ALBEMARLE — The largest electric power provider in North Carolina now has a new district manager in charge of supervising its operations in Stanly County.
Joe Crapster is now a week into his new role as Duke Energy’s government and community relations manager for Stanly, Cabarrus, Davidson, Davie, Iredell, and Rowan Counties. The Salisbury native is taking over for Angie Bittle, who served in an interim role, and for the previous district manager Randy Welch.
“I’m excited about the new opportunity that was just announced earlier last week,” Crapster told SCJ on July 31. “I’m a long-term Duke Power/Duke Energy employee. It all goes back to when I was at Catawba College in the mid-to-late 1980s. But I’m really excited about it, and it’s kind of all around where I started.”
Crapster began his career with Duke Power, as it was formerly known, in 1984 as a summer student while attending college. He then joined the company full-time in 1987 as a retail assistant in the marketing department and has served in a variety of roles leading up to his previous position as Duke Energy’s manager of shareholder communications on the company’s Investor Relations team.
He stated that he is excited to serve the local area and that he feels that he has come “full circle” with Stanly County, recalling his early days on the job where he sold load control power manager devices throughout the county and surrounding areas.
“Going into the coming weeks and months ahead, my job is that I want to learn the faces,” Crapster said. “I enjoy working with people, and I want to get involved with the community. I want to know — from a community relations perspective — the nonprofits in Stanly County. We also have a line workers program through Stanly Community College. I think it’s important for me to get involved with the local government and town managers.”
He added that he feels strongly about building personal relationships with both his clients and customers because those bonds can add a layer of stability in the instance of an emergency regarding electric power or natural gas services.
“I want to represent Duke Energy. I want to know the local managers and the local politicians because we don’t know when the next significant event will come up. I want to be the face of Duke Energy throughout the county.”
Crapster also has a full resume of experience as president and zone chairman of the Lion’s Club, as well as a chairman stint with the Chamber of Commerce Executive Sales Team. In the higher education field, he earned a Bachelor’s degree in business administration from Catawba College and later received a Master’s degree in business administration from Queens University.
While Duke Energy provides electricity and natural gas to the local areas, it also holds many connections and services with Lake Tillery.
Duke Energy Progress — a subsidiary of Duke Energy — owns and operates the Yadkin-Pee Dee Hydro Project, which includes the Tillery Hydroelectric Development located in Stanly and Montgomery counties (around four miles west of Mount Gilead).
Along with the Blewett Falls Hydroelectric Development, the two projects have operated for over 80 years with an emphasis on providing a renewable electrical generation source for customers in the Duke Energy service territory.