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EXECUTIVE POSITION DESCRIPTION President and Chief Executive Officer On behalf of our client, Lignite


President and Chief Executive Officer

POSITION DESCRIPTION President and Chief Executive Officer On behalf of our client, Lignite Energy

On behalf of our client, Lignite Energy Council, KeyStone Search is conducting a retained search for a President and Chief Executive Officer.

ORGANIZATION BACKGROUND Lignite Energy Council President and CEO Page 2 of 7 The Lignite Energy


Lignite Energy Council President and CEO Page 2 of 7

The Lignite Energy Council (LEC) is a regional, non-profit organization whose primary mission is to promote the continued development and use of lignite coal as an energy resource. The LEC’s membership includes:

Producers of lignite coal who have an ownership interest in and who mine lignite.

Users of lignite who operate lignite-fired electric generating plants and the nation’s only commercial scale “synfuels” plant that converts lignite into pipeline-quality natural gas.

Suppliers of goods and services to the lignite coal industry.

The organization was founded in 1974 as the North Dakota Lignite Council to deal primarily with lignite producer concerns on the state level. In 1991, the Council's name was changed to the Lignite Energy Council to reflect the organization's regional approach to national issues and to include lignite users as equal partners, since the agenda of our association programs focuses both on producer and user concerns. Today, the Council has almost 300 members from more than 30 states and Canada.

Major members mine lignite coal and provide electricity throughout the Upper Midwest, including Canada.

The Lignite Energy Council promotes policies and directs activities that maintain a viable lignite industry and enhance the development of North Dakota's lignite resources for the benefit of:


Lignite producers

Utilities, cooperatives, and other lignite users

Businesses providing goods and services to the lignite industry

The Lignite Energy Council serves its members through four major program areas:

Government action; research and development; education and public relations; and planning and coordination. Other member services provided by the Council include publications, meetings and special events.

The organization has built a foundation and strategy for the future. Elements of the 2013- 2015 plan include the following:

Economic issues are impacting lignite production. The most critical barriers to an aggressive lignite development plan are issues that LEC members cannot contro l:

inexpensive natural gas and limited regional load growth.

Political opposition has intensified. Federally and regionally, the anti-coal, anti-lignite campaign has accelerated during 2012, as environmental and public health advocates have shifted their attention to closing existing plants. Protecting current operations has become a more complicated challenge for LEC members.

Public support for the value of lignite must improve. Improved and lasting political results will not occur unless policymakers believe that consumers/voters agree that coal/lignite is an important part of our energy mix. A bad “brand” is inconsistent with protecting and growing this industry.


Lignite Energy Council President and CEO Page 3 of 7  Lignite must control its

Lignite Energy Council President and CEO Page 3 of 7

Lignite must control its own future.

North Dakota will continue to respond to political pushback from coal/lignite opponents. This can be addressed only by engaging more aggressively in federal and state activities.

The landscape may change again. Opportunities for lignite may become more positive in the future, perhaps even in just a few years. LEC should position itself to take advantage of economic and regulatory changes.

Left alone, policy makers and regulators outside of

Core Strategies that are part of the 2013-2015 plan are:

Protect/Extend Operation of the Current Lignite Plants

Keep the Coal Option Open

Support Industry and State Efforts to Develop New Beneficial Uses of Lignite

The Lignite Energy Council has built goals and objectives to guide its activities and assure that it is meeting the needs of a complex and changing membership. Moving forward, the LEC has committed to be:


Challenge opponents directly on issues we can win

Move beyond traditional messengers to engage different advocates


Extend base of vocal support beyond North Dakota

Become more active in legislative, regulatory and legal battlesplay where we can win

Consumer-Oriented Meeting consumer demands for:

Addressing their economic challenges

Continued product improvement


Ready to change course when economic/political landscape improves


The President/CEO is responsible for providing the overall leadership and management of the Lignite Energy Council, including all aspects of its diversified activities and programs. The President/CEO works closely with the Board to develop and implement Council’s vision, mission and strategies and is responsible for the effective use of financial, human and other assets of Council.

The President/CEO also serves as Chairman of the Lignite Research Council and its Executive Committee, which includes state agencies, environmental, labor, farm and industry interests. Additionally, the President/CEO serves on the Executive Committee of the National Coal Council, an advisory group to the U.S. Secretary of Energy. The President/CEO reports to the Board of Directors. There are currently nine full time staff at the Council.


PRIMARY RESPONSIBILTIES Lignite Energy Council President and CEO Page 4 of 7 The President/CEO develops


Lignite Energy Council President and CEO Page 4 of 7

The President/CEO develops policies, procedures and programs to implement the strategies and direction of the organization as approved by the Board of Directors. He or she will assure that these policies, procedures and programs are effectively administered, coordinated and controlled. Key areas of responsibility include:


Establishes the organization structure for the association

need s. Implemen t s or g an iz a t i on a l c h a n g e s object ives.

and the related staffing

as required to ach i e ve the a ssociation ' s

Establishes administrative policies and procedures for the association's functions.

