiveness and organizational design. Before joining CarterBaldwin in 2016, he led global executive search consultancies and has also founded and led his own executive search and leadership consulting firm, the Guiney Group.
Mr. Little has over 15 years of executive search experience spanning numerous industries and a broad range of functional areas. Prior to joining CarterBaldwin in 2012, he worked for Lucas Group. As a high energy, entrepreneurial leaning individual, Mr. Little also spent several years leading his own executive search firm where he served clients spanning manufacturing, distribution, technology and service providers.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media