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Working Together to Build Stronger Communities

Posted by Jenna Ray on Wednesday, Jun. 19, 2013


Otter Tail Power Company is a longtime supporter of the University of Minnesota, Morris. A small, investor-owned utility company, Otter Tail delivers remarkable results in generation, transmission, and customer service for a company of its size.

In this respect, Otter Tail is like the Morris campus, according to Vice President of Customer Service Mark Helland. Both the power company and the college are small but nationally know entities, and both are vital to the community and greater region.

“The University of Minnesota, Morris, is one of our customers, and it’s an extraordinary liberal arts school,” says Helland. “It delivers positive student impact, economic impact, and community impact. By providing everything from athletics and entertainment to payroll benefits, UMM enhances the community in a big way.”

Helland recognizes that Otter Tail Company can only be as strong as the community it serves. Because those at Otter Tail know a vibrant college can strengthen Morris and the surrounding area, the company has supported the Morris campus by providing scholarships and collaborating on energy programs.

“We want UMM to be successful because it benefits us both directly and indirectly,” Helland says. “We want our employees and our neighbors to be involved in the community. A good liberal arts education enhances their ability to do that. It prepares them to be better citizens. Art, music, athletics, internships: all these things are critical to making the area a better place to live.”

Helland believes that, together, Otter Tail and the University of Minnesota, Morris can strengthen the Morris area, the west central Minnesota region, and even other parts of the country—in spite of their relatively small sizes.

“Size does not dictate quality. The agrarian areas that we serve are all interconnected, and the Morris campus ties people together in ways they may not even see.”