Nearly 70 employees from Tri-State’s member systems and the four statewide organizations, as well as representatives from other non-member co-ops in the region, converged on Tri-State’s Westminster headquarters this week (Oct.16-17) for the association’s annual communications and member services conference.
This year’s program — which carried a “Knowledge is Power” theme — featured a day-long series of expert presenters in the fields of communications, media relations, advertising and marketing, followed by a second day member services agenda that focused on a vendor fair and a series of presentations showcasing the latest in lighting, heating, cooling and other energy efficiency technologies that are supported by Tri-State’s Energy Efficiency Products program
This event marked the 25th year that Tri-State has hosted this well received conference, which is jointly organized by the staff of the association’s communications and member services departments.
Among the highlights for the first day’s communications portion of the conference agenda, was Megan McKoy-Noe from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, who provided attendees with an overview of some of the myriad communications and marketing tools and resources that are available to them as members of NRECA.
Eric Anderson and Abigail Kesner of Denver-based SE2 Communications & Public Relations provided valuable insight on helping co-ops effectively prepare for and respond to media inquiries in a session called “The Seven-Second Sound Bite.”
Mary Miller, manager of communications for Basin Electric Power Cooperative (Bismarck, N.D.), provided a presentation on her co-op’s impressive community and employee involvement program that has raised more than $1 million since 2008 in support of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s mission to conquer childhood cancers.
On day two, member co-op participants were provided an opportunity to visit with representatives from companies that manufacture the latest innovations in LED lighting technologies, heat pump water heaters and other energy efficiency products — which can be offered to member-consumers and incentivized under Tri-State’s long-standing Energy Efficiency Products program.
Presentations were also provided by Tri-State staff on the 2014 Products and Services program and the Energy Efficiency Products marketing materials that are available to all of Tri-State’s member systems.