Edward Bielarski, the new general manager at GRU, believes that GRU is an important component of life in Gainesville. “It’s my job to move the utility to the next level and to make the public aware of what a valuable asset it has in a hometown utility,” Bielarski said.
He supports a vision to become a “21st Century Utility” and hopes to achieve it by building an executive team and one of the most skilled workforces in the industry. His job has been to build trust with the community and show that GRU is citizen-centric. He believes that equipped with a caring community of educated and progressive thinkers, Gainesville can become the same type of city as Austin.
GRU employs 850 people and Bielarski wants GRU to return to a world where employees want to wear GRU shirts and hats in public. “I want customers to come up to our folks and say ‘thanks for the work you do for the community, and thanks for funding over one-third of the city’s general fund,’” said Bielarski.
Bielarski is on the board of The Energy Authority and an executive sponsor of the Heart Walk Board of Florida Reliability Coordinating Council.
Get to Know Ed:
What is your go-to coffee order?
Decaf with Splenda and hazelnut creamer.
Who had the biggest impact on your life?
My father. He taught me about fortitude and getting yourself prepared to succeed. It’s all about preparation. I remember him telling me, “son, you better go to college and learn how to work hard because if you have to work with your hands you’ll starve.”