Murray, Nebraska – Rick Yoder announced his candidacy for the Subdivision 4 seat of the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) Board of Directors. Yoder is a 24-year resident of rural Cass County. The counties that form OPPD Subdivision 4 are Cass, Sarpy, Otoe, Johnson, Nemaha, Pawnee, and Richardson.
Yoder works with the Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC), which is a department of the College of Business Administration at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO). His work there focuses on helping businesses find cost effective changes to reduce consumption of energy, water and materials.
“It’s been said before,” says Yoder, “but conservation should be a top priority for public power boards because the cheapest kilowatt-hour is the one consumers never have to buy.”
“My work with small businesses taught me to focus on efficient technologies to save people money while focusing on innovation.”
Yoder relies on his mechanical engineering background for technical analysis, and on his many years as a business consultant to build a business case for change.
“Change is hard,” Yoder added. “OPPD hasn’t been challenged by our incumbent board member of 30 years to make the changes necessary to provide competitive services to the area.”
Yoder served in public office before as a member of the Conestoga School Board. He volunteers as a member of the Keep Cass County Beautiful board and actively works with MINK Corridor, an economic development group focused on the counties bordering the Missouri River between Omaha and Kansas City.
“I find it helpful to see how utilities in four different states provide both opportunities and obstacles to economic development in the region. I look at Rockport, Missouri, just across the river from Brownville. Rockport was the first town in the country to be 100% powered by wind. It is hard not to look across the river at successes others are having with renewable energy-based local economic development and not ask why Nebraska, the nation’s leader in wind potential, has fallen behind.”
Yoder constructs his campaign around three themes, Respect the past, Focus on the future, and Bet on American ingenuity.
- Respect the past. Nebraska power is public power. Changes are inevitable, but we need not sell the farm and start over. Now is not the time to privatize public power.
- Focus on the Future. The future of energy is fossil free. The challenge lies with finding a path from here to there that protects our quality of life and delivers a reliable, secure flow of energy.
- Bet On American Ingenuity. American ingenuity has already created solutions not yet adopted by OPPD. Diversifying our fuel sources provide economic development benefits and reduces financial risk.
Yoder, age 61, earned his degree in Mechanical Engineering from Iowa State University, where he met his wife, Lissa. They have been married for 32 years. They have two daughters, Synneve and Krista. They enjoy their rural life on a small acreage near Murray, where they moved in 1993.
Press note: Mr. Rick Yoder has no relation to the Yoder’s Amish Furniture Store in Greenwood.