Director of Smart Grid Technology Planning
National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRECA Member)
Quite simply, Josh Pepple is an inspiration. A veteran of the Illinois Air National Guard, he completed tours in Iraq and Afghanistan before being honorably discharged in 2008. He then began a career as a Groundman with a local electric cooperative and advanced to a Journeyman Lineman. In 2009, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. However, that didn’t stop Josh. He continued through his Journeyman training program while undergoing cancer treatments, including radiation and two stem cell transplants.
As a Journeyman Lineman, Josh recognized the challenges posed by the technical advances occurring in the electrical utility industry. He quickly realized he didn’t have the education needed and turned to Excelsior College to close that gap. “Excelsior is extremely veteran friendly and does a phenomenal job guiding you through the process and setting you up for success; I can’t speak highly enough of them” he said.
Josh earned his undergraduate degree, took a year off, and then dove right into the Master of Business Administration degree, graduating in November 2019. He said, “I have had a unique career path in that I started on the technical side before moving into consultant and management roles. My education has completely underwritten the successes I’ve had and continues to open the door for new opportunities.”
Josh noted that each of the MBA program courses he took have provided extensive value in each of his roles: “There was something in every course that I could take and apply to my job – you can’t say that about too many programs. There was never a course I just had to complete, each course I took gave me new insight and perspective that could be applied right away.”
His current position as Director of Smart Grid Technology Planning with National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative allows him to contribute to something near and dear to his heart: cooperatives. “I love that I am able to help our members by reconciling the technical side of where we need to go with the accompanying business case and cost justification for how to get there.”
“There was something in every EPCE course that I could take and apply to my job – you can’t say that about too many programs. My education has completely underwritten the successes I’ve had and continues to open the door for new opportunities.”