This week’s personality is extremely involved in the community in many different volunteer roles. An interesting and intelligent individual, Bill Brier is also a good friend and neighbor of mine here in Park Chesapeake. I have known Bill and his wife Megan for many years and they are a delightful couple who will roll up their sleeves to help out whenever called upon. Bill is a perfect example for the adage “if you want something done, give it to a busy man to do”! He is always involved throughout the area and you never know where he will show up volunteering to help others.
Like many great current residents of Calvert County, Bill wasn’t born here, but got here as fast as he could! He was born in Kansas and attended Kansas University and earned a Bachelor’s of Science Degree. While in school, this “Jayhawk” was elected to the State Legislature, the fourth youngest legislator in state history at that time! His dad, who never finished high school was extremely elated with Bill’s early success although the job only paid $10 a day for the 90 day legislative session each year! I really hope our elective officials earn more than that today for, as you know, “you only get what you pay for!” Gosh, I think I earned more than that when I was a caddie back then…oops, I digress!
Fortunately in Bill’s case, one of his constituents was a US Congressman from his District and hired him after graduation to manage his Washington, DC office on Capitol Hill. Bill says “this” was a full time job! I didn’t have the heart to ask him what this position paid, although his 4 ½ years in this role provided him with a wide perspective of the many issues facing our nation at that time. And, importantly, this exposure gave this young man from Kansas an understanding and the opportunity to get to know and work with people from throughout the country.
Gaining additional experience at the national level, Bill joined the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives as its 1st Energy Director. He later became Vice President of the Edison Electric Institute where, for 26 years, he was responsible as the industry spokesman and an expert witness at electric utility and forums throughout the United States. You may have seen Bill in many national TV broadcasts dealing with energy problems, large power outages, electric grid network issues and more. The media often sought out his expert advice whenever transmission line issues or power generation disruptions became front page news. He told me whenever friends would spot his face on TV, they knew something was wrong! Talk about a bearer of “bad news”! Actually when you chat with Bill, he is very animated and even humorous in his assessment of affairs in today’s news.
Bill is a member of our own SMECO Cooperative for the past 15 years has been a speaker at an annual meeting and management conference. He has participated in the organization’s focus group and has testified at the SMECO transmission hearing.
Now retired, Bill is anything but laid back and resting on his “laurels”. He says his Number One priority in retirement is to give back to his community. He stays busy in many different new pursuits. You may have seen him during the week going about his business as a regular volunteer for the S.M.I.L.E. ecumenical charity organization here in lower Calvert County. You may remember this 300+ member group was featured in my column here just a few weeks back. Bill helps with receiving donated goods, storing items that are given for resale or donation to the less fortunate of the community. He gives of his time freely to this great group of folks from more than eleven churches within the area.
Bill is also greatly involved with the “Friends of Jefferson Patterson Park Museum” [JPPM] where he serves on their Board of Directors. He believes this organization is a “gem in the County” that does “a tremendous outreach to our children and helps to enrich their lives with a better understanding of who they are”. He served on the Calvert County Cliff Advisory Committee as well. He is very active in his Parish, Our Lady Star of the Sea in Solomons, where he supports his wife in her role on the church’s Financial Council, and supported her efforts as a co-chair for the fundraising for the new magnificent church building. Bill serves at Mass on Sundays as an Eucharistic Minister providing communion to the parishioners.
And if that wasn’t enough, Bill is also President for the Park Chesapeake Association, our HOA for approximately 55 owners within our community here in Lusby. He has served in this role for the past three years and has done a superb job supporting his neighbors in looking after our best interests. He has been responsive to our needs and exhibits excellent management traits and financial skills in running this group. And, he has also been known to “donate” a few quarters once a month in a card game enjoyed by several gentleman members of the neighborhood. You know, sometimes he even wins!!!
Bill and Megan came to Calvert fifteen years ago from up in Montgomery County where they raised four children. Once their kids were full grown and out of the house, they wished to move to a place less hectic. They said they chose to move here because “Calvert County fills the bill as it reminds them of their Midwest heritage – very welcoming people with a beautiful rural setting”. It provides them with easy access to the city via Route 4 and the Metro allowing them to visit with their 7 grandbabies and new twins that are “on the way”!
You truly should get to know this fine couple. They are a delight, outstanding neighbors, and just really nice people. Bill, thank you for your tireless “energy” in all you do in your many volunteer pursuits. You have brought great talents and experience to our little part of the world! I know no matter what the cause, you will do an absolutely wonderful job and your efforts will make Calvert a better place to live! Thank you my friend!
Dave Spigler resides in Lusby and has been a resident of Calvert County since 1979. He has been recognized many times for his years of community service. He received the “Calvert You Are Beautiful Award” for 2013 and recognized by the Knights of Columbus as the “Maryland Citizen of the Year” in 2011. He was a member of the HOGETTES, the Washington Redskins “Biggest Fans” for 22 years. If you know of an unsung citizen of Calvert County, please contact Dave at email@example.com.