Noble REMC wouldn’t be successful without our employees. To highlight the work that they do, we’re launching a new series – Lighting the Way – to place a spotlight on those who help the co-op thrive.
Growing up in Albion and graduating from Central Noble High School, Marla Ober is happy to have a position that allows her the challenge of her career in information technology, located in her hometown.
Ober, a nine-year veteran of the cooperative world, began her career as an IT consultant in Fort Wayne before finding the opportunity to become a systems administrator closer to home as a shared employee for both Noble REMC and LaGrange County REMC. She eventually transitioned to full time at Noble in 2014.
“I feel fortunate to be working in my hometown in this capacity,” Ober said. “I didn’t think I’d ever find an IT job close to home.”
What’s your favorite part of what you do day to day?
“I like the things that aren’t day to day. Sometimes, the bigger the challenge, the happier I am. It’s kind of strange. I like being able to figure things out.”
So when other employees peek sheepishly into her office, with a “Hey, Marla…”
“I’m really not threatened,” she said with a laugh. “I’m like, ‘OK!’”
What makes your position vital to the cooperative?
“Cybersecurity is the biggest piece, as well as making sure we get the right technology in the right place. We need more options, deeper in technology,” Ober said. “Security is the biggest thing in our forefront – being able to implement security without hampering what everybody does on a day-to-day basis.”
What do you do outside the co-op that brings you joy?
“I grew up on a farm, and that’s still very much a part of my life. I love animals: horses, goats, dogs, cats, chickens, you name it.”
She currently has three goats, two horses, one dog and too many cats to count, but she has her routine set every night when she heads home: “In the evenings, that’s when I do the cleanup work, bring them in, check on them, talk to them, give them cookies and things.”
Ober also loves to run, whether competitively or on the trails at Chain O’ Lakes State Park, and enjoys traveling out west, which she did this year with her daughter, Brittany, to Yellowstone National Park.
“I don’t know that I have a real, absolute favorite one, but one I watch a lot is Rain Man.”
“One that sticks with me is Tears for Fears, ‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World.’ It’s from back in the ’80s. It dates me because it was when I graduated from high school.”
Favorite local restaurant?
Albion Ale House or Harry Stuff Brewing Company