Get to Know MMUA

The Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association (MMUA) is a nonprofit corporation formed in 1931. We serve hometown communities all over the upper Midwest, advocating for their needs, strengthening their operations, and empowering their leaders so that ratepayers receive reliable, affordable, and sustainable utility services.

Since the 1990s, MMUA has delivered an ever-growing menu of critical programs for utilities, including -- among others -- government relations, job training and safety management programs, lineworker apprenticeship, technical schools and workshops delivered at our innovative training center, and leadership development. Our strategic planning services, publications, and educational events are available to utility professionals well beyond Minnesota.

MMUA's vision

To be a nationally recognized leader in advocacy, bringing value to municipal utilities, and enhancing their position in the industry.

MMUA's mission

To unify, support, and serve as a common voice for municipal utilities.

MMUA's official documents for 2024

MMUA's values

  • People:  We practice respect, demonstrate leadership, and encourage growth through education and training.
  • Advocacy: We aim to serve as an articulate and powerful voice on the issues.
  • Safety: We strive to be safety-driven at all times, and we work to instill a safety culture in all operations.
  • Teamwork: We believe that in working together, we accomplish what would be impossible alone.
  • Communication: We listen carefully, and we speak respectfully and truthfully.
  • Creativity: We find new solutions to meet new challenges.
  • Dedication: We do whatever it takes to help our members get the job done.
  • Integrity: We are honest, trustworthy, reliable, and fiscally responsible.
  • Environment: We support the efficient use of resources and sustainable energy

Our History

Over more than nine decades, MMUA has worked to promote the interests of municipal utilities and help leaders address the issues that arise in delivering exemplary services to ratepayers. Here are a few of the milestones in MMUA’s history.


MMUA is founded as a volunteer organization by electric municipals. The focus is primarily on legislative affairs and advocacy.
St. Clair BeemanMMUA hires its first staff member, a contracted government 
relations professional named St. Clair Beeman.
MMUA hires its first full-time staff member, executive director Dick Kirkham.
MMUA extends its services beyond government relations for the first time, introducing a job training and safety program to increase the skills of utility field staff. This program is still operating today.
Jack KegelJack Kegel takes the helm as the new executive director. Over the next 28 years, MMUA will see tremendous growth in the services it provides and the strengthening of the municipal model throughout Minnesota.

MMUA expands to welcome water utilities as members. 

The same year, MMUA creates a drug and alcohol testing consortium to help members meet federal Department of Transportation (now Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) drug and alcohol testing requirements.

Mike WillettsMMUA’s safety services program kicks off with the addition of founding director Mike Willetts to the staff team. Today MMUA’s safety team of nearly two dozen professionals delivers safety services in three states and consults all over the US.
MMUA adds mutual aid services. Since that time, our network of professionals has responded to countless outages and natural disasters within Minnesota and other states, coordinating services and reducing downtime significantly.
MMUA’s innovative training center in Marshall, Minnesota opens its doors. Each year since, MMUA has offered a wide catalog of technical and operational training opportunities for utility professionals. We also host the annual lineworkers rodeo for Minnesota.
MMUA rolls out its gas circuit rider program. This offering provides natural gas utilities with the information and expertise required to keep their systems safe, compliant, and optimized.

In a partnership with the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust (LMCIT), MMUA begins offering basic safety services to smaller cities formed as regional safety groups.

That same year, MMUA and the LMCIT introduce a program aimed at keeping utility staff, the facility, and the community safer in each town that generates its own power. These customized preventative maintenance guidelines and operating procedures also help extend the life of the generators, which are important community assets. 

MMUA establishes its apprentice lineworker training program. The program is designed to bolster the ranks of municipal lineworkers with those most likely to make a long-term commitment to their local utility.
All of MMUA’s programs grow in size and scope, reaching beyond Minnesota to assist utilities in neighboring states. At the same time, the MMUA government relations team is hard at work in St. Paul winning victories that help municipal utilities deliver reliable, affordable, and sustainable services to their ratepayers.
Karleen KosKarleen Kos joins MMUA as its third staff leader, conducting the first comprehensive member survey in the association’s history and working with the Board of Directors to create a visionary strategic plan.
MMUA’s flagship safety services program is redesigned to offer tiers of service and dozens of options for content customization.
MMUA begins offering consulting services for utilities on strategic and operational planning. The Association also begins offering town hall meetings throughout Minnesota to connect with commissioners and council members on legislative issues.

Also launched in 2023, the Diesel Gas Operator Training (DGOT) program was introduced to expand educational and oversight opportunities for utilities who have generation facilities.