Growing Home

Longtime electric co-op member joins industry to support Midwest business growth, including in hometown

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Rachel Huser is an avid hiker and has enjoyed hiking throughout the Midwest, including Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois.

The newest member of Wabash Valley Power’s economic development team already is familiar with the electric co-op world. After all, growing up she was a member of the first electric distribution cooperative in Indiana! The native Hoosier who grew up a member of Boone REMC has worked in local and state economic development. She is bringing that knowledge and expertise to WVPA’s member electric cooperatives (including Boone REMC!) serving and attracting businesses on their lines. Learn more about Rachel Huser, our economic development manager, in the Q-and-A below.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in the western rural area of Boone County, Ind., which is served by Boone REMC.

Do you have any memories of the REMC growing up?

I participated in a United Way volunteer program called Youth as Resources where we were able to use Boone REMC’s conference room. I also participated in several group projects where we were awarded different grants from Boone REMC’s Operation Round Up program for youth-led initiatives involving environmental improvements, along with community engagement and mentorship at Western Boone Jr. Sr. High School.

Rachel Huser participated in several group projects growing up that received grant funding from Boone REMC’s Operation Round Up program.

Where did you go to college?

I attended college at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Ind., for my bachelor’s degree in business administration. I am currently pursuing my master’s of business administration, with a concentration in supply chain logistics, at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business at IUPUI.

How did you get into economic development?

Growing up in the close-knit community of Boone County, I was involved in many different nonprofit and volunteer activities primarily focusing on community development. After a few years living and working in Chicago after college, I realized how much I missed the community interactions I had growing up and began searching for a career that would allow me to give back to the community.

At that same time, an economic development manager position opened at the Boone County Economic Development Corp., my hometown local economic development organization. I applied and was hired to spearhead entrepreneurial programs and manage economic development attraction and expansion projects. I have been hooked ever since, and now have gained experience serving at the local, state and now utility level.

Rachel Huser, center, graduated with her bachelor’s in business administration from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Ind.

What is your favorite aspect about economic development?

My favorite thing about economic development is the ability to engage with all the different community stakeholders as we embark on a common goal, together, to make our community a better place to live, work and enjoy experiencing every single day.

What most excites you about working for an electric cooperative?

I am most excited to work with the members of WVPA as they pursue economic development opportunities in the communities they serve. The opportunity to support people who are changing and evolving with their community is so impactful, and I am greatly looking forward to being a resource for them.

What are some of your interests/hobbies?

I am an avid outdoors woman, and I love to hike different state parks and enjoy the forests of southern Indiana. When I am not studying for school, you can often catch me practicing yoga, running around with my sister and nieces, or watching sitcoms with my cats.