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Mayor Receives Award from WPPI

Wisconsin Public Power Inc. (WPPI) recently recognized New Holstein Mayor Vern Rolbiecki for her extraordinary contributions to its success as an industry leader and for her active participation in legislative efforts to benefit municipal electric utility customers.

WPPI, New Holstein's power supplier, presented Mayor Rolbiecki with the Distinguished Service Award at its annual meeting in Madison on December 12, 2001.

For more than a decade, Mayor Rolbiecki has been deeply involved in activities to build grassroots support for legislative and regulatory policies that would benefit municipal electric utility customers in New Holstein and across the state. Mayor Rolbiecki has been an articulate speaker and advocate of protecting customers interests in the electric deregulation debate. She has taken many trips to Washington D.C. to meet with congressional delegation on behalf of New Holstein, WPPI, and Wisconsin's municipal utilities. She also has demonstrated leadership in strengthening the political voice of WPPI as an advocate for not-for-profit, public power utilities.

To further the cause, she has written letters to legislators and regulators on behalf of the utilities regarding various topics and concerns. She has led a Customer's First! Coalition press conference, serving as a spokesperson for the state's locally owned and operated electric utilities and their customers. In additon, she has hosted several breakfast meetings for the chief executives of other WPPI-powered communities in conjunction with the annual League of Wisconsin Municipalities conference.

Locally, she is a strong supporter of New Holstein Utilities and its commitment to providing low-cost, reliable service with a friendly, personal touch. Along with participating in Public Power Week activities each year, she has presented Public Power Week resolutions to the City Council for approval and recognition. She also attends the majority of the utilities commission meetings just to keep informed about the issues that may affect New Holstein's local operation.

Equally dedicated to community organizations, she is a Chamber of Commerce representative for the city and has been a Kiwanis Club member since 1992 - have served as president. Mayor Rolbiecki was formerly the director of the New Holstein Public Library for 13 years and was the very first recipient of the Muriel Fuller Award presented to librarians for professional activities and service to the community.

"We are proud to present this award to Vern in recognition of her commitment and dedication to New Holstein Utilities, WPPI, and the other community-owned utilities in the state," said Roy Thilly, WPPI president and chief executive officer. "It's active, involved officials like Vern who help shape public policy and protect the interests of electric consumers statewide."