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About SMMPA

Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA) is a not-for-profit joint-action agency formed in 1977 during a time of increasing demand for electricity. Member utilities united through joint action and rallied behind their shared purpose of securing a long-term energy solution. By using the collective strength of SMMPA, the Agency was able to invest in a long-term source of reliable and affordable power – Sherco 3.

 

Today, joint action remains a timeless solution for managing the challenges of a complex and dynamic industry. We’re diversifying our energy mix by adding clean burning natural-gas generation and renewable sources like the wind and solar. We’re strengthening the electric grid that delivers energy to homes, businesses and industry. And we’re helping customers find ways to understand, manage and reduce their energy use. 


Through joint action, the combined strength of SMMPA’s
members leads to more effective and efficient solutions.


SMMPA is made up of about 50 employees who support their members in the following areas: Operations, Finance & Accounting, and Corporate Development & Agency Relations. Within our staff, more than 25 employees have bachelor's degrees, eight employees hold master's degrees, six are professional engineers, three are certified public accountants, and three are certified energy managers. 

 

Since many SMMPA employees have been in the industry at least 15 years, the Agency is able to rely on a wealth of professional experience and expertise. Member utilities regularly express their appreciation for the skill of the team members and quality of service they receive from the Agency.


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Our Vision

Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency will be a national leader in energy services and joint action innovation.

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Our Mission

To draw together public power communities to provide economical and reliable wholesale energy and other services.


SMMPA Values

We are dedicated to our member communities and take responsibility for the efficient, cost effective and reliable
delivery of electricity and services in an environmentally responsible manner. In doing so, we are committed to the following values.

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Integrity

We conduct ourselves according to high ethical standards and adhere to principles of honesty, trust, accountability and fairness.

Team Work

We derive strength through joint action and cooperation. We respect, support and care about one another.

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Innovative

 We strive to be forward thinking, action–oriented and creative.

Workplace

We promote a safe, healthy and productive workplace, a learning environment and an enjoyable atmosphere.


Our Board of Directors

SMMPA is governed by a seven-member board of directors who are elected by and from the ranks of our 18 member representatives. The Board, as a group, acts to adopt rules and regulations, consistent with the Agency Agreement and Bylaws, for the management, administration and regulation of SMMPA’s affairs.

 

President

Joseph A. Hoffman

Preston Public Utilities

 

Board Member

Mark E. Nibaur

Austin Utilities

Vice President

Mark R. Kotschevar

Rochester Public Utilities

 

Board Member

Stuart T. Smith

Spring Valley Public Utilities

Secretary

Bruce A. Reimers

New Prague Utilities Commission

 

Board Member

Roger e. Warehime

Owatonna Public Utilities

Treasurer

Peter T. Moulton

Saint Peter Municipal Utilities

 

Our Leadership Team

 Dave Geschwind  Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer (view bio)    Mr. Geschwind is SMMPA’s Executive Director & CEO. Dave joined the Agency in 1998 as Director of Planning, Contracts and Marketing. Over the years with the Agency he assumed broader responsibility, and in 2011, he was promoted from Chief Operating Officer to Executive Director & CEO. Prior to joining SMMPA, Dave spent ten years in Kansas City with the engineering firm of Burns & McDonnell.    Dave is a registered professional engineer and has a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Kansas.

Dave Geschwind

Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer
(view bio)

Mr. Geschwind is SMMPA’s Executive Director & CEO. Dave joined the Agency in 1998 as Director of Planning, Contracts and Marketing. Over the years with the Agency he assumed broader responsibility, and in 2011, he was promoted from Chief Operating Officer to Executive Director & CEO. Prior to joining SMMPA, Dave spent ten years in Kansas City with the engineering firm of Burns & McDonnell.

Dave is a registered professional engineer and has a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Kansas.

 Mark Mitchell  Director of Operations & Chief Operating Officer (view bio)    Mr. Mitchell is SMMPA’s Director of Operations & Chief Operating Officer.  Mark joined the Agency in 2011 and is responsible for assuring SMMPA’s Members are supplied with reliable, economical electric power. In this role, he directs SMMPA’s system operations, power marketing, and power supply and power delivery functions.    Mr. Mitchell has spent his 36 year career with public power utilities. Prior to joining the Agency he served as the Executive Director of the Arizona Power Authority, and served in a variety of positions at Salt River Project including transmission and resource planning, wholesale power marketing, contract development and administration, and regional and federal policy matters.    Mr. Mitchell holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from New Mexico State University and a Master’s degree in engineering management from the University of Colorado

Mark Mitchell

Director of Operations & Chief Operating Officer
(view bio)

Mr. Mitchell is SMMPA’s Director of Operations & Chief Operating Officer.

