Lighting the Way: Rick is a rock on the board

Posted on Mar 08 2023 in Noble REMC

When Rick Robertson began his tenure on the Noble REMC Board of Directors in 1996, a gallon of gas cost $1.23, the Macarena took over the radio and Bill Clinton was elected to a second term as president.

A lot has changed since then.

After more than a quarter century on the board, Robertson has earned his place as chairman of the board through his dedication to continued learning and generosity in giving back to the community. But, let’s dig a little deeper into what makes this leader of the co-op tick:

Why did you originally run for the board of directors? 

“Harold Huelsenbeck, a former board member and one of my customers, asked me to be on the nominating committee (where you had to go out and find somebody to run against Harold). I attempted to do that two different election years for him. When Harold passed away, I was asked to fill the rest of his term. I wanted to be able to give back to my community.”

Did you know anything about the electric industry when you started? 

“I knew about electricity as far as wiring houses and voltage. But as far as knowing when the switch turned on — I knew there was a generation plant, but I didn’t know exactly how it got from coal to turning the lights on in my house.” 

What’s your favorite part about serving our membership? 

“Getting to know the people — not only our members, but the people throughout the state that I’ve had the opportunity to meet.”

what’s your career outside of the co-op? 

“For 36 years, I worked in agricultural sales and management. Then in 2019, I decided to retire. Now, I’m semi-retired and drive a special needs school bus for East Noble School Corporation.”

what made you want to  work as a bus driver? 

“I wanted to work with kids. I started out just wanting to do the extracurricular, maybe be a substitute driver, and was still looking for a full-time position. The special needs position came up, and I didn’t know if I could do it. But from the first day, I’ve liked it. I’ve got a lot of one-on-one time with these kids. 

“You could have kids you’ve hauled for four years, and they haven’t said a word. Then there are kids you haul for a couple of years, and finally, they start opening up a little bit.”

did you grow up in the area?

“I’m originally from southwest Indiana. I grew up in a little town called Linton in Greene County. I moved up here in

1983 to accept a position with Crop Production Services. 

“I knew about this part of the state because my uncle and aunt owned a cottage on a lake close to here, and we would come up here, at least one big weekend and maybe a week through the year. I just love this part of the state.” 

What are you most proud of in your life? 

“My children, and what they’ve become.”

What movie could you watch on repeat? 

“’Die Hard.’ I’ve liked it since the first time I saw it. I can be flipping through channels and it’ll be halfway, and I’ll watch the rest of it. There can be 10 minutes left, and I’ll watch the last 10 minutes.”

Do you have a favorite book or author?  

“‛A Season on the Brink.’ Even though I’m a Purdue University graduate, a total Purdue fan, and I hated Bobby Knight when he was at Indiana University, it’s a great book about him and the struggles he had.”

What kind of music do you like to listen to? 

“Meatloaf is one of my favorites, but my favorite song is probably ‘Lady’ by Little River Band.”