Co-ops are doing it right. Touchstone Energy® member electric cooperatives are once again at the head of the class in a new survey of consumers. [Read more]
Co-ops are doing it right. Touchstone Energy® member electric cooperatives are once again at the head of the class in a new survey of consumers. [Read more]
Commitment to community is a key cooperative principle – and Tri-State and the region’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives are demonstrating that commitment this season by supporting the 5th annual KOSI 101 and Ronald McDonald House Charities radiothon tomorrow, Dec. 5.
Helping raise money for the Ronald McDonald House is a great fit for Tri-State and its member systems. The charity provides temporary housing for families who live at least 60 miles outside the metro area — often in smaller rural communities — and whose children are receiving treatment at Denver area hospitals.
During the two weeks leading up to the radiothon, KOSI and numerous radio stations throughout Tri-State’s service territory in Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming have been airing 60-second vignettes featuring the positive experiences of families who have stayed at the facility, followed by a message from Touchstone Energy cooperatives encouraging listeners to support the radiothon.
“Touchstone Energy cooperatives wholeheartedly embrace the idea of supporting our communities,” said Jim Van Someren, Tri-State communications manager. “In fact, it’s one of the core values on which the brand was founded. And because the Ronald McDonald House directly supports member-consumers of our co-op communities when they need it most, we are supporting the facility in the most effective ways we can.” Continue reading ‘The region’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives will help “Light The House” tomorrow’
Students representing 16 high schools from across Colorado converged in Pueblo Nov. 8-10 to compete in the “Matchwits” tournament – the academic competition put on by Rocky Mountain PBS (RMPBS) and sponsored by Tri-State and the rest of the state’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives.
This is the 29th straight year Colorado’s public television network has organized and held the high school academic quiz show, but 2013 marks the first time the program was opened up to schools throughout the entire state, as opposed to only those in southern Colorado.
“When Rocky Mountain PBS approached us about sponsoring ‘Matchwits,’ we were immediately intrigued,” said Tri-State communications manager Jim Van Someren. “Then when we learned it was going statewide for the first time, we saw it as a natural fit and the perfect project for Tri-State and all the electric co-ops to support.”
The three-day, single-elimination tournament was held and recorded at Rocky Mountain PBS’ studios on the campus of Colorado State University-Pueblo. It featured the top 16 schools that had advanced from the original 70 qualifying schools.
Each 30-minute match consisted of three rounds, with subject matter including, but not limited to, English, history, geography, science, math and current events. Former TV meteorologist Craig Eliot played the role of host and quizmaster. Click here for a sneak preview. Continue reading ‘Students “Matchwits” at annual high school academic competition’
The second annual Colorado’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Golf Classic was held Aug. 19 at Perry Park Country Club outside Larkspur, Colo. This year’s tournament drew twice the number of participants compared to the inaugural event in 2012, with 140 golfers teeing off on a brilliantly clear summer morning.
Once again the event was organized and hosted by Tri-State, member co-op Mountain View Electric Association (Limon, Colo.) and the Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center. And once again, $5,000 was raised and presented to Feeding Colorado, an association of five Feeding America food banks throughout Colorado, including Food Bank of the Rockies.
“We couldn’t accomplish our mission without the generous support from our partners like the state’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives,” said Feeding Colorado manager of corporate relations Buck Boze, who was on hand to accept the check on behalf of the organization. “The $5,000 raised here today will provide 20,000 meals that we’ll distribute to people in need across the state through our five regional food banks,” he explained.
The full field of golfers included participants from Tri-State, several of its member systems and the Colorado Rural Electric Association – along with representatives from numerous related organizations throughout the area. Continue reading ‘Colorado’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives tee off for a good cause’
School may be nearly out for summer, but that’s not stopping Colorado’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives from supporting youth and education across the state. The coalition of 23 co-ops — which includes Tri-State and the Colorado Rural Electric Association – recently signed up as supporting sponsors of Rocky Mountain PBS’s “Matchwits” program, a long-running high school academic competition that, for the first time, is being taken to a statewide level.
“Matchwits” is a weekly, quiz show format half-hour program that has been airing on the Pueblo/Colorado Springs PBS station for nearly 29 years.
“For our 2013-2014 season, the competition is being opened up to all high schools throughout Colorado,” said Kelsey Prescott, development account executive for RMPBS. “In doing so, we’re also going to be airing the program on all five PBS affiliate stations in the state – Denver, Pueblo/Colorado Springs, Grand Junction, Durango and Steamboat Springs – effectively reaching 99 percent of the television viewing households across Colorado,” she explained. Continue reading ‘Colorado’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives to Matchwits with high schoolers’
Tri-State, the Wyoming Rural Electric Association and the rest of Wyoming’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives are once again serving as proud sponsors of the Salute to Agriculture campaign, a 10-part radio news series presented every spring.
