Beltrami Electric Cooperative is owned by its members. The membership elects a Board of Directors to represent them in the operation of the Cooperative. The Board is comprised of nine member-directors, one from each district. Directors are elected to three-year terms according to the provisions in the bylaws. The directors establish policies and operational procedures, and meet once a month.
Murl Nord - District 1 Director
Board Secretary - Square Butte Director
Contact Number: (218) 835-6535
Originally from Bemidji, Murl graduated from Bemidji High School. He attended Bemidji State University, graduating with degrees in biology and chemistry. Murl and his wife, Sue, owned and operated a dairy farm for 30 years and he now farms with his daughter, Rachel, grazing beef cattle. Murl served 17 years on the Land O’ Lakes corporate board, where he held the office of first vice president for five years and served on the executive committee for 10 years. Murl also served eight years on the national Milk Producers Association board, three years on the Minnesota Association of Cooperatives board and 25 years on the Blackduck School Board. He was also one of the early organizers of the Blackduck Co-op. He and his wife reside in Hornet Township in Beltrami County and have two grown children and four grandchildren. He was first elected to the Beltrami Electric Board in 2010 and currently serves as secretary. Murl also serves on the Square Butte Board of Directors.
“I am a life-long supporter of cooperatives as a way of doing business. I believe my experience on other boards has given me a knowledge base that allows me to understand the workings of BEC. I also have had numerous lobbying opportunities that are beneficial as our co-op faces many new government policy issues. I have worked to continue my education in the broad area of electrification and recently became the first BEC director to receive the Board Leadership Certificate."
Charlie Perkins - District 2 Director
District 2 Director
Contact Number: (218) 679-2190
Charlie is a lifelong resident of Red Lake. He is a maintenance worker at the Red Lake Hospital, where he performs various electrical work on items such as generators, high voltage circuits, power meters, etc. He is a graduate of Red Lake High School and completed the 2-year carpentry program at the Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Detroit Lakes, MN. He also attended Bemidji State University for Industrial Technology. Charlie enjoys spending time and traveling with his children, taking walks with his dogs, target shooting and hunting.
“I am proud to continue in my family’s footsteps, extending our commitment to the members of Beltrami Electric Cooperative. My sister, Lea Perkins, has served on the Beltrami Electric Board since 2005, and previously my father, Ed Perkins, served on the board for 8 years. I am passionate about my community, family and friends. I am able to utilize my knowledge and electrical experience to work hard for the members of the cooperative, providing reliable and affordable electric service to our area.”
Charlie Parson - District 3 Director
District 3 Director
Contact Number: (218) 243-2450
Charlie is a retired college professor, having taught various aspects of geography, climatology, and planning at Bemidji State University for 28 years. He holds a BS, MS and PhD in geography. He is an active member of our community, volunteering with several organizations, including the Buena Vista Ski Patrol. Charlie has served on the boards for Northern Community Radio, American Cancer Society, Ducks Unlimited as well as many university committees and state level committees. He enjoys doing music radio shows twice a month with the Northern Community Radio, fishing and hunting. Charlie and his wife Jill have four children and enjoy caring for and spending time them as well as their four grandchildren.
“I feel that declining overall electricity sales due to global warming and increasing efficiency is an important issue facing the Cooperative, as well as further research into reducing our carbon emissions at our coal burning power plants. I also feel that helping our member-owners to realize new forms of beneficial electrification is important to our future. My interests in renewable energy options helps the BEC board to weigh those options. I appreciate the opportunity to represent my neighbors and fellow members.”
Craig Gaasvig - District 4 Director
District 4 Director
Contact Number: (218) 586-5003
Craig has lived in the Bemidji area his entire life, of which the past 17 years have been in Port Hope Township. He has been a regional account manager with North Country Business Products of Bemidji for 24 years. Craig is a graduate of Bemidji State University with a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics, along with a secondary education licensure. He has served as supervisor of the Port Hope Township Board for the past 11 years. Craig was a Ducks Unlimited committee member for 10 years, serving in many roles, including treasurer. He also serves on the Bemidji Rural Animal Control Organization (BRACO) board, which is a group formed by townships to manage animal control outside of the city limits. Craig and his wife Karen have two sons, James and Jonathon. He is an avid walleye fisherman and enjoys hunting and fishing for many different species.
“I have roots in this area, with a history of community service. I feel my experience on other boards provides a knowledge base that will assist me in understanding the cooperative business. I genuinely care about the people and the area we live in and I look forward to serving you, the members of the cooperative.”
Robert Wallner - District 5 Director
District 5 Director
Contact Number: (218) 835-6579
A member of Beltrami Electric for 41 years, Robert Wallner has been a general practice attorney in Bemidji for 41 years and raised beef cattle with his family for 36. He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics and business from Bemidji State University and followed that with a law degree from William-Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minn. He and his wife Roxy have five children and 4 grandchildren. In his spare time, Robert enjoys hunting, fishing and trapping, along with harvesting wild rice and collecting maple syrup. He also participates on the Bemidji Sr. Hockey team and enjoys working with his livestock and training his Labrador retrievers. Robert also serves on Moose Lake Town Board.
