May 25, 2012. Brad Shields, of Boone, has been promoted to Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation. His responsibilities also include serving in this capacity for the cooperative’s two subsidiaries: Blue Ridge Energies, LLC, propane, heating fuels and appliance provider and RidgeLink, LLC, a business-to-business fiber network leasing subsidiary. He will also serve as chief operating officer of RidgeLink.
Shields has more than 25 years of experience in computer systems, network infrastructure, information security, software applications and management. He joined Blue Ridge Electric in 1997, serving as director of information technology since that time. Under his leadership, the cooperative has modernized and kept pace with technology advancements in order to provide the best customer service to its members. His responsibilities have reached from improving the way we read meters so that members have timelier, relevant information to help them understand their electricity usage to ensuring all areas the cooperative are integrated to best serve the member with telephone, online and personal service options.
In his new role, Shields, who will manage the Information Technology group, will have even greater oversight for helping Blue Ridge strengthen its use of technology to operate efficiently and achieve the goal of providing the best member service. This includes helping members keep their electric bills low with better usage information as well as options technology is now making possible such as the cooperative’s FlexPay, a “pay as you use” plan.
Shields has also been responsible for developing Blue Ridge Electric’s fiber optic system originally installed to better operate the cooperative’s automated electric system. His new responsibilities include a broader role for overseeing RidgeLink, which leases the cooperative’s excess fiber capacity to businesses seeking to connect or expand broadband and wireless communications in the cooperative’s service area. RidgeLink revenue is benefitting members by holding down operational costs.
Shields will report to Chief Executive Officer Doug Johnson.
Shields graduated from NC State University with a double major in Business Management and Economics. He and his family live in Watauga County.
Blue Ridge Electric serves some 74,000 members in northwest North Carolina. Its propane and heating fuels subsidiary, Blue Ridge Energies operates showrooms and provides service from each Blue Ridge Electric district office in Lenoir, Boone, West Jefferson and Sparta. Learn more at www.BlueRidgeEMC.com or at www.facebook.com/blueridgeemc.