This year’s program runs March 18-22 and will feature agricultural leaders discussing changes, challenges and the future of the industry – and why it’s important to all citizens of Wyoming. The segments will be posted on Wyoming’s Cowboy State News Network website and aired on numerous radio stations across the state.
It was 15 years ago next month that the national brand for America’s electric cooperatives was officially launched — and Touchstone Energy Cooperatives have come a long way in that relatively short amount of time.
“It truly has been remarkable,” said Jim Bausell, chief operating officer. “Really, 15 years in the brand-building world is basically still in the infancy stage. Yet, when you look at how we’ve grown in that time, it’s almost mind boggling.”
In that short amount of time, the brand has grown to include 741 member co-ops in 46 states — including Tri-State, 43 of its member systems and the statewide associations in Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming.
“While our membership has experienced steady growth of the years, so have the number of programs, products and services that we have developed for use by the co-ops to educate and communicate with their member-owners — as well as assist them in using electricity more wisely to save them money,” Bausell said.
Newly-appointed NRECA board president Curtis Nolan, who represents an Arizona electric co-op and its G&T, recently voiced his support of the national branding program. “I urge all co-ops to take advantage of this occasion and focus on what the brand has to offer in telling your story and helping your consumer-members learn about energy efficiency and keeping electric bills affordable,” Nolan said.
Tri-State serves as the regional representative for 43 of its member systems that are Touchstone Energy Cooperatives. As such, it coordinates regional advertising and sponsorship efforts, communications initiatives and educational opportunities — helping the co-ops to integrate and implement the brand’s core values and characteristics into their day-to-day activities.
Among the most successful regional partnerships that the G&T has coordinated over the years are the sponsorship of the Touchstone Energy draft horse hitch at the annual National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in Denver, as well as the involvement in the annual Country Cares radiothon on KYGO radio that supports the work at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
A number of events are planned across the country throughout 2013 to mark and celebrate the 15th anniversary milestone. You can read more about the birth of the brand in the spring issue of Tri-State’s quarterly magazine, Network, which will be published in early April.
The National Western Stock Show and Rodeo’s popular six-horse draft hitch — presented by the region’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives — is once again successfully delivering an important message to thousands of visitors to the event: that rural electric cooperatives are owned by the members they serve and are committed to providing safe, reliable electricity at the lowest price possible.
For the 15th consecutive year, Tri-State’s communications team has coordinated the high-profile Touchstone Energy sponsorship at Denver’s National Western Stock Show. In addition to many hitch performances, Touchstone Energy messaging is being heard on radio, seen on television, print and online promotions and visible throughout the stock show grounds.
The 16-day event provides valuable opportunities to connect with the members of the communities that Tri-State and its member co-ops serve. “The stock show seems to get better every year; a one-day gate attendance record (Jan. 19) has already been set at the 2013 event,” said Tri-State communications manager Jim Van Someren. “Many people visiting and competing in the various events are served by rural electric cooperatives which makes it a natural fit and a great partnership for us.”
The National Western Stock Show is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that provides college and graduate level scholarships in agriculture and medicine for practice in rural areas. Its mission also is to serve producers and consumers throughout the world by being the premier stock show, rodeo, horse show and center for year-round events.
The 107th annual event runs through Jan. 27.
The 2013 National Western Stock Show and Rodeo kicks off in Denver on January 12, and Tri-State and the region’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives will once again be in the heart of the action. For the 15th year in a row, Tri-State and our fellow Touchstone Energy co-ops will be presenting the popular – and powerful – six-horse draft hitch.
The hitch is one of the National Western’s top entertainment attractions and will be featured at all Pro Rodeo (PRCA) performances, Mexican Rodeo Extravaganzas, the Martin Luther King Rodeo and the annual NWSS Parade in downtown Denver on Jan. 10. In addition, Touchstone Energy messaging will appear in print and online promotions as well on site throughout the grounds.
The event continues to provide valuable opportunities to connect with the members of the communities that Tri-State serves. “Tri-State is pleased to continue our long-standing partnership with the Stock Show,” said Tri-State communications manager Jim Van Someren. “Like Tri-State and our member co-ops, the organization is committed to helping the West’s rural areas thrive. Its mission is closely aligned with ours.”
The National Western Stock Show is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that provides college and graduate level scholarships in agriculture and medicine for practice in rural areas. Its mission also is to serve producers and consumers throughout the world by being the premier stock show, rodeo, horse show and center for year-round events. The 107th annual event will take place Jan. 12-27, 2013.
Last weekend (Sept. 21-23) 1,000 bicycle enthusiasts saddled up for a three-day, 168-mile circuit across eastern Colorado’s electric co-op country for the first annual “Pedal the Plains” bicycle tour that was sponsored in part by Tri-State and its member Colorado Touchstone Energy Cooperatives.
This well attended and highly successful cycling rally was the brainchild of Colo. Gov. Hickenlooper, who also was a rider in the event. The goal of the tour was to celebrate the roots and the frontier heritage of Colorado’s eastern plains.
