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Dairyland Power Cooperative's top executive to step down in July

Barbara Nick, the president and CEO of Dairyland Power Cooperative, will retire this year, the La Crosse, Wis.-headquartered utility said Jan. 9. The organization has begun a search for a successor.

Nick, who joined the utility in December 2014, will step down in July. She was previously in leadership roles at predecessor companies to WEC Energy Group Inc.

Dairyland's board of directors is interviewing finalists for search consultants, according to a statement announcing Nick's planned retirement. The statement noted that the search will consider both internal and external candidates.

"Under Nick's leadership, Dairyland has successfully focused on resource diversification, sustainability and leadership development," the utility said, adding that Dairyland's solar investment doubled Wisconsin's total solar generation in 2016.

Dairyland Power supplies 24 member distribution utilities, mostly in western Wisconsin but also in southeastern Minnesota, northeastern Iowa and northwestern Illinois, with a collective total of about 275,000 customers.

In addition to leading the cooperative into the second half of 2020, Nick is serving a six-year term on the State of Wisconsin Investment Board, which oversees $100 billion of state funds. Nick is also the secretary of the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce board and on the board of directors of the Electric Power Research Institute, as well as a member of that group's governance and nominating committee.