Meet Hugh Jones, UCF's new director of music ministries


Tanya (wife), Marina (12th Grade, Canastota SHS daughter), Anna (grandmother)

How long have you lived in this area and what attracts you to this location?

Three years. I grew up in Oneida County on my grandmother's dairy farm north of Utica in Remsen. I was a farmer for 18 years. I moved back to Central New York following my retirement to be closer to my two younger sisters and 90-year-old father -- all living in northern Oneida County.

Where do you work and what is your position?

I'm retired from the US Army (Pentagon) following a 35-year career. [I was] the director of Army Renewable Energy Applications and study director for specific solar, wind, geothermal, battery and other renewable energy initiatives.

My current position is chief executive officer and founder of Energy Masters, LLC -- a renewable energy company manufacturing solar panels in Canastota. Energy Masters also fabricates renewable energy engines for the US military; performs energy audits for a program sponsored by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (under contract); installs solar and wind for commercial and residential applications and does consulting work for the US Department of Energy, the US Military and foreign governments.

I am also the director of music ministries at the United Church of Fayetteville -- hired into that position in October 2009. I was formerly the director of music at Fayetteville United Methodist Church for three years and Burtonsville, Md. United Methodist Church for 25 years.

Why did you choose to enter into these particular fields?

Renewable energy: I chose to enter the energy field for the Army quite by accident. As a soldier stationed in Germany, I was taking some free time to take a walk whereupon I observed approximately 76 fossil-fueled generators at a deployed encampment in Graffenwoehr, eastern Germany, when I began to notice that most generators were woefully under utilized. For example, a generator that was built to carry a 60-kilowatt load was only being utilized by the Army to carry a five-kilowatt load. I found this to be true in almost every application. This began my search for a better way -- a more optimized way for the US Military to use energy -- and fuel -- more wisely.

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