How We Serve: Chief Financial Officer

Chris Johnson, Basin Electric senior vice president and chief financial officer.

Employees at Basin Electric understand their roles as stewards of service to the members of the cooperative. The “How We Serve” series highlights an employee and their work group and explains how they serve our members every day.

On Jan. 22, 2024, Basin Electric welcomed Chris Johnson to the team as its new senior vice president and chief financial officer (CFO). Johnson has stepped into his role bringing fresh ideas and years of experience in the electric cooperative field. He began his career with Southern Company in Atlanta, Georgia, and then worked for Oglethorpe Power, a generation cooperative that serves Georgia’s distribution members. Prior to coming to Basin Electric, Johnson was the vice president of Finance at Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, a Basin Electric Class A member, in Westminster, Colorado. 

Johnson shares more about his role and the relationships he has with his team, and how together their purpose has strengthened Basin Electric’s commitment to serving its member-owners.

In his role as CFO, Johnson helps to lead several departments including Accounting, Treasury, Insurance, Resource Planning & Rates, and Procurement. “We help procure, finance, insure, and account for assets that provide power to our members,” he says.

Some days have a singular purpose such as meeting with district managers or rating agencies or potential lenders. “Most of my days are spent on a variety of areas: reviewing financial results or an upcoming financial forecast, strategizing for a future financing or upcoming insurance renewal, or evaluating resource planning Request for Proposal (RFP) results,” Johnson says. 

The teams have a lot going on right now. Accounting just wrapped up the 2023 financials and year-end audit and are already in the early steps of developing the 2025 forecast. Treasury is preparing to raise significant capital in the upcoming decade.

The Insurance team is busy developing strategies to help Basin Electric manage its wildfire risk and liability coverage. Resource Planning & Rates is working through an RFP to add resources to our portfolio, and Procurement is navigating the cooperative through ongoing supply chain challenges and preparing for a future Enterprise Resource Planning environment.

Teamwork is one of Basin Electric’s core values and it doesn’t happen by accident. “With the lengthy list of responsibilities and projects going on at any given time I don’t think we could be effective without a focus on connecting with one another, helping one another define problems, and collaborating on solutions and workplans to accomplish departmental and personal goals,” Johnson says. “We try to be open and honest with one another and purposeful in our collaboration.”   

Johnson has enjoyed his brief time at Basin Electric. “I’m impressed with the quality of staff at Basin Electric and the productive engagement of the membership,” he says. “Basin Electric is a complex company and I have much to learn, but my knowledge is increasing daily thanks to the help of peers and staff.”

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