Four individuals from Missouri River Energy Services (MRES) member communities were recognized with awards during the organization’s 59th Annual Meeting. The awards presentation was held on May 8 as part of the Annual Meeting program at the Sioux Falls Convention Center.


Maurice A. Te Paske Public Official Award

G.L. Tucker, of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, was honored with the Maurice A. Te Paske Public Official Award, the highest form of recognition from MRES. It honors policymakers who not only serve their member utility, but who also promote MRES and public power beyond the borders of their local communities. Detroit Lakes Public Utilities (DLPU) General Manager Vernell Roberts nominated him for the award.

Tucker served for 10 years on the DLPU Commission before stepping down from his role as president earlier this spring. Tucker has strongly advocated for public power since becoming a commissioner in 2014. He has also regularly attended numerous MRES and Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association conferences, meetings and events to learn about public power and the advantages it provides not only to Detroit Lakes, but also to communities across Minnesota and the Upper Midwest.

At the national level, Tucker recently completed a three-year term on the American Public Power Association’s Policy Makers Council, where he became even more involved in enhancing the benefits of public power to Minnesota and MRES member communities.


Community Leader Award

MRES established the Community Leader Award in 2003 to honor local officials from member communities who have provided many years of service to their communities and public power systems. This year’s award winners were Gloria Hanson of Fort Pierre, South Dakota, Peggy Mortensen of Kimballton, Iowa, and Debra Weg of Worthington, Minnesota.

Hanson, born and raised in Fort Pierre, first joined the city council in 2012. In 2014, she was elected mayor, a position she has held for the past 10 years. She was nominated by Fort Pierre Municipal Utilities Director of Public Works Rick Hahn and City Finance Officer Roxanne Heezen.

During the awards presentation, MRES Board Chair Vernell Roberts noted that Hanson has tirelessly advocated for Fort Pierre and actively participates in several local organizations. She also volunteers as an MRES Ambassador, proactively raising awareness of public power and the value of joint action through MRES.


Mortensen is a former mayor of Kimballton who has served in various roles on the city council since 1999 and has been a key proponent of advancing Kimballton’s electrical system to modern standards. She was nominated by Carol Hartvigsen, another former mayor of Kimballton.

In addition to her policymaker duties, Mortensen has written articles for the local paper about the past, present and future of Kimballton’s electric system and has attended multiple MRES events, including the Municipal Power Leadership Academy, annual meetings, area meetings and policymaker dinners.


Weg has been on the Worthington Water and Light Commission since 2017, serving as president for four years. Worthington Public Utilities General Manager Scott Hain nominated her for the award.

During the awards presentation, Roberts noted that Weg volunteers her time as an MRES Ambassador and has taken advantage of every opportunity to learn more about MRES and the value of membership in a joint action agency so she can better explain it to her commission and community.

“It’s very important to recognize that many people like our award winners serve in community leadership positions throughout the MRES membership,” Roberts said during the awards presentation. “They each do it for the benefit of the communities in which they live, and their selfless contributions are very deserving of this award.”

MRES is an organization of 61 member municipalities in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. Each member owns and operates a municipal electric utility. MRES provides its members wholesale electricity and a wide range of energy-related services.

For more information, contact Vice President of Member Services and Communications Tim Blodgett at 605-338-4042 or