David Trinko: Ex-Lima Mayor Berger’s new job focuses on energy


After 32 years on the ground leading the City of Lima as mayor, David Berger looked at the sky for his next challenge.

“Ultimately I decided what I wanted to do was something that I’ve always wanted to do, since I was a kid,” Berger said. “That was to work in the space industry.”

Berger, 68, started in February with Virtus Solis Technologies in government affairs. The Troy, Michigan-based company describes itself on its website, virtussolis.space, as “the world’s first space-based solar power energy generation system able to directly compete with conventional and renewable energy sources with none of the drawbacks.”

The startup company has big dreams of lighting up our homes with solar power.

Lima’s former mayor spoke briefly about his new path Monday at the Lima Rotary Club meeting at Veterans Memorial Civic Center, where he was honored for his leadership by the club and his friends, Roy and Esther Baldridge. He was joined by his wife, Linda.

The Detroit-area company’s founder and CEO is John Bucknell, who worked as the principal engineer on the SpaceX Raptor and has 46 patents and four publications. The cofounder is Dr. Edward Tate, who had 30-plus years of experience in analysis and energy systems development and more than 50 publications and patents.

“The brains in the room, our talent and our passion for this, has been really wonderful to observe,” Berger said. “So I’m enjoying it and certainly appreciate the opportunity that new career started.”

Berger chuckled as he described getting back into the workforce when he retired after 32 years as Lima’s elected leader. It started when he announced he wasn’t running for another term.

“With that announcement, I also recognized I hadn’t written a resume in 45 years. I had to learn how to do that,” he said.

He spent nearly five months working with a career consultant in Columbus to help him decide what he wanted to do for his next act.

Now he’s working with the new company, hoping to solve one of Earth’s great crises, finding reliable and renewable energy sources by pulling the energy from the sun.

“We’re working to launch solar arrays into orbit and beam the power back,” Berger said. “And it’s really a thrilling opportunity. I’m excited to work with this group.”

Former Lima Mayor David Berger now works with a Michigan-based company with plans to beam electricity from solar power out of the sky.

David Trinko is editor of The Lima News. Reach him at 567-242-0467, by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @Lima_Trinko.

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