September 26, 2017

Otter Tail Power Company names Tollerson as vice president, energy supply, and Gerhardson as vice president, regulatory affairs

Tollerson and Gerhardson


Today Otter Tail Power Company President Tim Rogelstad announced two executive-level changes for an orderly succession related to the retirement of Jan Rudolf, vice president of energy supply. Both changes will be effective October 6.

Brad Tollerson will add power plants, renewable energy, supply engineering, and generation development to his other executive duties. With this addition, Tollerson will provide leadership for Hoot Lake Plant at Fergus Falls, Minnesota; Big Stone Plant near Milbank, South Dakota; and Coyote Station near Beulah, North Dakota. His new accountabilities also will include Otter Tail Power Company-owned wind energy generation, natural gas generation, and peaking units.

As vice president, energy supply, Tollerson will remain accountable for environmental services, resource planning, and power services, which includes wholesale energy market

“Our renewable energy and fossil fuel plants provide an essential service to our customers,” said Rogelstad. “Brad’s experience with environmental services and resource planning, his understanding of energy markets and customer needs, and his engineering background make him well suited for this additional assignment. I’m confident in his ability to grasp plant functions quickly and lead those teams.”

Tollerson earned his bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering and his master’s degree in business administration from North Dakota State University. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in Minnesota and a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He began his career with Otter Tail Power Company in 1997 as an electrical engineer in system operations and grew with the company as senior engineer in business development, principal coordinator and then manager in power services, and director of power services and resource planning prior to accepting a role as vice president, planning and strategy in 2014.

Outside of work Tollerson is a member of the PioneerCare Foundation board of directors in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. He also enjoys outdoor activities, watching his children’s athletic events, and spending time with his family. He is a native of Fergus Falls, where he lives with his wife Kari and their three sons.       

Bruce Gerhardson will serve as vice president, regulatory affairs. In this role, he is accountable for market planning and strategic planning in addition to the areas for which he was accountable in his former role as director, regulatory services and compliance. Those areas include providing leadership, setting strategy, and managing advocacy for all aspects of state regulatory affairs. He also is accountable for state and federal compliance activities.

“Bruce has great vision and is a strategic thinker,” said Rogelstad. “His experience in the regulatory arena will be helpful in guiding our market and strategic planning processes, which are fundamentally tied to regulation at our company. I look forward to working with him in this expanded role.”

Gerhardson is an attorney and has more than 20 years of legal experience, including serving Otter Tail Power Company as associate general counsel since 2000. He added managerial responsibilities over regulatory services and compliance in 2009. Before joining Otter Tail Power Company, Gerhardson was a partner in the Svingen, Athens, and Russell law firm in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, from 1995 to 2000. While a law student, he clerked at Pemberton Law from 1994 to 1995. Gerhardson earned an associate of arts degree from MState-Fergus Falls and his bachelor’s degree from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. He earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Minnesota Law School in Minneapolis. Gerhardson is licensed to practice law in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. He has served as an officer on the Minnesota State Bar Association Public Utilities Law Council.

Outside of work Gerhardson enjoys family and outdoor activities. He is a native of Fergus Falls where he lives with his wife Stefanie and their three children on a farm that has been in the Gerhardson family for 147 years.