Midwest Energy & Communications Announces New CEO

Barchart · 07/01 10:00

Midwest Energy & Communications (MEC) announced today that its board of directors unanimously selected Terry Rubenthaler as its next president and chief executive officer (CEO). Rubenthaler, MEC's chief operating officer (COO), takes over on October 1. He succeeds Robert Hance, who retires in September.

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Terry Rubenthaler (Photo: Business Wire)

Terry Rubenthaler (Photo: Business Wire)

MEC’s board made its decision in mid-June after working with EnerVision, a consulting firm for electric utilities, on recruiting and screening candidates.

“We had an impressive pool of candidates, and the decision was not an easy one," said Clarence "Topper" Barth, MEC board chairperson. "However, Terry’s leadership and unmatched understanding of our business model, mission, operations, and infrastructure made him the top pick. We are proud of his dedication to making MEC the best it can be for customers and in our industry."

Rubenthaler is a registered professional engineer. He earned a bachelor’s in electrical engineering from the University of Nebraska in 1990 and came to MEC in 1995.

He’s played an integral role in MEC over the years. For example, he recently led the implementation of fiber optics on MEC’s electric grid to improve infrastructure monitoring and outage restoration. He oversaw the construction of MEC’s retail fiber internet service. He also played a pivotal role in securing funding for MEC’s fiber expansion, including $37 million from the Federal Communication Commission’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. Finally, in 2023, he managed MEC’s partnership with roughly 40 townships and three Michigan counties on a State of Michigan grant to help fund a $56 million broadband project.

Rubenthaler currently lives in Niles, Michigan, with his wife, Gina. They have three children and three grandchildren.

“I’m honored and grateful to the board for this opportunity and will work to ensure that MEC continues to fulfill its vision of creating vibrant, relevant, and sustainable rural communities,” said Rubenthaler.

Hance expressed confidence in the board’s selection. “MEC owes a lot of its success to Terry. I’m confident he’ll continue to position MEC as a service provider our customers can rely on,” stated Hance.

About Midwest Energy & Communications

Midwest Energy & Communications (MEC) is a customer-owned electric cooperative founded in 1937. It provides electricity, propane, fiber internet, and fiber phone to 42,000 rural customers in southern and western Michigan, northern Indiana, and northeast Ohio. To learn more, visit teammidwest.com.