Mark joined the Agency in 2011 and is responsible for assuring SMMPA’s Members are supplied with reliable, economical electric power. In this role, he directs SMMPA’s system operations, power marketing, and power supply and power delivery functions.

Mr. Mitchell has spent his 36 year career with public power utilities. Prior to joining the Agency he served as the Executive Director of the Arizona Power Authority, and served in a variety of positions at Salt River Project including transmission and resource planning, wholesale power marketing, contract development and administration, and regional and federal policy matters.

Mr. Mitchell holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from New Mexico State University and a Master’s degree in engineering management from the University of Colorado

 Chris Schoenherr  Director of Agency & Government Relations & Chief External Affairs Officer (view bio)    Mr. Schoenherr is SMMPA’s Director of Agency and Government Relations & Chief External Affairs Officer. He joined SMMPA in 2015 with a primary responsibility of developing and managing relationships with members, legislators, legislative leadership, regulators and governmental agency staff. In addition, he oversees communications, human resource functions, demand-side management initiatives, and non-operations center computer systems.    Prior to joining SMMPA, Chris served as Deputy Secretary of the Department of Administration in the administration of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. In that capacity he served as the Governor’s chief energy advisor as well as the Chief aide to the Secretary of the Department of Administration.    Prior to his appointment in the Walker Administration in January, 2011, Chris was employed by Alliant Energy in Madison, Wisconsin. He joined Alliant Energy in June of 2000 and held a variety role roles in communications, government relations, major accounts, and energy efficiency program management. He headed Alliant Energy’s Washington, DC office between 2006 and 2008.   Chris has a degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Chris Schoenherr

Director of Agency & Government Relations & Chief External Affairs Officer
(view bio)

Mr. Schoenherr is SMMPA’s Director of Agency and Government Relations & Chief External Affairs Officer. He joined SMMPA in 2015 with a primary responsibility of developing and managing relationships with members, legislators, legislative leadership, regulators and governmental agency staff. In addition, he oversees communications, human resource functions, demand-side management initiatives, and non-operations center computer systems.

Prior to joining SMMPA, Chris served as Deputy Secretary of the Department of Administration in the administration of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. In that capacity he served as the Governor’s chief energy advisor as well as the Chief aide to the Secretary of the Department of Administration.

Prior to his appointment in the Walker Administration in January, 2011, Chris was employed by Alliant Energy in Madison, Wisconsin. He joined Alliant Energy in June of 2000 and held a variety role roles in communications, government relations, major accounts, and energy efficiency program management. He headed Alliant Energy’s Washington, DC office between 2006 and 2008.


Chris has a degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

 John Winter  Director of Finance and Accounting & Chief Financial Officer (view bio)    Mr. Winter is SMMPA’s Director of Finance and Accounting & Chief Financial Officer. John joined the Agency in 2007. He directs and oversees treasury functions, debt management, cash management and banking, investments, wholesale power rates and rate planning, financial planning and forecasting, budget and control, accounting, risk management, and the Agency’s administrative functions.    John has over thirty years of experience in the electric power industry with a large investor-owned company and consulting for power companies in the U.S. and abroad. Prior to joining the Agency, he was Vice President of MCR Performance Solutions where he developed a practice area focused on strategies for asset management, transmission pricing, regulatory affairs, and analyses for participation in regional transmission organizations.    John holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from the University of Minnesota and has completed post graduate studies in business, economics, utility operations, and theology. He also holds an inactive CPA certificate in Minnesota.

John Winter

Director of Finance and Accounting & Chief Financial Officer
(view bio)

Mr. Winter is SMMPA’s Director of Finance and Accounting & Chief Financial Officer. John joined the Agency in 2007. He directs and oversees treasury functions, debt management, cash management and banking, investments, wholesale power rates and rate planning, financial planning and forecasting, budget and control, accounting, risk management, and the Agency’s administrative functions.

John has over thirty years of experience in the electric power industry with a large investor-owned company and consulting for power companies in the U.S. and abroad. Prior to joining the Agency, he was Vice President of MCR Performance Solutions where he developed a practice area focused on strategies for asset management, transmission pricing, regulatory affairs, and analyses for participation in regional transmission organizations.

John holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from the University of Minnesota and has completed post graduate studies in business, economics, utility operations, and theology. He also holds an inactive CPA certificate in Minnesota.