You never know where a Powerful Career might take you. Or for how long.

After graduating from Craig County High School in New Castle, Va., Sheila Switzer started working at a furniture company when an acquaintance told her that she might be a good fit for an opening at a local utility.

That’s how she started working with manual typewriters, entering ledgers in pencil and dialing rotary phones at Craig-Botetourt Electric Cooperative.

She ended up working with virtual meetings, scheduling energy audits and analyzing digital spreadsheets for member who never used a rotary dial. In March 2020, she celebrated 50 years with CBEC.

“We have always put the members first. We want to help them whenever we can,” says Switzer, who recently retired as member services manager at Craig-Botetourt. “I think it helps that we’re a small co-op where everybody knows everybody and we would all go the extra mile to help each other.”

Over time, she’s had a role in just about all aspects of the co-op office, from overseeing member services to stuffing envelopes. She says she has worked hard to keep up with the changing times in order to serve members in the best way possible.

“Our first billing machine manual. You plugged in the numbers. We did billing twice a month instead of once a month,” she says. “Then we worked up to a little computer where you changed the disc all the time. It had a little bit of memory and you wondered what you would ever do with all that spare memory. We’ve changed a lot, but you have to want to learn to keep on top of things.”

That’s what a Powerful Career is all about.