Invenergy Blog: November 30, 2020
Invenergy Veterans Spotlight: Dan Misch, Senior Manager, Wind Asset Management
As we celebrate National Veterans and Military Families Month this November, Invenergy offers our sincere appreciation to our veterans for their service to the country and for the expertise and dedication they bring to our company and the clean energy field.
Veterans are uniquely positioned to excel at Invenergy thanks to the skills acquired during their service. Approximately 10 percent of Invenergy employees are military veterans, spanning from the staff at our Chicago headquarters to the technicians and plant managers working at our energy centers across the country. We are grateful to work alongside our veterans to build a more sustainable world and proud to highlight their stories throughout November.
Today’s featured vet is Dan Misch, a Senior Manager in Wind Asset Management based in our Chicago headquarters.
How long have you worked at Invenergy and what is your current role?
I have been with Invenergy for ten months. As a Senior Manager in Wind Asset Management, I support the contractual, regulatory, legal, and commercial aspects of build-transfer projects that are under construction. I am primarily working on projects in Missouri, Michigan, and Iowa.
Please share some details about your military service.
I served in the US Navy as a nuclear engineer and Lieutenant on a nuclear ballistic missile submarine near Seattle, Washington from 2007 to 2012. During that time – and while at sea during three nuclear deterrent patrols and a reactor refueling overhaul – I qualified as a tactical watch officer and senior reactor operator in charge of the ship’s navigation, engineering, and strategic mission.
Was the energy industry your first job after the military? If not, what drove you to the energy industry?
My first job after the military was with the US Department of Energy at Argonne National Laboratory outside of Chicago, Illinois. I was a Federal Project Director working on major investments in infrastructure and scientific programs across the national laboratory complex.
The more I learned about energy, the more I become passionate about the industry. There is definitely overlap between energy issues and national security matters. I believe that the clean energy transition will ultimately strengthen our future national security and society by diversifying our energy sources and mitigating the worst effects of climate change. My career in energy has given me a sense of purpose and belonging after the military.
How did you get your start at Invenergy specifically?
Invenergy is the Founding Sponsor of the Veterans Advanced Energy Project, a nonprofit program that I founded in 2016 to help educate veterans and military spouses on the importance of clean energy to our national security. I was fortunate to meet a number of Invenergy employees through this partnership. Invenergy’s reputation for innovation and entrepreneurship and the quality of its people put it at the top of my list when the time came to transition from government service to private industry.
How did your military experience prepare you for your job now?
Critical thinking and attention to detail are key when operating a nuclear reactor in an underwater environment. Practicing those skills has proven useful when working on complex problems that occur on wind projects under construction. Teamwork, in-depth knowledge, and experience are equally necessary for the military and in the energy industry.
What do you think veterans will get out of working in the clean energy industry?
I joined the Navy when I was seventeen years old. They told me what to wear, what to eat, and where to go for the better part of ten years. It’s no surprise that I didn’t have much direction in my career when I left the military, but working in energy has helped me align with a mission that I believe in. Many veterans find themselves in a similar position – being overqualified, underutilized, or unfulfilled – and will find similar, long-lasting job satisfaction in the energy industry if given the chance.
What does Veterans Day mean to you?
The men and women that join our Armed Forces willingly put their lives on the line to defend our country. It is important that we recognize this bravery and the sacrifices that veterans and their families have made to keep us safe. Personally, it is a day to reflect on my own journey and continued service to my community and country.