Jeff Hume began working at ACES in October 1999 and has played a critical role in the company’s growth and success over the years. Jeff is currently the Executive Director of Business Development at ACES’ headquarters in Carmel, Indiana. Jeff became interested in the energy industry while studying electrical engineering at the University of Dayton. While attending college, Jeff met an employee of Dayton Power & Light who thought Jeff would be a natural fit. After touring their operations center, Jeff applied for a job and began his career in energy shortly after. “Dayton taught me a lot about the industry, sales, management, and operations. I still have great relationships with many of the people I worked with there,” says Jeff.
One of those relationships helped lead him to ACES. In 1999, Jeff was working in the retail arm of Duke Solutions, running their retail sales force coast to coast, when he received a call from an acquaintance in the industry. “I was living in Charlotte at the time,” Jeff recalls, “I received a call from Keith Pope (ACES’ Vice President of Portfolio Management – East Region) who had been working for Wabash Valley Power Association (one of ACES’ founding Members). He told me about ACES and said they had a position I would be perfect for.” Jeff was interested in being a part of something new and wanted to be closer to his aging parents who lived in Middletown, Ohio where he grew up.
Jeff submitted his resume and was hired in October 1999 as Director of Business Development. “The early years of ACES were very interesting,” says Jeff, “the concept of ACES was still new and we were still figuring out what services would be valuable.” Early in his role at the company, Jeff spent a fair amount of time spreading the word about ACES and was involved in a lot of the conversations around ACES’ origination and what eventually became portfolio strategy services. “I spent a lot of time traveling and meeting with various boards of directors to inform them what ACES had to offer. I was on the road five days a week. I won’t lie, it was very difficult getting started. It took me a while to sign my first Member, but once I signed that first one, I was able to sign several others shortly thereafter.
Sales comes naturally to Jeff. He is a people person and has extensive industry experience. When asked what has led to his success at ACES, Jeff says, “I can’t stress enough the value of listening to people. This industry moves fast, and a lot of people are too focused on trying to get their message heard. If you just listen and understand what people want, you’ll have an easier time explaining how you can help. Also, if you treat people how you want to be treated, you’ll have an easier time forming lasting relationships.”
Jeff also encourages others to take on new challenges and go outside of their comfort zone, something Jeff has certainly done over the years. In the 1970s, Jeff was heavily involved in the early days of competitive skateboarding and in the early 90s was an extra in the Razzie-nominated film “Milk Money,” sharing a scene with Melanie Griffith and Ed Harris.
Lately, Jeff has been spending most of his free time with wife, Christy, maintaining their farm in Greenwood, Indiana, caring for his horses, and babysitting his two grandkids. He also enjoys swimming and working out. Jeff is also a huge football fan, and has been following the Cincinnati Bengals and Ohio State Buckeyes for years.
When asked if he has any advice for those new to ACES, Jeff responded, “Get as much experience as possible and learn how everything fits together.” Jeff concludes, “We’re all in this together. We need cooperation across the entire company if we’re going to continue to be successful.” It is clear Jeff is passionate about ACES. He has been with the company almost since the beginning, and has been critical to ACES’ growth.