Josh Compton knows the wide-reaching impact technology is having on the Valley.

Leading Appalachian Electric Cooperative (AEC) as general manager and executive VP, Josh is focused on keeping innovation at the forefront to improve the lives of his cooperative’s members.

“We’re currently focusing on demand side management opportunities, but in the next five years, we’re looking ahead to member and community-supported battery programs and EV charging infrastructure buildouts. AEC’s goal is to always support our members and the communities we serve, especially when we see a new or existing technology will better their lives, provide them with lower-cost electricity, or empower them to be good stewards of the environment in which they live.”

While innovative technology is vital to the Valley’s future, Josh also knows that the most important thing is serving the community first.

“As GM, it’s my job to ensure our members are provided with safe, reliable, and affordable electricity. At the same time, we also need to take a forward-looking approach to new technology. Innovation needs to be balanced with costs and the financial impacts it has on members as well.”

When asked what advice he’d give to new managers, Josh shared that knowing your members and their needs is the most important step in leadership.

“Make sure your members and the communities you serve are in support of any innovative projects prior to deploying them. Also, weigh the costs and other circumstances behind every innovative decision. Just because it may work in several areas doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for your area. A concise, coordinated, and well-thought-out approach is key.”