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.
Click on the "more info" below each director's photo to view a short biography, contact info, and a map of the district area they represent.
Murl Nord - District 1 / Secretary
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 resides in Hornet Township in Beltrami County and has 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
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 preventative HVAC maintenance, as well as 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 with his three children and two grandchildren. He also enjoys hiking, camping and target shooting.
“I am proud to continue in my family’s footsteps, extending our commitment to the members of Beltrami Electric Cooperative. I have served on the Beltrami Electric Board for three years, My sister, Lea Perkins, has served on the board for twelve years, and previously my father, Ed Perkins, served on the board for eight years. I am passionate about my community, family and friends. I am able to utilize my 30+ years of knowledge and electrical experience to help educate and explain energy usage to our members. I will continue to work hard for the members of the cooperative, providing reliable and affordable electric service to our area.”
Michael Monsrud - District 3
District 3 Director
Contact Number: (218) 243-2668
Mike has over 48 years of experience in the electric utility industry and holds a BS in business administration from Bemidji State University. Mike retired in 2019 from Itasca-Mantrap Electric Cooperative, in Park Rapids, where he was the President/CEO for 14 years. Prior to working at Itasca-Mantrap, Mike served as the General Manager of Clearwater-Polk Electric Cooperative, in Bagley, for five years. Mike served as Utility Manager for the City of Bagley for 12 years. Mike enjoys gardening, bird feeding, fishing, and watching all his grandchildren's sports activities. mike and his wife, Sue, have eight children, 23 grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter.
"I have been employed in the electric utility industry for 48 years. Starting as a utility helper, I rose to an apprentice line worker and continued my education to facilitate my promotion to President/CEO. I have experience with Minnkota Power Cooperative and other Generation and Transmission Cooperatives. I have served on many boards, including Bagley Beautification Board, Friends of Itasca Park, finance and church council at St. Josephs in Bagley, finance chair and church council at Riverside United Methodist Church in Park Rapids, chair of the Park Rapids Armory and Events Center Board, Northern Municipal Power Agency (NMPA) Board, and the Northern Safety & Security Board."
Craig Gaasvig - District 4
District 4 Director
Contact Number: (218) 586-5003
Craig has lived in the Bemidji area his entire life, of which the past 20 years have been in Port Hope Township. He has been a regional account manager with North Country Business Products of Bemidji for more than 26 years. Craig is a graduate of Bemidji State University with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, along with a secondary education licensure. He also holds a power-limited technician license. He has served as supervisor of the Port Hope Township Board for 12 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 is currently a Beltrami County Commissioner, representing District 1. Craig and his wife Karen have two sons, James and Jonathon. He is an avid walleye fisherman and enjoys hunting, fishing and traveling.
“I take responsibility seriously. That means I show up on time or early for meetings, having studied the material ahead of time to make informed decisions in the best interests of our members. I have served over three years on the BEC board and have only missed one board meeting. I genuinely care about the people and the area we live and I look forward to continuing to serve you, the members of the cooperative. I will work to keep our mission statement as my directive: To provide excellent value to our members through the safe delivery of reliable electric service, excellent member service and innovative energy solutions at fair and reasonable prices.”
Robert Wallner - District 5
District 5 Director
Contact Number: (218) 835-6579
A member of Beltrami Electric for 42 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 / Minnkota Director
District 6 Director
Contact Number: (218) 751-9695
Rick has lived in the Bemidji Area for 47 years and resides in Northern Township. He has been a member of Beltrami Electric for more than 37 years. Rick retired from the Bemidji Public Schools where he was employed as a teacher, counselor and coach. Coe has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and general science and holds a Master of Science degree in guidance counseling from Bemidji State University. 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. Rick is also a member of the Knights of Columbus and has served on the KC board. He has served on BEC's board for District 6 since 2008 and served as the board chair from 2011-2020. He and his wife, Mickie, have three grown children and three grandchildren.
“I have served as a Director of Beltrami Electric Cooperative for 12 years. 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. I care about our members and feel they deserve great service not only from BEC, but especially from the Board of Directors. I promise to be visible and reachable to serve BEC's members to the best of my ability.
John Lund - District 7 / Chair / CDI Governor
District 7 Director
Contact Number: (218) 751-2784
John is a life-long resident of the Bemidji area, and holds a BS in industrial technology from Bemidji State University. John and his wife, Mary, have lived in District 7 for the past 21 years, and have three daughters and four grandchildren. John is a self-employed carpenter and installs kitchen appliances. John has served on church boards and councils, served two terms on the Beltrami County Board of Commissioners and has served on the Beltrami Electric Cooperative board of directors for the past nine years and currently serves as the board chair. John enjoys cross country skiing, riding bicycle, walking, and staying active physically, mentally, and spiritually.
“The nine years of service on the Beltrami Electric board of directors has given me the experience needed to represent the members of our cooperative. I have attended a number of educational classes offered by the Minnesota Rural Electric Association (MREA) and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) and received the Board Leadership Certificate and the Director Gold Certificate from the NRECA. These courses keep me informed on the changes within the electric industry and help me learn more of the duties and responsibilities of becoming a better electric cooperative board member. 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, as more new technologies are added into the grid, (i.e.) solar, wind, battery storage, and electric vehicles (Evs), my belief is that we will continue to need our coal fired baseload generation (with the possible addition of carbon capture), so that we can continue to provide power to our members when other generating sources are not producing or available.”
Sue Kringen - District 8 / Vice Chair
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. He has served on BEC's board for District 8 since 2016 and currently serves as the vice chair. 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."
Sharon Lembke - District 9
District 9 Director
Contact Number: (218) 224-2254
Sharon has been a cooperative member for 42 years, and lives in the Laporte area. She holds a BS in elementary education, a MS in school administration, minors in English and Psychology, and a specialist/6th year degree in school administration. Sharon is a retired school administrator, and was a teacher, an elementary school principal, and an interim superintendent. She has two children, and three grandchildren. Sharon enjoys playing music, and plays bass guitar with a couple of groups, and an acoustic guitar in church. She like to play cards, especially pinochle, smear, and cribbage. She enjoys reading and is interested in catching fish, even though it doesn’t always happen. Sharon has a heart for volunteering, serving at her church, the Laporte Food Shelf, Legion Auxiliary, Bone Builders, as an election judge for Hart Lake Township, and has volunteered on the Beltrami Electric Cooperative Trust Board for Operation Round Up® since 2016.
“I have served on the Riverview Hospital board in Crookston, Minn., and have volunteered on two church boards. I have served as president of the Beltrami Electric Cooperative Trust Board for Operation Round Up® for five years. I like working with people and try to see all sides of an issue. I can be diplomatic and believe that if we can add to the good of an issue, we should. I can recognize good work, good leadership and understanding, and will do my best to serve the members of my district and the cooperative.”