Who Is This Guy and Why Is He Here?
Greetings! My name is Chris Clark and I am the latest addition to the REACH Strategies team. Born and raised just outside Kansas City, Missouri, I am midwest to the core. After spending years following my “rockstar” dreams, criss-crossing North America playing in a rock band, I returned to my hometown to finish my Bachelor’s Degree in Business-Management from Missouri Western State University. I have since remained in my hometown where I currently reside with my Australian wife, Claire, and two fur-children, Charlie and Rocky. My past professional life was spent in both the public and private sectors serving six years working in Public Information Administration for a municipal government before moving to Corporate Communications within a large-scale food manufacturing facility and now calling REACH Strategies home.
We Are a Simple People
Living in the middle of “flyover country” comes with both advantages and disadvantages. Life moves at a slower pace. Cost of living is unapologetically manageable. It is easy and affordable to travel anywhere in the lower 48 (errr, it WAS… #thxCOVID). It may not be as entertaining as Mayberry or Pawnee, Indiana but those township likenesses portrayed aren’t a far stretch from reality. Downsides to living in the “rural” midwest are oftentimes emerging trends and conveniences are delayed in arrival or never arrive at all. We ordinarily don’t have access to that 24-hour taco shop or the most robust shopping and entertainment options. We don’t wake up to a mountainous view and we certainly don’t have a beach to help us relax and recharge. While we have experienced an uptick in economic development growth within the tech industry throughout the midwest in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is a slow growth. All these factors lend themselves to a simple lifestyle. As a character from my favorite 90’s TV show “Wings” once said… “We are a simple people. We fish our waters. We till our lands. We eat a big sandwich.”
When I began my search for a new path I had two goals in mind: To step out of the simple, comfortable normality of what I have known and join something with purpose. I sought to join an organization who is moving the needle forward in social and environmental responsibility while having fun and not taking life for granted. After extensive research and a series of very entertaining Zoom calls, I successfully did both by joining the REACH Strategies team. And, while consumer EVs aren’t a common sight in my corner of the world, I joined the REACH team to have a positive impact in the nation’s heartland and promote the benefits of owning an EV.
As I began writing this blog, I decided to take a tour of charging stations within my town of 80,000 residents. While the initiative has been taken to install these charging stations I wanted to see if and how much they are being used. I chose busier, higher populated areas of the city during higher trafficked times of day. As I traveled from station to station, I was disappointed to find that these spaces appeared sadly under utilized. One after another, empty space after empty space. This little field trip really opened my eyes that there is much work to be done. My barometer for success will be when I see those EV charging stations in use all the time!
While EVs and charging technology are available, we in the midwest remain “a simple people.” I strive to be a part of a catalyst to shift that paradigm toward consumer EV adoption in the region. I am beyond excited to join the REACH Strategies team and do my part to move us to a more responsible and sustainable future through EV adoption.