Alec O'Meara by day is the face of Unitil, by night a new dad and active volunteer
HAMPTON - When storms strike in New Hampshire, one of the first people usually contacted by the media is Alec O'Meara, media relations manager for Unitil Corp.
As a former journalist, O'Meara understands the immediate need to get information to the public about power outages and road closures.
He also has a deeper understanding of what readers and television viewers want, namely, detailed information about what crews are doing to restore power and what it takes to make it happen.
In his two years at Unitil, he has used the power of social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook to get information out even faster and more efficiently to the public.
When not in the office or on the front lines of power restoration, O'Meara can be found relaxing at the Raymond home he purchased with his wife two years ago.
They have since welcomed their first daughter, five-month-old Molly.
Soon after moving to town, O'Meara knew he wanted to get involved at the local level and joined the Lamprey River Elementary School Building Committee and was soon named chairman.
The committee has been charged with researching and recommending improvements for Raymond's only elementary school, which has been dealing with space issues for years.
He said the plan is to bring a bond before voters in 2014. They had hoped to bring something forward this year but have stalled the process as the state figures out school building funding issues.
Aside from that issue, O'Meara said one of his biggest concerns for the state is voter apathy at the local level.
O'Meara said he wished he had the solution that would bring more people out to town meetings.
"You see a few less folks come out to meetings every year and it cuts down on the number of people participating in these very important decisions," O'Meara said. "If we don't as a community pay attention to and participate in major decisions that affect towns every year, we will lose what makes our communities special."
O'Meara said he is humbled to have been honored for this year's class of New Hampshire Union Leader 40 Under 40 nominees and has tremendous respect for the nominees he has seen come before him.
"I feel I haven't done enough yet to be on that list, but it's an amazing honor to be part of it," O'Meara said.