Fredericksburg, Va. — Matt Fauver spent more than a decade suiting up in lineman gear, upgrading electrical equipment in the field and restoring outages after storms rolled through. He now uses that experience behind the scenes, parsing data and using analytics to prevent outages before they can occur.

Fauver’s experience at Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) and his unique career transition led to his selection as a ‘Co-op Rising Star.’

At the beginning of September, Rural Electric (RE) Magazine, the flagship magazine of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), announced its 2023 class of “Co-op Rising Stars.”

Out of the 170 nominations from across the nation, Fauver was recognized as one of the final 20 Rising Stars.

Fauver started at REC as an apprentice lineman in Aug. 2012 and worked his way through the cooperative’s lineman program in its Front Royal office. But at the beginning of 2023, Fauver transitioned to BrilliT, REC’s wholly-owned IT services subsidiary, as an Engineering & Operations Data Analyst.

“That work ethic from working storms to restore power and all the strength it takes to be a lineman to our data analytics team brings a perspective like no other employee,” said Peter Muhoro, Chief Strategy, Technology and Information Officer. “His skills and capabilities will not only be recognized for years to come but will positively impact REC and its member-owners.”

Fauver’s unique work experience has been critical to his new role.

“Having someone who can communicate why data is important to linemen, designers and foresters has been incredibly beneficial for REC and its members,” Fauver said.

Putting his findings into action, Fauver co-developed an app that tracks tree-related outages, which REC’s Vegetation Management team enthusiastically endorsed and adopted. The app tells the team the exact location of where a tree falls, helping them to identify a tree that may have been dead for some time so they can remove the tree before it causes an outage.

Earning the Rising Star designation highlights Fauver’s irreplaceable skills, knowledge and experience that will help ensure REC continues to be in a position to proactively serve its member-owners.

REC provides electric service to over 176,000 connections in parts of 22 Virginia counties. With its general office in Fredericksburg, Va., the Cooperative operates and maintains more than 18,000 miles of power lines through its service area, which ranges from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay. For more information about REC, please visit Follow REC on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.