Hoosier Energy recently announced the addition of two Member Relations Specialists to the Energy Management Solutions department. One of those was an internal hire in Kyle Coulson, while the other was an external hire in Justin Thompson, who came to Hoosier Energy from Indiana Municipal Power Agency (IMPA). Prior to that, he worked as a Formulation Specialist and Custom Manufacturing Process Analyst for Draper Inc. Thompson recently spoke with GridLines about his new role at Hoosier Energy.
Q: Member Relations Specialist is a new job title at Hoosier Energy. How do you define the position?
A: The member relations specialist role to me is a vital part of the organization. This role not only serves as a key contact for our 18 member cooperatives, but it also allows a more personal connection to be built with the staff at those cooperatives. The member relations specialist role provides not only Hoosier Energy a constant open line of communication to the members’ staff, but also provides the member staff an open line of communication to Hoosier Energy.
Q: In your previous job, you worked with 61 different utilities. Now, you are directly responsible for nine cooperatives while working with the other nine as well. How’s that different?
A: With being directly responsible for nine cooperatives and the backup for the other nine, it allows me to better serve our members by having more time to focus on their requests and being readily available.
I’ve mainly been connecting the co-op staff and the Hoosier Energy staff. Requests so far range from communication, like drone footage or graphics, information on Hoosier’s REC (renewable energy credits) program and billing.
Q: What did you know about Hoosier Energy before taking this job and what have you learned since?
A: I knew that Hoosier Energy was a G&T provider for REMC’s in Indiana. Since my employment at Hoosier Energy, I have learned that Hoosier Energy is so much more than a G&T provider. Hoosier Energy not only offers a wide range of skilled professionals, to help support the 18 member cooperatives but Hoosier Energy has many programs, like the residential and C&I rebates, 71 different services from the member services catalog, and the vast amount of support for the member cooperatives. I am a firm believer that when our members are strong, Hoosier Energy is strong and vice versa.
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself — where you’re from, where you went to school and what about hobbies or interests outside of work?
A: I am from the little town of Lewisville, IN, right off US-40. I graduated high school at Tri Jr. Sr. High about three miles from my house and am a graduate of Purdue University.
I am married to Andrea, twelve years come September. I have two boys, Colson (10) and Kizer (4).
I own a few small businesses with my father, which keeps me busy when I am not working my full-time job at Hoosier Energy.
I am very involved in my community, and I have previously served as vice president and president of the Lewisville Town Council.
My favorite thing to do is go camping with my wife and kids. This is something we do quite often, and our record for camping is around 100 days throughout the year.