Glasgow Native Named MECA CEO
He's the new power behind the folks that do more than keep the lights on for you. Glasgow native Gary Wiens was just named CEO of the Montana Electric Cooperative Association (MECA).
Here's the full press release from MECA:
MECA names new CEO
For Immediate Release
The Montana Electric Cooperatives’ Association (MECA) Board of Directors has named Gary Wiens, a 26-year veteran of the organization, as the next CEO. He succeeds the recently retired Dave Wheelihan.
MECA is the not-for-profit, statewide trade association that represents 25 consumer-owned electric distribution cooperatives and three generation and transmission cooperatives serving more than 400,000 Montanans. The statewide organization provides government affairs, safety, training and education, and communications services to its member cooperatives, among other services.
A native of Glasgow and a 1974 graduate of Glasgow Senior High School, Mr. Wiens attended the University of Montana, graduating with a bachelor’s of arts degree from U of M’s School of Journalism. He worked in the newspaper business for about nine years, beginning as a reporter for the daily Ravalli Republic in 1978 before later being promoted to the editor position. In 1987 he was hired to help start a semiweekly newspaper in Bisbee, Ariz. Shortly thereafter, he was hired by then Montana Congressman Ron Marlenee as a legislative aide in the congressman’s Washington, D.C., office, eventually serving as his energy and public lands energy aide. In 1993, he returned to Montana to assume the assistant general manager position at MECA, which is based in Great Falls. He served in that capacity until being named on April 3 to succeed Mr. Wheelihan as MECA’s CEO.
Wiens is married to the former Pamela Marie Bermes, who was born and raised in Billings and is a 1974 graduate of Billings Senior High School. The couple, who were married in 1977, met at the University of Montana. They have two daughters. Eldest daughter Alyssa Marie Cordova is married to David Cordova and the couple, together with their daughter and son, live in Long Beach, Calif. Younger daughter Kyla Nicole Maki is married to Kevin Maki and the couple, together with their son, live in Helena.
“I am both honored and excited to serve Montana’s electric cooperatives as the CEO for their statewide association,” said Mr. Wiens. “Under my leadership, MECA will remain focused on its primary mission of helping ensure affordable, reliability electricity for all our co-op members as well as moving the association forward to be better prepared for the new challenges facing the electric industry in the 21st century.”
“We are very pleased that Gary has accepted the position, and we firmly believe he is the right person to lead MECA into the future,” said MECA Board President Brent McRae.
MECA is a not-for-profit, statewide trade association representing 25 consumer-owned electric distribution cooperatives and three generation and transmission cooperatives serving more than 400,000 Montanans. The cooperatives’ service areas cover all 56 Montana counties. Each cooperative is customer-owned, locally controlled and not-for-profit. MECA is based in Great Falls, and is the publisher of Rural Montana magazine, the state’s largest circulation publication at 125,000, and the Montana Legislative Guide.