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Vera Cole for Pennsylvania State House District 145

Like many of us, Vera's life has taken unexpected turns. None more so than her beloved husband's ALS diagnosis in 2019. Vera stepped away from all professional, volunteer, and political activities to be with him. They celebrated their 30th anniversary in hospice, weeks before he passed. With it all, there is much to be grateful for. Today Vera is ready to return, to give back to the community, state, and country that have been so good to her. 

Vera Cole is an engineer and educator. Currently retired, she was lead faculty for Energy and Sustainability Policy at Penn State and president of the non-profit grassroots Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Association. These positions required technical expertise for sure, but just as important, a willingness to listen, really listen, and appreciate the reality of people’s lives and dreams. 

Vera lives in West Rockhill Township. She served on the Township’s Conservation Committee for many years. She is proud of the Township’s Open Space program and her work to help make significant progress on the community’s goals to preserve the natural beauty of treasured farms and forests for future generations.
Vera is known for her leadership, preparedness, and ability to work well with others. Hardworking and determined, she paid her way through college, with some student loans, taking eight years to complete her degree in Mechanical Engineering. While working in manufacturing for Motorola and on scholarship, she earned an MS in Industrial Engineering. She earned a PhD in Information Science from Drexel, on a National Science Foundation scholarship. These efforts prepare Vera to work deeply on challenging government issues seemingly coming from all sides—including energy and climate, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, student debt and fair access to higher education. 

Vera has held a wide range of positions, often while in school, including Regional Editor for Electronic Products magazine, manufacturing manager for Unisys Corp, business process design and methodology positions with high tech startups, and many consulting projects.
Through it all, Vera learned about working hard and working well with others, sticking with it even when the going gets rough, always looking up and ahead with a happy heart, and the importance of family, friends, and community to carry us through. Her grit will serve us well in Harrisburg.
Vera is fun, kind and caring, but when it comes to standing up for what is right, tough as nails! In 2012, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection denied a request from Vera for information related to the state's solar rebate program. She wanted the public to know how the rebate funds were used. Acting as her own lawyer, Vera figured it out and took the case to the Commonwealth Court. She won. Later the case was cited as the 5th most important Right to Know case in Pennsylvania of 2012. 
Vera grew up in South Carolina, spending much of her childhood on her grandparents' hardworking farms. Her love for outdoors, nature, animals, and the simple joys of life has not changed.
Vera has lived in West Rockhill Township for 25 years. For seven years prior, Vera and her husband lived in beautiful Kintnersville. A time and place she still cherishes. Vera is blessed with a big happy family! She has three wonderful stepdaughters, with families and grandchildren nearby. Vera’s fun-loving dear siblings are in the Carolinas. She remains close with young adults she has mentored over the years.
Vera’s life motto is to be the change you want. She would tell her students, if you want a kinder world, be kind. If you want a less selfish world, be generous. If you want a less lonely world, reach out. If you want a more fair world, be fair.
If you want a world where politicians are respected, trusted, public servants, then run for office and be one.

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