Samantha’s Story

Growing up on a farm in Southwest Ohio, Samantha Sawmiller was taught the values of conservation and community service. However, it was during her time serving in Iraq with the Marines in 2009 that she realized how much she wanted to return home to Ohio and work for the communities she loved.

Samantha, like many other veterans, wanted to carry on serving her country after witnessing firsthand the difficulties posed by its reliance on foreign oil. She discovered that creating renewable power projects in the country's heartland was one method to achieve this goal.

Samantha began working for Open Road Renewables, a firm that specializes in utility-scale solar energy projects, in 2019 as a development manager.

In this role, she finds herself behind the wheel of her pick-up driving hundreds of miles across her state to meet a diverse set of stakeholders. She builds relationships with landowners, business and political leaders, union members, fire departments, and community activists to ensure everyone has accurate information and a shared understanding of the benefits these projects provide to rural communities.

Samantha’s story and continued service to her community are an example of how the skills our military servicemembers learn are directly transferable to careers in renewable energy.

Fuel for Thought