Energy Only. By Brian Dreessen, General Manager

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1 Spring 2017 coopenergyco.com Sibley Rock Rapids Spencer Worthington and surrounding communities Our mission is to provide excellent services and products in a safe environment that will enhance the profitability of both the patron and the company. Energy Only By Brian Dreessen, General Manager I can confidently say there are many advantages to being a general manager of an energy-only co-op. When I wake up every morning, I am not faced with the difficult task of deciding whether my employees need to focus on grain, agronomy, feed or energy. We get to focus 100% on energy. It s our main task, and that doesn t change with the seasons. Every month of the year, I know we simply need to bring our quality Cenex energy products to our customers barrels. I don t need to concentrate on multiple markets. I only need to worry about the energy markets (as if we have a lot of control ). As a team, we don t get sidetracked by things that large agronomy and grain co-ops may get distracted by. We get to concentrate on operating efficiency, delivery proficiency and product quality. It is our intent to bring the service, value and trust you should expect from an energy-only co-op. Being able to specialize in energy is something that my team and I are proud of. I sincerely hope our undivided attention is a benefit to you and your operation.

2 Board members in the back row, left to right: Doug Block, Ocheyedan; Greg DeBoer, Little Rock; Kyle Thomsen (secretary), Royal; Randy Vaupel, Sibley; Darin Henning, Fulda. Front row, left to right: Brian Dreessen (general manager); Nate Schulte (president), Rock Rapids; John Penning (vice president), Wilmont; Dave Schwaller, Milford. The Board s Message Your Cooperative Energy board has had a busy first quarter. Several of us took part in the Iowa Institute for Cooperatives director training held in Storm Lake this January. In February, many of us attended the CHS Experience Leadership Conference with General Manager Brian Dreessen. Later that month, one of our directors joined our general manager and members of the CEC management team at the CoBank Customer Annual Meeting. The board understands it is important we continue to educate ourselves so we can do our part to make Cooperative Energy stronger. The board has also been busy making big decisions for the company. One of those decisions was to pursue the Hartley Junction C-Store to bring more value to our customers in the Hartley area. Perhaps the greatest decision was not to pursue the merger with K&H and NuWay Co-op. Many of you may have been surprised to hear this news. To make sure it was the right decision for our company, many board members did extensive research. We gathered opinions from past board members and various Class A members, and these meetings were met with apprehension. After multiple conversations, it was clear to see that a merger was not in the best interest for Cooperative Energy and its members now. We are confident that being an energy-only co-op is something we should take great pride in. We feel good about the decision to continue putting our efforts into our core business of energy. We feel it is what makes our cooperative special. Nate Schulte, Board President Cooperative Energy Returns 2006 Equity Good news! If you haven t already seen your 2006 equity check, you will be seeing it soon. Just over $236,000 has recently been dispersed to our members, and this is a great milestone for our cooperative. These checks represent the first equity earned from our acquisition of Nobles County Co-op Oil that took place in Through this, we hope you see the value Cooperative Energy Company continues to bring by revolving your equity. 2

3 Welcome Hartley Junction to the Cooperative E On Jan. 28, Hartley Country Stores closed its doors for the last time. A remodel inside the store then took place for about two weeks. New flooring was installed, software was upgraded, new equipment was hardwired and the store s kitchen received a fresh update. Jackrabbit Junction Manager Mindy Balster and Boji Junction Manager Rachel Sirola temporarily moved in to help Country Stores Manager Candy Rucshmann get the store ready to make the transition to the Cooperative Energy family. On Feb. 11, the store s doors were reopened and the new Hartley Junction C-Store was introduced! Cooperative Energy is thrilled to bring even more value to the community of Hartley with our fourth c-store. Hartley Junction became a part of Cooperative Energy because we see a big part of our success and strength in our c-stores, says Brian Dreessen, Cooperative Energy general manager. This was a great way for us to bring even more value to our members in the Hartley area, who we gained through our acquisition of Thermogas in Hartley Junction offers great daily lunch specials, including a bacon cheeseburger basket and 50-cent wings on Wednesdays. This store has a large variety of snacks and last-minute needs for travelers. You can even purchase a fishing license at Hartley Junction. Candy and her team are excited about all the great changes. Welcome to the Team, Tom Rad One way that Cooperative Energy can continue to be experts in the energy industry is by adding energy veterans to the team. With 46 years in the refined fuels and propane business, Tom Radcliffe is just that an energy veteran. Cooperative Energy is excited to welcome Tom to the team. We re ready to soak up the wisdom he has to share, particularly regarding his traditional territory the lakes area. Tom first climbed in a fuel truck on Dec. 24, In 1984, he joined Farmers Cooperative Association out of Jackson, Minnesota, where he became a refined fuels and propane delivery staple for the company. Now that Tom is with Cooperative Energy Company, he s excited to tell his customers that they have a lot to look forward to. When you re an energy-only co-op, you can focus on what you re good at focus on your main job, Tom points out. We agree. The lack of distractions allows us to specialize in energy, and our members and customers like the attention they get. 3

