Empire Electric Association recently received recognition in the 2011 Spotlight on Excellence national awards program, sponsored by the Council of Rural Electric Communicators and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
Empire Electric received an Award of Merit for its 2011 Photo Contest Calendar Recipes for Saving Time, Energy & Money. Empire Electric employees selected the photos, a calendar committee created the theme, and Bobbe Jones wrote and coordinated the award-winning calendar.
The judges noted that electric cooperatives are being challenged to communicate to the people they serve in more ways than ever before, said Maggie Tilley, administrator of Spotlight on Excellence, said in a written statement about the award. Printed newsletters, news releases, websites, social media, videos, and information in bills are all more important than ever to keep members updated.
A special luncheon honoring the award recipients during the Connect 2011 Conference was held in Denver on May 11. Winning entries were displayed during the event.
The annual Spotlight awards competition recognizes the top-rated communication and marketing efforts by electric cooperatives and related organizations. Participants in the awards competition competed with electric cooperatives of similar sizes in 19 categories. Electric cooperative communicators and marketing professionals submitted almost 800 entries in the Spotlight on Excellence program, now in its 23nd year. Faculty members from the University of Missouri Columbia, University of South Carolina and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill judged the entries.
The Council of Rural Electric Communicators was organized in 1982, and seeks to advance the recognition, education, and professionalism of electric cooperative communicators and their affiliated organizations. It is a volunteer association working on behalf of more than 4,000 electric cooperative communicators across the United States.
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the service organization representing the national interests of cooperative electric utilities, coordinates the Councils activities. Other national organizations supporting the work of the Council are the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation, the National Cooperative Services Corporation, the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative, and Federated Rural Electric Insurance Exchange.