Team Q&A: Ormónd Derrick – Public Policy Intern
Our Public Policy Intern Ormónd Derrick has much to contribute to the energy industry, from their advocacy for regulatory policy to their personal conservation efforts. Join us in welcoming Ormónd to the Virtual Peaker team!
How did your previous life prepare you for Virtual Peaker?
My role at Virtual Peaker is pretty unique, so kind of like me. As someone who was born and raised in the south—Florida, to be exact—I think I’ve fully enjoyed Virtual Peaker as the “Southern Tech company” our CEO and leader Bill describes it as. As the first in my family to go to college and get a “white collar” job, I’ve definitely had a breadth of experiences that have helped me to be successful here. Some of those experiences, including 8 years of policy experience working for the U.S. The Government, United Nations, Advocacy Organizations, and Health Departments to name a few, don’t hurt either!
While most of my public policy background involves public health, economics, trade, human rights, and national security, I’ve had some prior experience in the energy sector. During 2018-2019 I worked for the U.S. Department of Commerce, examining the uranium industry and how uranium imports for energy affect national security. While that was just a little subset of the industry, the skills of policy that I’ve acquired in the process have let me hit the ground running here at VP and really contribute to my team and the organization.
Tell us about your role at Virtual Peaker.
As I said, my role is pretty unique. While my official role is “Public Policy Intern,” I function more as an analyst, basically taking policies identifying important parts of them, and breaking down the big picture. I’m at the crossroads of how our product needs to function to meet regulatory policy, how we sell, and how we can better align our product with new laws and bodies that govern our work.
When working in the energy industry, and specifically selling to utilities, everything we do is governed by policy. Utilities are like quasi-government entities in the fact that they provide direct service and are fully regulated by either the federal government, state regulatory commissions, local governments, or a combination of all three! My job is to look at public policies as they are emerging, summarize them, identify strategic initiatives within them, and then bring them back to our sales team so that they are better equipped to understand the market. While my role is temporary for now, I hope to bring my 8 years of experience to better equip the team to understand the policy field. Public regulatory policy affects everything!
Howdo you personally engage in sustainability efforts?
Personally, and maybe it’s a cultural thing being Latine (Latino but gender neutral), I reuse things. And I’m not talking about reusing a bag once or twice, I reuse everything until it’s physically broken; cars, jars, clothes, bags, hats, cookware. If it’s still structurally sound and safe to use, I’m going to keep using it. Besides that I do my best to only take what I need whether that’s having little to no food waste, carpooling when possible, and using items to their fullest extent. I would love to not have a car at all and take all the public transit offered here, but unfortunately in Florida that routinely boils down to 0. In the next place I move, however, one of the requirements is walkability and transit.
What can you tell us about yourself?
Oh, where to start? Here’s a list of things I appreciate or engage in. Check it out!
- Collecting Vinyl Records (my collections over 150)
- Waffle House
- Balloon Twisting
- Teaching People how to advocate to their elected officials
- Hanging out with friends and family
- Things I like
- Public Transit/Trains
- Fine Dining
- Movies and Cinema
- Rural or “old” Florida
- Dancing/Discotecs/Gay Clubs
- Policy (of course)
- Medicine/Infectious Diseases
Some of these things started as hobbies, and some of them are things I learned along the way. Like I said like few people can say, I’m born and raised in Florida. Still here, besides a brief 5-year stint on the east coast mainly in D.C., but have since returned. I’m not good at everything but the things I love, I’d say I’m pretty good at.