4 nergy Family! Although the transition took longer than expected, both my staff and I are excited to be working in this beautifully updated store, says Candy. We are also thankful to have been purchased by a company that sees the value of the small town. The response to the updates from the community has been overwhelming and positive. General Manager Dreessen adds, We are still evaluating whether our cardtrol south of the highway will have two different kinds of diesel and one gasoline product with Cenex TOP TIER Gasoline available on the c-store side. This would still give pickups and trailers access to gasoline at the cardtrol. It would also allow us to provide premium diesel in warmer months and have non-blended and blended products during colder months. There is a lot to consider. Cooperative Energy will continue to make improvements to Hartley Junction. Rebranding of the exterior will take place prior to Memorial Day. Cooperative Energy looks forward to inviting the community of Hartley to a grand reopening once all construction is complete. Please stay tuned for the announcement of this event, as we d love to see you there! cliffe Being an energy specialist is something Tom knows he can be proud of, but he ll tell you that the best part of his job is the people. Getting to visit with so many people and share so many experiences over the years it s about the people, Tom insists. He seems to fit the Cooperative Energy mold well because, as General Manager Brian Dreessen will tell you, the relationships we have with our members and customers is a priority to all of our employees. We hired Tom with the expectation to raise our visibility and services in the Spirit Lake and Superior area, Brian shares. Tom brings many, many years of fuel and propane delivery expertise to us. By bringing Tom aboard, it brings localization to that area and Cooperative Energy is a strong believer in being powered locally. Tom and his wife, Wendy, have been married 44 years. They farm northeast of Spirit Lake, where they raise cow-calf pairs. He farms with his son, Ben, who works for Dickinson County. He has a daughter, Jessica, who lives on the other side of the state line and works in Spirit Lake for Campus Radio Stations. His other daughter, Jennifer, lives in Emmetsburg and works for STT. Tom and his wife are busy with three grandsons and three granddaughters, and enjoy every second of it. When they have free time, they like to spend it camping and fishing. We re pleased to have Tom as part of our family. We look forward to learning from him and growing with him. 4

5 A Little Healthy Competition Great things can happen to a company when its employees take steps to be more health conscious. Attendance goes up, productivity goes up and even overall morale will improve, all of which can help a company save money. Cooperative Energy, like any company, likes the sound of all these things, but the sound of happy employees is what we like most. In an attempt to put a bounce in the step of the entire team, we ve introduced a challenge to all staff members. We call it a little friendly, healthy competition. Starting on March 13, Cooperative Energy introduced two contests: Biggest Loser, which is a weight loss challenge, and Biggest Quitter, which is a challenge to quit a tobacco habit. In the Biggest Loser Contest, participants are challenged to lose weight over a three-month period. The person with the highest percentage of weight loss at the end of the three months wins a grand prize. Official weigh-ins will take place at the corporate office and are kept confidential. Meanwhile, contestants are encouraged by team members throughout the contest. Because this contest is measured on percentage of weight loss, it makes it fair for employees of all levels to participate! One grand prize winner will receive $500. In the Biggest Quitter Contest, participants are given three months to completely give up their tobacco habit. Each contestant is allowed six weak moments or cheat days. But, each contestant must have two accountability buddies: someone who will encourage them and blow the whistle if they are not able to stay within the guidelines. Accountability buddies must include one person at the workplace and one person at home who will keep an eye on the participant to help keep them honest. At the end of the three months, we will see which contestant has gone the longest without smoking or chewing. At that time, the winner will be rewarded $250. If the winner can go an entire additional month without giving in to Having satisfied employees has always been a priority at Cooperative Energy Company. We know that a positive corporate culture goes a long way! their tobacco habit, they will receive another $250, for a total cash prize of $500! Twenty-two staff members have decided to take on one of our fun challenges. We couldn t be more thrilled. We look forward to seeing increased spirits and improved health around our locations. Healthiness and happiness go hand in hand. We re hoping it catches on! 5

6 COOPERATIVE ENERGY COMPANY 1708 Pierce Avenue - Sibley, IA SIBLEY LOCATION 1708 Pierce Avenue Sibley, IA ROCK RAPIDS STATION 102 1st Avenue Rock Rapids, IA SPENCER LOCATION 5715 Highway Boulevard E Spencer, IA WORTHINGTON LOCATION nd Avenue Worthington, MN ALSO SERVING IOWA: Ashton - Harris - Hartley - Little Rock - Melvin - Milford - Ocheyedan MINNESOTA: Fulda - Hills - Rushmore - Ellsworth Looking to the Future It s a known fact around CEC that a handful of us won t be punching the clock much longer. In fact, about 35% of our staff will be retiring within the next six to seven years. The CEC board and senior management team recognize the importance of being proactive by reaching out to young people now. Originally, we considered an internship program. But after seeking advice from area guidance counselors and career instructors, we realized it was best to start with a Career Day. We want high school students to be aware of Cooperative Energy Company and the great careers we will have available in the near future, says General Manager Brian Dreessen. With that, we didn t waste any time. CEC hosted its first Career Day in Sibley on April 6. The event consisted of a general introduction of our company, tours of the facility and demonstrations from our fuel and propane personnel. Members of the management team also spoke on the importance of post-secondary education, the room for growth CEC has to offer and the opportunity to earn benefits that are second to none. With the help of Tracy Gorter, coordinator of High School Partnerships at Northwest Iowa Community College, we were able to collaborate with high school guidance counselors and come up with the right group of students for the event hard-working students with genuine interest in our industry. We hosted 18 students from Central Lyon and Sibley-Ocheyedan High Schools. The hour-and-a-half event showed students that CEC stretches way beyond their local towns, as well as beyond their current understanding of who we are and what we do. Cooperative Energy will continue to communicate with Tracy Gorter and the guidance counselors in hopes of finding the right students interested in joining our team. We ll also be using their feedback to plan more career day events down the road involving other area schools as well as other CEC locations. When the right student comes along and shows genuine interest in our company, Cooperative Energy would be willing to explore a possible tuition reimbursement agreement with that student in exchange for some sort of time commitment, stated GM Dreessen. We recognize the urgency in getting young people through our doors and getting them integrated. These students are our future and the future is incredibly close. Stay updated on what is happening at Cooperative Energy Company! To be the first to hear about our great promotions, to join our list. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and check out our YouTube channel!

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