Lighting the way: Bennett gives back and guides the co-op

Posted on Jun 11 2023 in Noble REMC
George Bennett

Director George Bennett found his way to Albion through love and stayed for his decades-long career in banking. 

In the meantime, he became a pillar of the community through his time serving on local boards, such as the Albion Rotary Club and Noble County Council, as well as volunteering through Junior Achievement and other organizations.

His run for the Noble REMC Board of Directors five years ago seemed an organic pairing. Learn why:

Why did you want to run for the board of directors? 

“I’ve lived here 44 years. Before my time on the board, I had always been a customer of the REMC, and then I was a banker to the REMC when I worked at the bank in Albion. 

“I had the opportunity to get acquainted with the organization. I realized, number one, what a good organization it is — the quality of the people that are there and also the quality of the service that’s delivered. 

“When my predecessor decided not to seek reelection, I was asked if I’d consider running as a candidate. I thought about it, I think, only briefly before deciding. And during the time I’ve been on the board, which has been almost five years, that’s been

reinforced as I’ve learned more about the industry and about our own co-op.”

What’s been your favorite part of being a director? 

“One of them has been the educational opportunities. You get to meet directors from other co-ops, and you get exposed to presenters from all around the country. 

“Also, near the top of the fun parts of the job has been when I signed up to run for reelection two years ago. You have to take your petition around to get signatures and that was a lot of fun — talking to people and hearing what they had to say about the REMC. Normally, I wouldn’t get that chance to talk to them.

“And, I suppose, the third thing I’d add is some of the overlap that’s occurred with my other job. I’m a county council member and one of my assignments is to work on the planning commission. We’ve been right in the thick of developing a solar ordinance and when it comes to renewable energy and the way it overlaps and augments some of my experiences with Noble REMC, it just matches up beautifully. That’s really been rewarding.”

What are you most proud of in your life? 

“I think I could pretty conclusively say that what I’m most proud of in my life is my family, and that certainly includes my extended family. I’d also say it includes my family heritage.” 

What’s your favorite music? 

“If you want to know a favorite song, I think anybody that knows me would pick the hymn, ‘It Is Well With My Soul.’ I would say that as far as a life’s journey, that hymn probably resonates and indicates the most of what my life experience has been about.”

Do you have a favorite local restaurant? what do you usually order there? 

“I’m going to throw kudos to my good friend Tom Janes from the county council, and we’ll go with Charger House. Of course, we get fish there.”

Why is serving your community important to you? 

“I think that represents one of the more powerful things of what I think our society and culture is all about, and should be all about, and that is the willingness to volunteer your time and to volunteer the talents that you have, or maybe even only sort of have. But everybody’s got their different gifts and as you can find your place to give some of that back, that’s important.”