Blue Ridge Power has added a new face to its executive team: Bru Weber, Chief Procurement Officer.
Bru brings more than 15 years of experience to her position, most recently serving as Blue Ridge Power’s SVP of Procurement since the company formed in summer 2021. Prior to that, she managed Procurement, Performance Engineering, Estimating and Safety in her role as Director of Pre-Construction for BRP’s sister company, Pine Gate Renewables.
After earning her Master of Business Administration at Western Carolina University, Bru began her career on the other side of procurement selling equipment to customers at Volvo Construction Equipment. In addition to analyzing market segments and developing strategies to approach customers, she also managed a fleet of equipment toward the end of her tenure there. That led her to pursue her passion in renewables at FLS Energy as a Logistics Project Manager, which grew to include major equipment procurement.
Bru enjoys a challenge, and working in procurement during a pandemic has been just that.
“You can’t avoid challenges, but how you react to them is a true test of how a vendor relationship is going to work. We strive to have true vendor partnerships where we’re both working together,” Bru says of her approach to vendor relations. “We take the time to come up with solutions that work for both parties, and we value partners who are creative and flexible.”
Bru and her team have successfully led Blue Ridge Power through multifaceted supply chain issues throughout the pandemic, including everything from increasing freight costs to policy changes.
“Something that distinguishes us is our use of data and information. We are very proactive and transparent in the information that we provide to our vendors so that we’re both thinking about our project pipeline and can plan together. We engaged vendors early on in the pandemic to find out what issues they were facing.”
Internally, it takes a commitment to collaboration and coordination to ensure BRP’s solar projects are completed on time and on budget. Procurement buys based on construction schedules, and Logistics manages the transit and ensures project sites are ready to receive goods. If not, they can strategically store and launch inventory from BRP’s 600,000+ square-feet of warehouse space.
As the first woman and Latina to join Blue Ridge Power’s executive team, Bru is “incredibly grateful, privileged and honored” to be CPO.
“Blue Ridge Power is a very diverse workplace, and this is a step towards our leadership reflecting who we are as a company and making sure diversity in a variety of forms is represented at the top. I look forward to using my influence to make our company even more inclusive going forward.”
Originally from Puerto Rico, Bru and her family relocated to Asheville, NC in the early 1990s. As a newcomer to the continental U.S., Bru notes, “Our paths and backgrounds can be so different, but we can still come to this point of achievement in our careers through hard work and taking advantage of opportunities that are available to us.”
Although she’s an expert problem-solver, Bru is also quick to acknowledge that she doesn’t do it alone. “The people at Blue Ridge Power are what makes it such a successful EPC. That’s a testament to the team we have. It’s a very low-ego culture. Everybody knows that the best idea can come from anywhere in the organization. Everyone has a voice here.”