Jemez Mountains Electric Cooperative, Inc. Wins Highest Honor in National Communications Awards
JMEC RECOGNIZED FOR OUTSTANDING WORK AMONG PEER ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES
ESPAÑOLA, N.M., May 4, 2023 – Jemez Mountains Electric Cooperative, Inc., (JMEC) brought home two awards in the 2023 Spotlight on Excellence Awards program, a national competition among America’s electric cooperatives, sponsored by the Council of Rural Electric Communicators (CREC) and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). JMEC received a Gold Award in the Best Total Communications Program category for its “Return Power to the Members Campaign.” The campaign also won the competition’s Best of Show Award, known as the Edgar F. Chestnutt Award.
“I am extremely proud of all the JMEC staff and trustees who came together in an unprecedented demonstration of dedication to succeed in our campaign that effectively returned voting power to our members,” said Michael Hastings, JMEC CEO and general manager. “They took on seemingly dull subjects – meeting quorums and bylaw updates – and worked hard to attract enough members to a series of Special District Meetings last summer that we were able to achieve our goal of updating the first three of our cooperative’s outdated bylaws.”
Hastings added that a communications strategy helped tell the quorum/bylaw story in a way that enabled JMEC to gain approval of bylaw updates for the first time in nearly 30 years.
The NRECA's Spotlight on Excellence Award winners were recognized during the Connect conference, a national conference for communications and marketing professionals, in Jacksonville, Florida, this May. As with years past, winning entries are available for all electric cooperative communicators to view online at cooperative.com.
“The Spotlight on Excellence Awards Program has been recognizing outstanding co-op communicators and their work for more than 35 years – that work is all the more critical in today’s evolving energy industry,” said Scott Gates, senior editor with North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives and president of the Council of Rural Electric Communicators. “These national awards are highly competitive, and we congratulate those who earned the distinction this year.”
The annual Spotlight on Excellence Awards program recognizes the best communication and marketing efforts by electric cooperatives and related organizations nationwide. More than 650 entries were submitted across 18 different categories, including writing, graphic design, digital communications, campaign development and more. Faculty members from the University of Missouri at Columbia, as well as noted professionals in the fields of marketing and digital communications and newspapers judged the entries.
Organized in 1982 and comprised of rural electric communicators from around the country, the CREC seeks to advance the recognition, education and professionalism of electric cooperative communicators and their affiliated organizations. This volunteer association works on behalf of more than 4,000 electric cooperative communicators across the United States.
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national trade association representing nearly 900 local electric cooperatives. From growing suburbs to remote farming communities, electric co-ops serve as engines of economic development for 42 million Americans across 56 percent of the nation’s landscape. As local businesses built by the consumers they serve, electric cooperatives have meaningful ties to rural America and invest $12 billion annually in their communities.