NEW CONCORD — State Sen. Brian Hill, who serves Ohio’s 20th Senate District, will resign from the legislature and accept a position with a utility with which he has been long associated. Hill will be the next general manager of Guernsey-Muskingum Electric Cooperative.
"I’m a little sad to be leaving government, but I’m looking forward to the [new position]," he said in a phone interview Wednesday afternoon. "This is one of three or four things that I’ve always thought I would want to do. I always said that if the opportunity came along, I would take it."
Hill is no stranger to the cooperative, having served on its board of directors since 1994. He will succeed Jerry Kackley, who served as general manager for six years and had served the cooperative in other capacities for 20 years prior to that.
Although his new position becomes effective March 11, Hill will continue to serve as senator until March 31. He said he wanted to give the Senate adequate time to appoint a replacement.
In a press release also issued on Wednesday, Guernsey-Muskingum’s board of directors chairman, Jay Gray, suggested Hill was the perfect choice to succeed Kackley, who is retiring. Gray cited Hill’s long tenure on the cooperative’s board, his knowledge of the legislative environment and the cooperative’s service area and "his innate insight to the rural community landscape."
"Brian’s commitment to service and operational excellence is unmatched." said Gray, as quoted in the release.
A native of Muskingum County, Hill had his start in public service as a commissioner for the county. He then went on to serve as a state representative for three terms until he was appointed to the senate seat left vacant when Troy Balderson was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
A graduate of West Muskingum High School, Hill earned both an associate’s degree and a bachelor of science degree from The Ohio State University. A farmer and cattle rancher, he also worked for ADM Alliance Nutrition, advising farmers in the region on livestock nutrition and production.
Hill and his wife, Tracie, have three children, Kaleigh, Cameron and Connor.
The decision to leave government was difficult, Hill said.
"It was a hard decision," he said. "But my kids are 20, 15 and 12 years old. I want to spend more time with my family, and [government] takes a toll on family life. This was a family decision."
He expressed appreciation for support of the citizens of both the 20th Senate District and the 97th House District.
Guernsey-Muskingum Electric Cooperative was founded in 1938. It serves about 17,000 member-consumers in Guernsey, Muskingum, Tuscarawas, Morgan, Noble, Harrison, Coshocton, Licking, and Perry counties with more than 2,800 miles of line. Its website is www.gmenergy.com.