Kosha Olsen will become the first woman to hold a seat on the High West Energy board of directors, effective Jan. 1, 2021. In a special meeting held Nov. 9, the seven-member board selected Olsen from a list of 10 highly qualified cooperative members.
“The board was impressed by the caliber of people who submitted applications for this seat,” said High West CEO and General Manager Brian Heithoff. “After meeting with Kosha, the board felt confident she would be an outstanding addition and bring a new and valuable perspective.”
Olsen will replace Jamie Fowler in District 16; Fowler informed the board earlier this year that he would be stepping down from the board to help a family member in need of medical care. According to High West bylaws, the Board is required to fill vacancies by a majority vote, and the members in District 16 will vote to select their representative at the annual meeting in June 2021.
Olsen has a strong background of knowledge about High West Energy. Her grandparents were members when the co-op was founded in 1937. She grew up on a farm near Albin where her parents are members, and she has been a member in Cheyenne since July 2015.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in communications, Olsen worked as the communications director for the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, and she is currently the program director for the Wyoming Beef Council. She and her husband Brian are raising their three young children in Cheyenne.
“I want to be a part of the exciting future of energy and the vital conversations and planning processes along the way,” Olsen said. “Additionally, I am interested in serving on the board of directors to provide an accurate representation of District 16, a thriving district populated with many members like me, people with young families who need adequate wiring, computing, and energy for virtual employment.”
Olsen said she wants to focus on how High West will react to government regulations, adapt to take advantage of alternative energy, and continue its commitment to infrastructure maintenance and employee training.
She also had some words of praise for how the co-op has anticipated the changing landscape of the communities High West serves in Wyoming, Colorado, and Nebraska.
“High West staff has done an excellent job of keeping their finger on the pulse of current trends and technologies,” Olsen said. “Retaining and fostering this effort across the energy, computer services, and wiring teams will also help meet present and future needs. High West’s business model has served the membership well, and we should encourage a continued focus on balancing fiscal responsibility with forward thinking and new technologies.”
Olsen will sit in on the board meetings in November and December as an observer so she can hit the ground running when she begins her tenure as a member of the board in January.