Making the most of a cross-country move
By Chris Michlewicz; photo courtesy of the Baudier family
Jeff Baudier spent almost the entirety of his life in Louisiana, but the possibility of picking up and moving to Colorado was always there.
Baudier (pronounced “bo-dee-ay”) had visited the Denver area for business on several occasions and was taken in by the active lifestyle and beautiful scenery. So, when the job of CEO opened up at the Intermountain Rural Electric Association (IREA) – now known as CORE Electric Cooperative – he jumped at the chance.
“My youngest son was in his senior year of high school, so we were at a point in our lives where we were close to becoming empty nesters,” Baudier said. “We had the opportunity to go wherever we wanted. It was the perfect opportunity at the perfect time.”
Baudier, his wife, Cherie, and their youngest of three sons, Fisher, moved to The Village at Castle Pines earlier this year and have acclimated quickly. Except, Baudier says, when it comes to one of his lifelong passions: distance running. Going from sea level to a mile high is a tough adjustment for the lungs.
“I’m trying to get myself in Colorado running shape,” said Baudier, who has run about a dozen marathons. “It’s taking longer than I thought it would.”
Since his arrival, Baudier has brought renewed energy to CORE and spent time with employees in a variety of roles. He says understanding their job and getting to know staff members on a personal level is important to him. Baudier, whose professional background is mostly in the energy sector, said he also wants customers to know that he is approachable and accessible, and he wants the business community to “look at us more as a partner in their success and help get them to where they need to be, instead of waiting for them to tell me where they need an electrical hookup.”
Baudier and his family have explored mountain towns like Breckenridge and sought out trails and open spaces in Douglas County to hike and run. They look forward to biking, fly fishing and skiing, too. The Baudiers have three boys – their oldest son, Hunter, is a doctor in residency in New York; their middle son, Spencer, is earning his MBA from Louisiana State University; and their youngest, Fisher, is pursuing an English degree at the University of Colorado Denver.
Baudier looks at one particular moment as a sign that he’s in the right place – he was in town between Thanksgiving and Christmas last year while interviewing for the CORE job. A light snow was falling as he took a drive down Happy Canyon Road. A herd of elk grazed on the golf course and a band of wild turkeys crossed the street – it was an idyllic scene.
“It’s one of the most beautiful roads I’ve ever driven on,” he said. “I told my wife ‘you won’t believe what this place looks like. It’s gorgeous.’”
When Cherie visited in March, before making the cross-country move, a spring snowstorm left a dusting throughout Castle Rock and Castle Pines, and she commented that the area was like a storybook town from a Hallmark movie. Landing in The Village at Castle Pines is a perfect scenario for the family.
“We love being right in the middle of the community we serve. I’m really looking forward to getting involved in community activities and meeting more people,” Baudier said.