Harold Schiebout
Don Johnston

Harold Schiebout, who has served 44 consecutive years on the Missouri River Energy Services (MRES) board of directors, and 34 of those years as chair of the board, has announced that he will retire at the end of 2020. First Vice Chair Don Johnston also announced his plans to retire after 43 years on the board.

Schiebout’s long and distinguished career in public power includes serving the City of Sioux Center, Iowa, and Sioux Center Municipal Utilities for more than five decades. His achievements and leadership have also resulted in local, state, regional and national recognition, as well as in leadership positions in various public power organizations at all levels. In 1991, Schiebout received the James D. Donovan Individual Achievement Award and in 2010 he received the Harold Kramer-John Preston Personal Service Award, both from the American Public Power Association (APPA).

Schiebout is also a past president of the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities, where he was recognized with lifetime membership and honored by his peers with a Distinguished Service Award for his exceptional leadership and contributions to the betterment of the community, the area, the state and the nation.

“Harold is widely known for his inclusive leadership style, his outstanding work ethic, his technical knowledge and people skills, and his dedication to making the MRES board, staff and organization the best it can be,” said MRES President and CEO Tom Heller. “His contributions to the board will be greatly missed, as will his years of experience, thoughtful insight and tactful guidance.”

Schiebout will stay on in an advisory role as chair emeritus beginning Jan. 1, 2021, to help with a smooth transition for the MRES board and the new chair, who will be elected at the Dec. 17 board meeting.

Don Johnston has been a board member since 1977, serving the last 25 years as first vice chair. Don’s career as superintendent of public works for the City of Flandreau, S.D. spanned more than four decades.

Johnston is a past president of the South Dakota Municipal Electric Association and the South Dakota Municipal Power Agency, and he has served on various committees with the South Dakota Municipal League. Johnston received the Larry Hobart Seven Hats Award from APPA in 1994, which recognizes managers of small utilities who have a small staff and must assume multiple roles.

“Don was known on the MRES board as the voice of smaller MRES members, a champion of service territory rights for municipal utilities and an authority on MRES history,” Heller said. ­­“His common-sense approach and fair and balanced decisions will be hard to replace. Don will be greatly missed.”

A new first vice chair will be elected at the board’s Dec. 17 meeting, along with new directors representing Iowa and South Dakota to replace Schiebout and Johnston.

MRES, headquartered in Sioux Falls, is an organization of 61 member communities in the states of Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Each of the members owns and operates a municipal electric distribution system.

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For more information, contact MRES Vice President of Member Services and Communications Joni Livingston, phone: 605-261-3637; e-mail: joni.livingston@mrenergy.com.