Meet the new CEO

Posted on Mar 26 2019 in Kankakee Valley REMC
KVREMC CEO Scott Sears

Early this year, the Kankakee Valley REMC board of directors named Scott Sears CEO of the REMC. He is the sixth CEO/general manager in its 80 years. Though Scott grew up in Hobart and has been a KV REMC employee for 21 years, here’s a Q&A so you can learn more about him and the vision he has for your cooperative.

Scott and his wife of 23 years, Rhonda, have three sons — Ryan, Matthew, and Nicholas.

What hobbies do you enjoy? 

During my early adult years, I developed a love for the art of woodworking. I take satisfaction in the entire process from harvesting lumber, taking it to a sawmill, planing and cutting the boards, to staining and finishing. As an engineer, the process of designing and putting together a custom wooded piece just seemed natural to me.

As my family grew, my hobbies transitioned to more family-oriented activities. We began camping, canoeing, biking, hiking, and fishing at some of the great state and national parks to help the kids develop an appreciation of nature.

Most recently, I have developed an enjoyment for running. I enjoy the solitude to both clear my mind of the day’s events, but also to allow me time free of distractions. The healthy benefits of exercise have been a welcome plus as well.

How do you see KV REMC changing?

For years there has been an emphasis on energy efficiencies through lighting and appliances. This reduction in member energy consumption has helped offset the increase in overall consumption attributed to member growth.

However, I see the future having a push toward what’s called “Beneficial Electrification”. Beneficial electrification is a term for replacing direct fossil fuels such as natural gas, propane, and gasoline with electricity in a way that reduces overall emissions and energy costs. The development of renewable sources of electrical generation, such as solar and wind, could someday be used to replace these carbon emitting sources. If this happens, our members will require an electric utility that both sells and purchases energy from its members and can provide the services and expertise.

When we are talking about what a “great year 2019 has been,” what do you hope that success will be? 

That we have positioned ourself to be an advocate for our members. We must provide reliable products and services at affordable prices and look to the future.

For example, we are developing a program to support members should they want to purchase an electric vehicle. Initial research has shown a substantial savings can be achieved by an EV owner who charges his or her vehicle on our existing residential time-of-use rate compared to operating that vehicle on gasoline alone.

What is your favorite part about working for a co-op? 

I have always enjoyed the personal relationship with the members I have met. We are a small company, and when I see a “Thank you” letter from a member or hear about the member who brought coffee out to the crew working to restore power after a storm, I know what we are doing makes a difference in the lives of our members. Everybody wants a sense of purpose. Working at KV REMC with its great members and employees gives me a sense of purpose.