MINOT—The Minot Chamber/EDC Military Affairs Committee (MAC) will have a new chairman at the beginning of the new year.
Randy Hauck has chaired the MAC since 2016, but it recently came out that he will be assuming the position of Chairman of the Minot Chamber/EDC in 2022. Hauck explained, “I just didn’t think it was the best idea to have me be chair of the Chamber and chair of one of the most important committees.”
Tom Rafferty will be taking over Hauck’s position of chairman of the MAC. Hauck and Rafferty both have a vested interest in the Minot Air Force Base -- both work for Verendrye Electric Cooperative. “We (Verendrye) serve the entire base and over 1/3 of the missile fields,” continued Hauck.
Hauck’s tenure with Verendrye began 37 years ago. Working his way through the Verendrye system, he now finds himself as General Manager of Verendrye, a position he has held for 6 years. During a majority of that time, Hauck has been a member of the MAC. This committee membership has allowed him the opportunity to serve as an Honorary Commander, which is essentially a civilian connected to one of the commanders on the Minot AFB.
"The base is such a big part of Minot, and it’s important to foster the relationship between the base and community.” Randy Hauck, outgoing MAC chairman
“The Honorary Commander program is a way for Chamber members to get to really learn about the Minot AFB. The base is such a big part of Minot, and it’s important to foster the relationship between the base and community,” said Hauck.
The MAC has about 50 members from the Chamber and about the same number of members from the 5th Bomb Wing, the 91st Missile Wing, and the various National Guard units stationed in Minot. Hauck explained, “In a normal year, we rotate the meetings between a location in Minot and a location either on base, or at the National Guard Armory. The topics of the meeting are decided by the host. We learn about what is going on in the military, they (the military representatives) learn about what is new and interesting in the community.”
Of course, all of those protocols changed in 2020, as the MAC had to continue the monthly meetings via Zoom. “It wasn’t quite the same. Part of the effectiveness of the MAC was that you would meet people face to face. Every month you would meet someone new, and that is really important because of the change of personnel at the base,” according to Hauck.
“There are a lot of auxiliary events that are sponsored by MAC."Hauck
But the monthly meetings are only part of the mission of the MAC. “There are a lot of auxiliary events that are sponsored by MAC,” stated Hauck. “We start with the annual Sportsman’s Feed, and then we raise money for travel and promotion through The Prairie Warrior Auction, in the summer we do the Family Day at Roosevelt Park Zoo, and we just recently sponsored the International Military Ball.”
For Hauck, he says he knows that the MAC will be in good hands with Tom Rafferty. “He has been involved with the MAC for quite some time. I know he has the same goals that I have.” And those goals? “I want to see participation in the MAC meetings return to what it was before COVID. I also want to see successful events like the Prairie Warrior Auction get back to where they were.”
Hauck says he has enjoyed 6 years on the MAC. He recalled a fond memory from his Honorary Commander activities when he took a group of commanders on an ice fishing trip to Buffalo Lodge Lake. “I don’t think they believed we were going ice fishing.... Gravel roads, snow, and then finally driving onto the lake.” Hauck laughed, “Their impression was that maybe they were being kidnapped!”
Even though his MAC Chairmanship will end on January 1, 2022, Hauck says he will still remain active as a member and “help out where I can.”