Meet a Solar Ready Vets Fellow: Colin Thompson
IREC leads the Solar Ready Vets Fellowship in partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes program. Offered at no cost, the fellowship matches solar industry employers with service members who are in transition from the military to the civilian workforce.
Colin Thompson: Business Development Associate, Radiance Solar
Colin Thompson joined Radiance Solar as a Hiring our Heroes Corporate Fellow in coordination with Solar Ready Vets in May 2022, where he now serves as a Business Development Associate.
Throughout his 34 year military career, Colin Thompson served in leadership positions at Platoon, Company and Battalion levels in the US Army, and gained extensive experience in project and operations management spanning intelligence, community affairs, risk management, emergency preparedness and policy development.
As a Bilateral Affairs Officer in the Office of Defense Cooperation, he served as Liaison for a State Partnership Program, representing the State of Georgia to the Country of Georgia; and coordinated and executed regular military-to-military events between the country of Georgia, the US European Command, and all five military branches and reserve affiliates. As State Partnership Program Director GA-GEO, he planned and executed security cooperation events with the country of Georgia through the National Guard State Partnership Program, aligned with the U.S. European Command Campaign Plan, and Department of State and National Guard strategies. In this capacity, he briefed European Command, National Guard Bureau and Georgia leadership on program activities, as well as working with civilian leaders to enhance whole of government engagement through the state partnership program.
He retired from military service as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2022. During his transition to the civilian workforce, he was keenly interested in a career in the renewable energy sector. With a project management professional certification, he assumed that was the direction he would go, but was offered a business development role initially, and his host employer, Radiance Solar, helped to map out a path from business development to a project management role with the company, which he may pursue in the future. Upon completion of his Fellowship, he was hired by Radiance as a full time employee.
With years of experience conducting “after action” reviews in the military, Colin has been able to quickly key into processes, and identify procedural and structural improvements, contributing to the Radiance team during a period of growth. He acknowledges the clean energy industry is a great place to start a new career: “the IRA presents huge opportunities for business, and the industry is only going to get bigger.” He reflects that while a wide range of industries and career paths were available to him, and he could have taken many different routes, he was deliberate in pursuing a fellowship that would allow him to do work that he believes in.