Dan L. Brown, who retired earlier this year as General Manager/CEO of Cuivre River Electric Cooperative, was honored with the Distinguished Service award at the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives (AMEC) Annual Meeting Oct. 5.
AMEC annually presents its Distinguished Service Award to someone who “selflessly and tirelessly devotes themselves to the progress of rural electrification.”
“Bestowing this honor on Dan Brown is most appropriate, because he has been an advocate for all forms of cooperatives for his entire life and has worked tirelessly to educate others on the effectiveness of the seven cooperative principles that help guide and govern cooperatives,” said Barry Hart, CEO of the association. “He worked tirelessly to help the cooperative grow in both size and stature throughout his career and helped advance the cause and the highest standards of service for cooperatives in Missouri and the nation.”
Dan will long be remembered as a tireless servant of his members and his community over a career that spanned 46 years. As a young U.S. Army veteran, he joined the staff of Cuivre River Electric Cooperative in April of 1971 as member services advisor. He helped launch a new era for his cooperative, which then ranked 17th in size for a Missouri electric cooperative with just 8,447 members. In 1987, membership topped 25,000 and Cuivre River became Missouri’s largest electric cooperative, a position it has held ever since. At the time of Dan’s retirement it had grown to 63,229 members.
Dealing with this rapid and tremendous growth as the once-sleepy farm cooperative grew into a suburban giant became Dan’s passion. He was one of Ramsey’s Raiders, a key group of employees empowered by then Manager Bill Ramsey to fight for every load as what was once farmland in St. Charles County became valuable real estate.
Dan became the cooperative’s CEO in 1991. In this role he worked to develop innovative programs and practices to maintain service reliability, financial stability, competitive rates and energy costs and services that rivaled every electric utility in the region. His efforts paved the way for landmark territorial legislation in 1993 and subsequent territorial agreements to mutually benefit Cuivre River members and neighboring investor-owned customers.
He maintained an unwavering sense of accountability to members and never lost sight of who paid the bills. His dedication to the highest standards of member service helped Cuivre River achieve some of the highest member satisfaction scores of any electric utility in the nation.
He embraced cooperative values to benefit local families by developing the non-profit Cuivre River Community Trust, which in 2017 achieved a $5 million milestone and its 20th anniversary of helping neighbors in need through the Operation Round Up program.
Dan stepped into national leadership on the Touchstone Energy Cooperative Board of Directors and was chosen by his peers as president for the benefit of cooperatives across the country.
He served on the board of Central Electric Power Cooperative from 1991 to 2017 and on various AMEC committees. Locally, he served on the St. Charles Community College Foundation, was an active member of the St. Louis Homebuilders Association, Rotary Club, Lake St. Louis Ambassadors and various other civic organizations.
“Truly, his work on behalf of Missouri’s electric cooperatives makes him a monumental leader in Missouri’s rural electric movement,” Hart said.
The Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives is the Jefferson City-based statewide service organization for Missouri’s electric cooperatives.