Community Electric wins national awards for community engagement

Published 10:35 pm Friday, July 1, 2022

Windsor-based Community Electric Cooperative has received national recognition in an awards program sponsored by two organizations that help communicators at America’s 900-plus electric cooperatives achieve excellence. 

A CEC news release said CEC garnered two awards in the 2022 Spotlight on Excellence Awards program sponsored by the Council of Rural Electric Communicators and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

CEC received a Silver Award in the Most Innovative Use of Digital Communication category for “Suffolk Fire & Rescue Conducts Electrical Emergency Training with Community Electric Cooperative.” CEC also received a Silver Award in Best Use of Social Media category for “CECares: Community Electric Breast Cancer Awareness Month.” Jessica Parr, manager of communications, partnered with Tri21 Media to coordinate and produce the award-winning compilations.

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“We are both humbled and honored to receive these awards along with the associated national recognition. These projects truly embody the essence of electric cooperatives and our ongoing commitment to the communities we serve. Additionally, we are very proud of Team CEC and most importantly the membership of Community Electric Cooperative,” said Steven Harmon, president and CEO. 

“Printed news publications, social media and videos are all more important than ever to keep members updated on issues affecting the electric cooperatives and their members,” added Scott Peterson, senior vice president of communications for NRECA.

The Suffolk Fire and Rescue initiative featured a 73-second video with CEC line workers showing first responders the dangers posed by electrical equipment. 

The CECares initiative included a 78-second video in which CEC employees donned pink cancer awareness hard hats and expressed support for loved ones.

“I am extremely proud of the Community Electric team for earning these awards and, even more so, for the commitment to safety and excellence that CEC personnel demonstrate daily,” said Jeannette Everett, CEC board chair. “Our members are well served by their professionalism and their passion to strengthen our region and be good neighbors.”

Winners are recognized during the CONNECT conference, a national conference for communications and marketing professionals, held in May at Seattle, Washington. As with years past, winning entries are available for all electric cooperative communicators to view online at

The annual Spotlight on Excellence Awards program recognizes the best communication and marketing efforts by electric cooperatives and related organizations. Entrants competed with electric cooperatives of similar size in 18 categories. Electric cooperative communicators and marketing professionals submitted more nearly 600 entries in the Spotlight on Excellence program. Faculty members from the University of Missouri – Columbia and University of South Carolina, as well as noted professionals in the fields of marketing, web design and digital communications, and newspapers judged the event, which uses a finite scoring system to determine the winners.

The CREC was organized in 1982; it 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 U.S.