Develops and supervises an effective membership development and retention program. Promotes interest and active participation in association activities and programs among the membership.


Plans, recommends for approval and then operates within an annual operating budget and specific program and project budgets. Total funds administered vary from $15 to $25 million annually, depending on the status of the various projects and programs at any particular time.

Ensures that all funds, physical assets and other property of the association are properly safeguarded and administered.

Manages an annual CPA audit and other required interim financial reports.

Chairs the Investment Advisory Committee of the Lignite Energy Council.


Creates an appropriate image for the association by providing leadership to volunteers and staff and by developing and communicating the concept and philosophy of the association and conveying a clear sense of its goals and objectives.

Working through consensus, involves and motivates participation of the volunteers in support of the association's goals and objectives.

Insures that decisions vital to the association's interests are reached on a timely

Committee, Board of

basis and through

Directors , and other member volunteers.

the association's CEOs, Management


STAFFING Lignite Energy Council President and CEO Page 5 of 7  Recruits, hires, trains,


Lignite Energy Council President and CEO Page 5 of 7

Recruits, hires, trains, promotes, compensates and discharges staff and administers an effective personnel program which includes position descriptions, performance standards, performance appraisals and compensation and benefit systems.

Provides the necessary liaison and staff support to committee chairmen and committees and task forces to help them properly fulfill their functions. Determines committee and task force decisions and recommendations, if appropriate, are submitted to the CEOs, the Management Committee, Compensation & Evaluation Committee and/or Board of Directors for approval.


The President/CEO plans and implements effective member service programs which are responsive to the needs of the membership. Current program areas include:

Government action-responsible for directing the industry's government relations activities, which include actions and involvements with federal agencies and the Congress, state legislators and state agencies in the region served by lignite energy, and maintaining effective relationships with national and state organizations, both public and private;

Research, development and marketing (R&D)-responsible for administering over $20 million in existing private industry/state contracts and a $3 million annual grant program in partnership with the state of North Dakota. Formulates policy and individual project recommendations, negotiates and administers project contracts and develops and implements strategies to achieve R & D objectives;

Public relations and communications- implements public information and promotion, development and proactive media relations programs. Serves as primary spokesman for the association before state, regional and national audiences as well as on radio/television and with print media. Promotes interest and active participation in the association's activities on the part of the membership. Directs the association's publications programs, including monthly, quarterly and ann ual publications.

Education-plans, develops and implements a multi-state education program. Includes teacher seminars for academic credit, production of videos, development of lesson plans, and outreach to 60,000 students, 1,200 teachers and 400 schools and libraries annually.


Lignite Energy Council President and CEO Page 6 of 7  Meetings -conducts annual and

Lignite Energy Council President and CEO Page 6 of 7

Meetings-conducts annual and special meetings. Also, plans and coordinates meetings of the CEOs, Management Committee, Compensation & Evaluation Committee, Board of Directors, and Lignite Research Council.

Marketing- informs, educates and

activates targeted audiences relative to the

benefits of coal-based electricity in order to achieve balanced energy policies which do not penalize or impose cost burdens on coal-based electricity. Manages stakeholders, key contacts, communications and image-based marketing activities that promote the use and growth of coal-based electricity.


The President/CEO position requires an individual with sensitivity to and an understanding of people, and the ability to provide leadership to volunteers and staff in defining and pursuing association goals and in developing and implementing strategies to achieve the desired results.

The President/CEO must have the skill and experience required to obtain maximum utilization of the association's resources by working through producer and utility CEOs, the Management Committee, Compensation and Evaluation Committee, and Board of Directors and with other appropriate member volunteers.

Experience in management of a non-profit association, working with Boards and Committees. Knowledge of financial and personnel management and budgeting, and ability to speak articulately and communicate effectively both orally and in writing.

Government Relations experience working with Congress, federal and state agencies, and state legislatures is essential. A working knowledge of environmental and energy laws and regulations and how they apply to the coal industry, and experience in working with the media is necessary.

Legal knowledge and experience in interpreting laws, regulations and contracts, and the ability to draft legislative proposals and amendments and analyze their impacts on existing laws and regulations as well as the coal industry is necessary. The ability to make legal recommendations at legislative and regulatory proceedings and manage litigation teams is required.

A four year college degree is required and appropriate legal education and training preferred.



The compensation package for this position is competitive and attractive. It includes an executive pay structure and participation in the organization’s comprehensive benefits plan.


Confidential contacts or nominations may be made to:

Bob Schoenbaum Principal


Marcia Ballinger, PhD Principal


Lisa Curtin Vice President


Curtin Vice President 612-718-7779 “Because Culture Matters” KeyStone Search is a prominent

“Because Culture Matters”

KeyStone Search is a prominent Minnesota-based executive search firm with a special emphasis on corporate culture fit. KeyStone Search has specialized expertise in the recruitment of C-Suite leaders in general management, sales/marketing, financial, technical/operations, and human resources as well as non-profit executives.

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