Outgoing Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative General Manager Werner Buehler received the Oregon Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s highest honor at its 74th annual meeting in Salem recently.
Buehler received the association’s Distinguished Service Award, according to a press release.
“This is an honor we bestow on the elite of the elite, and Werner is indeed one of the groundbreakers of our industry,” ORECA Executive Director Ted Case said. “Werner is just a tremendous person with a great heart, and with over four decades in the business, I have called on his expertise many times over the years. He’s got so much knowledge in his head, and I know I’ve just got to extract every little bit that I can before he retires.”
Speaking to a standing ovation, Buehler thanked his wife, Nancy, the OTEC Board of Directors and his colleagues for the honor and reflected on his career.
“Forty-six years is a long time, and nobody who makes this journey does it by themselves,” Buehler said. “I feel so honored and appreciative of all of those who have taught me, supported me and brought me to this point.”
“This is a tough one for me,” said Case. “I will miss him starting on day one. It is definitely the end of an era.”
Buehler is set to retire in early 2017.