“My experience operating a small business, along with my partners, involved long and short range planning, meeting payrolls, managing accounts receivable/payable, budgeting for business operations, and dealing with employee relations. My experience with our cattle operation has taught me the importance of having a strong electrical coop to depend on. The last six years on the BEC board of directors, along with the Board Education classes I have attended, have helped me to understand the electric business in general, and our co-op specifically.”
Rick Coe - District 6 Director / Chair / Minnkota Director
District 6 Director
Contact Number: (218) 751-9695
Rick has lived in the Bemidji Area for 44 years and resides in Northern Township. He has been a member of Beltrami Electric for more than 31 years. Rick retired from the Bemidji Public Schools where he was employed as a teacher, counselor and coach. Coe has a Master of Science degree in counseling from Bemidji State University. During his educational career, he was involved in many labor negotiations, acting as chief negotiator three different times. For 31 years he coached all levels of youth hockey and baseball and has also served as a board member with these sports. Rick has been active in various committees within the Bemidji community and at his church. He has served District 6 on the Beltrami Electric board since 2008 and has been the president since 2011. He and his wife, Mickie, have three grown children and three grandchildren.
“I have served as a Director of Beltrami Electric Cooperative for 9 years and I am currently the Board Chair. I also serve as a Director on the Minnkota Board (our generation and transmission co-op) and the Minnesota Rural Electric Association (MREA-our statewide co-op). I have gained a great deal of knowledge and experience from serving on these Boards. Being a member of Beltrami Electric Cooperative for 35 years I have the passion and dedication to serve you, the members.
John Lund - District 7 Director / Vice Chair / CDI Governor
District 7 Director
Contact Number: (218) 751-2784
John is a Bemidji native and is a graduate of both Bemidji High School and Bemidji State University with a degree in Industrial Technology. John and his wife, Mary, have lived in district seven for the past eighteen years, and have three daughters. He is currently a school bus driver with the Bemidji School District. He also installs dishwashers and other appliances for MJB Home Center in Bemidji. John has served on three different church boards or councils, was elected and served two terms on the Beltrami County Board of Commissioners and has served on the Beltrami Electric Cooperative board of directors for the past 6 years. John enjoys Bible study, playing the piano, walking and is currently trying to learn the Italian language.
“My experience on the various church boards, the Beltrami County Board of Commissioners and my six years on the Beltrami Electric Cooperative Board has, I feel prepared me to continue to serve the members of Beltrami Electric. I have taken educational courses offered by the Minnesota Rural Electric Association (MREA) and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) that prepare us to be better board members. I feel the most important issue facing our cooperative is to continue to provide economical and reliable electricity to our members while keeping the balance sheet strong, both now and into the future. Secondly, the incorporation of new technologies into the grid (i.e.) solar, wind, battery storage and electric vehicles (EVs), while maintaining the base load generation so that we can continue to provide power to our members when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine.”
Sue Kringen - District 8 Director
District 8 Director
Contact Number: (218) 333-0859
A native of Bemidji, Sue received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Bemidji State University. She retired from Riverwood Bank of Bemidji where she served as the director of sales and marketing. Prior to that, Sue served as director of alumni relations and senior director of development for the Bemidji State University Foundation. Sue also served as the first full time executive director of the United Way of the Bemidji Area. She has served on the boards of directors for the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce, Bemidji Youth Hockey, Bemidji Gymnastics Club, the Salvation Army, the Bemidji Rotary Club, Lakeland Public Television and the United Way of Bemidji Area. Sue has been a member of Beltrami Electric for 40 years. She and her husband Curt, reside in Fern Township in Beltrami County. They have two grown children and two grandchildren.
“It has been a true honor and privilege to serve on the Board of Directors for Beltrami Electric Co-op over the past three years. I have and will continue to challenge and educate myself on issues and opportunities relating to governing and guiding YOUR electric cooperative and I take great pride in now being certified as a Credentialed Cooperative Director."
Judy Honer - District 9 Director / Treasurer
District 9 Director
Contact Number: (218) 224-2732
Judy Honer was first elected to the Beltrami Electric Board of Directors in the spring of 2009. She currently holds the position of Treasurer. She graduated from St. Benedict’s High School in St. Joseph, Minn. Judy worked for Northern States Power in St. Cloud for five years prior to moving to Laporte in 1979. She worked for Essentia Health in Walker for 22 years and is now enjoying retirement. Judy and her husband John have two sons, Cory and Kurt, two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Judy enjoys knitting, making greeting cards with pressed flowers and spending time with her great grandkids.
“I feel that my 9 years of experience on the Beltrami Electric board has given me the ability to make sound decisions that are in the best interest of the cooperative and its members. I am familiar with the work that happens behind the scenes in order to provide reliable electricity to our members, so it’s there when you flip a switch. I feel the most important issue facing our cooperative is working to keep the rates low. I also feel it is important to be accessible to the member-owners to answer their questions, as well as to help everyone understand how important the rural electric is to each of us as members.”