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Dakota Resource Council director retires: Trechock took organization to next level

Press Photo by April Baumgarten After 18 years with the Dakota Resource Council, director Mark Trechock cleans out his files Thursday at his Dickinson office in preparation for his retirement. Trechock's last day is Tuesday.

Dakota Resource Council Director Mark Trechock has spent 18 years helping people find solutions to community problems, particularly in the energy and agricultural industry. While he will miss it, he said it's time close that door of his life and open a different one.

"I enjoy my work, but it is time to let someone else do it," he said.

Trechock started as the DRC director in December 1993. He decided he would retire when he turned 65, which he did in January.

Trechock said he enjoyed working with people who wanted to solve problems.

"The level of energy and enthusiasm is really strong, and they really want to get something done," he said. "The enthusiasm and concern and willingness to reach out and work with their neighbors is (sic) really infectious."

Trechock cares about the people in North Dakota and has taken the DRC to the next level, said Jeri Lynn Bakken, Western Organization of Resource Councils regional organizer in Lemmon, S.D. The DRC is a branch of WORC.

"He has been an avenue for thousands of producers across the state -- producers and consumers and people who care about the place we live -- to have a voice and making the changes possible for North Dakota," she said. "He has empowered these people to do even more in their lives than just deal with the issue at hand but participate in all parts in their community."

Trechock is also very honest, said Don Morrison, Bismarck, who will take Trechock's place as the DRC director. Morrison was the executive director, previously the North Dakota Progressive Coalition.

"He's really good on making sure things are based on reality," he said. "That's really important to try to help things work out for people."

Trechock's shoes will be hard to fill, Morrison said, but Trechock has stayed on since Morrison took the job Feb. 1. Morrison said this shows his dedication to the DRC's success.

The DRC has accomplished a lot, Trechock said, but he won't take all the credit.

"If we don't have members that bring us the issues and are willing to work on them, we are not going to be effective," he said. "That's what makes the organization strong."

Though Trechock is done, work there will continue.

"It's difficult to walk away in some ways because we are just starting to really feel the impact of oil exploration," he said. "People here desperately need to work together to find ways to deal with the impacts. It's a good idea to organize now to address some of these things that come up, because there will be a lot of problems."