Barry Electric Cooperative names new CEO
Board president: Co-op fortunate to have Aeilts
The Board of Directors of Barry Electric Cooperative (BEC) announced the cooperative has chosen Mark Aeilts to be its new executive vice president/CEO.
Aeilts (pronounced Isles) will replace Bill Shiveley, who has provided distinguished service to the Coop with 43 years, and served as EVP/CEO since 1991.
Aeilts, who will be relocating from Iowa, will make only the fourth executive vice president in the Coop's 71-year history.
Applications for the position were accepted from as far away as South Carolina.
"After a four-month nationwide search, Aeilts was chosen because he was the most qualified candidate," said Dr. David Cupps, president of BEC's Board of Directors. "We were particularly impressed with his vision, especially now that we are aggressively building a fiber-to-the-home network to serve our members. Aeilts also comes with a great deal of respect from leaders of the rural electric cooperative networks in Illinois, Iowa and Missouri for his ability to lead.
"I think we're very fortunate to attract someone as talented as Aeilts, and I think one of biggest reasons he was attracted to the position is the forward-thinking of our Coop, and the staff we have. This Coop is not stuck in 1975. We're doing things to better serve our members, and I think Aeilts is very excited about our fiber-to-home project."
Aeilts, who currently serves as Iowa Wind and Solar Director of Utility Solar Development, will assume his duties on March 1.
"I'm honored, and I'm grateful to BEC's board for the opportunity to lead this exceptional organization of creative, dedicated and talented professionals," Aeilts said. "We value the opportunity to provide electricity to each of our members, and realize the impact our service makes in the communities we serve. I am excited to be a part of this life-changing new digital service for fiber-to-the-home, offering basic internet of 250 Mbps. This is a terrific privilege and opportunity."
Aeilts joins BEC with more than 30 years of cooperative experience and an MBA in negotiation and conflict management. In 1986, Aeilts began his career as an accountant for the Association of Illinois Electric Co-ops in Springfield, Ill. Since that time, he has served cooperative members in roles including manager of finance/administration and as general manager. Most recently, he has been an integral part of a management team responsible for the negotiation of power purchase contracts with two Iowa municipal electric systems.
Aeilts is a graduate of University of Illinois in Springfield, Ill. He and his wife Nina, are proud of their two sons, one of which works as scientific computer programmer in Chicago, Ill., the other as a lawyer in Pella, Iowa.
Aeilts spoke highly of Shiveley's dedicated service to the Coop over a 43-year time span.
"Bill has been a remarkable leader who has been responsible for a great portion of BEC's success over the years," Aeilts said. "He leaves a big set of shoes to fill. Bill has always set the bar high. I'm looking forward to the challenge of continuing a tradition of excellence at BEC.
BEC is a member-owned, not-for-profit electric distribution cooperative established in 1946. BEC delivers electricity and is building fiber-to-the-home services to more than 9,750 homes and businesses in Barry and McDonald counties including the towns of Cassville, Exeter, Jenkins, Seligman, Washburn, Wheaton and the surrounding rural areas.