Rockingham County resident Eric Beck sees value in the member-driven nature of electric cooperatives, which is part of the reason he now seeks a seat on SVEC’s board of directors.
“I have found the idea of a member-owned utility to be fascinating and unusual compared to privately or municipally owned utilities,” he says. “Membership implies a joining together and mutual concern for other members. I hope to hold that perspective up in the board’s deliberations.”
Beck is owner of Beck Builders, a custom-building firm in Harrisonburg, and Green Hill Solar, which provides solar installation to homes and businesses throughout the Valley. He’s been involved in the area building industry since 2005.
Beck graduated from Goshen College in Indiana with a bachelor’s in social work, spending his first three years after college in the field of special education services, before entering the building industry.
“My education and training in social work, in combination with the amount of management and required knowledge in building projects, have required an understanding of how to collaborate with others and how to lead and educate others to make decisions in their own best interest,” he says.
Beck has served on Park View Mennonite Church’s Missions Commission and was a builder representative for the church’s capital project. He also has been a homeowners representative for Central Valley Habitat for Humanity.
The building industry can often be on the “leading edge” of understanding future demands and trends in the energy environment that electric utilities will need to serve, he says.
“Offering a perspective of member interests for setting affordable rates, the expanding environment of distributed solar, energy security, and the need of members in more rural areas to receive high-speed internet connectivity are all parts of what can fit within SVEC’s agenda,” Beck says.
He says as a director it’s important to support the continued delivery of consistent electricity for members and provide oversight in ways that best represent them, among other priorities.
“As a normal part of business, I have interacted with private individuals, public officials in multiple jurisdictions, three different electric utilities and operated under continuously changing building and electrical codes,” Beck says. “It’s a wide swath of contacts and relationships that are within a large part of all of SVEC territory.”
Watch the video below to learn more about Eric and why he is running for SVEC’s board of directors.