The biggest decision for Kevin Dreibelbis, communications and marketing manager at Noble REMC, during his 30-year electric cooperative career came near the beginning. It hinged on the age-old question so many small-town natives ask themselves after they’ve moved away for a bit: Can a person really “go home again”?
“I didn’t think anything would ever bring me back to Albion, except the REMC. And it just so happened, that’s what brought me back.”
Dreibelbis had a 14-week post-graduate summer internship at the electric cooperative. A telecommunications graduate from Ball State University, he knew even in college he didn’t want to work in traditional media. A friend and former teacher suggested he talk to the communication person at Noble REMC for some direction.
Over Christmas break his senior year at Ball State, he met with John English, the communication person at Noble REMC. English asked Dreibelbis to come back in the summer as the co-op’s first intern. “I didn’t need the credit, but it gave me a little non-classroom experience and it was a great foot in the door.”
While the focus was on communications, Dreibelbis received a cooperative education. He dabbled in every department. When it was over, he started looking at career opportunities with electric cooperatives. In November 1992, he was hired as the manager of member services at Miami-Cass REMC.
While it had a learning curve, Dreibelbis received an even more well-rounded knowledge of the many moving parts inside consumer-owned electric utilities.
In the summer of 1995, Noble REMC was expanding its communication department, adding a specialist to do the day-to-day tasks such as the newsletter, advertising, photography, bill inserts, and more.
As the years progressed, Dreibelbis moved up at Noble and worked a short time for both Noble and neighboring LaGrange County REMC during a time when they beneficially shared services. All along the way, the REMC gave him a variety of opportunities to grow as a communicator, a leader and a person, and to engage in the community he grew up in and came home to.
“Sometimes when you’re younger, you think that you have to move away or do bigger and better,” said Dreibelbis. “Bigger and better doesn’t always mean moving away. Those opportunities may be right where you are. This was the move I needed to make, and it was perfect for me.”