With the help of Tri-State, the Colorado Rural Electric Association (CREA) and 10 of the association’s member cooperatives, a team of 12 cyclists volunteered to represent Colorado’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives’ bike team to help spotlight the vital service that electric co-ops provide to the many farms, ranches and communities that are within this Pedal the Plains tour area.
Included on the Touchstone Energy team were Terri Marranzino-Ray, Tri-State’s fleet manager, several friends and relatives of Tri-State employees, as well as Kent Singer, general manager of CREA.
In addition to promoting the region’s rural electric cooperatives, the Touchstone Energy team rode to help raise money for Energy Outreach Colorado, a non-profit organization that helps struggling Colorado families pay their heating bills in the winter.
“I really can’t say enough about the hospitality and friendly reception that we received in all three of the towns that hosted this event. I will definitely be back next year,” said Marranzino-Ray.
The fleet manager was among a small cadre of tour participants who not only completed the standard 168-mile course, but also battled buffeting headwinds and the occasional goat head (stickers that cause bike flats) to complete the optional course side junkets for a whopping total of 217 miles completed during this challenging event.
The three main legs of the eastern plains tour were from Yuma to Wray, Wray to Burlington and Burlington back to Yuma on the third and final day. Celebrations in the host towns included a “Plains Party and Festival” in Burlington and a “Celebration of Agriculture” in Yuma.
Tri-State shared a roadside kiosk with Duke Energy on Saturday (Sept. 22) to offer riders on their way from Wray to Burlington refreshments and guided tours of the Kit Carson Windpower site. More than 100 cyclists stopped by for a wind tour and to learn about Duke Energy, Tri-State and its member co-ops.
Wyoming’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives helped Wyoming celebrate its 100th annual state fair in Douglas last week as a key sponsor, specifically presenting armed forces appreciation day and several rodeo mutton bustin’ events. Tri-State has been a fair sponsor for nearly a decade.
Two years of planning led up to this year’s event, which has a tradition of showcasing Wyoming heritage, agriculture, industries, youth, entrepreneurs, artists and more. “We were thrilled, and have had nothing but positive comments,” said Vicki Rupert, deputy director of the Wyoming State Fair and Rodeo.
The eight-day celebration featured bustling exhibit halls, commercial exhibits, carnival, parade, concerts, livestock show rings where Wyoming’s best competed for top honors and much more – all for just a $1 gate fee.
The 100th anniversary also brought special new entertainment and experiences this year, including performances by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, country music stars, a draft horse show, metal arts contest and Dutch oven contest. Continue reading ‘Tri-State joins Wyoming State Fair 100th anniversary celebration’
Tri-State and the rest of Colorado’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives will be taking their best shot to help take a bite out of hunger when they serve as title sponsors of the inaugural Colorado’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives 2012 Golf Classic on Aug. 20 at Perry Park Country Club in Larkspur, Colo.
The event is being hosted by the Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce and is a fundraising effort benefiting Feeding Colorado, an association of the five Feeding America food banks throughout Colorado, including: Care and Share of Southern Colorado, Community Food Share (Boulder and Longmont), Food Bank for Larimer County (Fort Collins), Weld Food Bank (Greeley) and Food Bank of the Rockies (Denver and Grand Junction).
“When we first began planning the tournament, we definitely knew we wanted it to benefit a worthwhile cause that has a statewide reach,” said Darryl Edwards, member services manager at Tri-State member co-op Mountain View Electric Association and coordinator of the event. “Feeding Colorado has that broad impact,” he said, “providing meals and other services to people in need across the state – which in many cases includes electric co-op member-consumers.”
Combined, the five food banks distribute food to more than 1,500 nonprofit agencies statewide, such as food pantries and soup kitchens, daycare centers, battered women’s shelters and residential treatment centers. As 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, the food banks depend on broad community support from individuals, local governments and corporations.
Although tournament registration is open to the general public, Touchstone Energy co-op directors and employees are especially encouraged to participate by putting together a foursome and enjoying a world-class golf venue – while also supporting the mission of Feeding Colorado. Download a brochure and registration form.
“By coordinating our efforts and resources as a regional group of Touchstone Energy Cooperatives, we have had a tremendous amount of success over the past number of years supporting and participating in a variety of worthwhile causes and events,” said Tri-State communications manager Jim Van Someren. “These include our involvement in the National Western Stock Show, fairs in our four states, charity radiothons and other sponsorships. I think the golf tournament will be a nice addition to these activities,” he said.
If you have questions or need more information, feel free to contact Darryl Edwards at 719-650-5681 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2012 National Western Stock Show and Rodeo completed its 16-day run Sunday, Jan. 22. This year’s event, sponsored in part by Tri-State and the region’s Touchstone Energy co-ops, saw a total attendance of about 636,000. That ranks it among the top 10 for the number of visitors over the past 106 years, according to Stock Show officials.
Many Stock Show visitors saw the Touchstone Energy-sponsored six-horse draft hitch perform at all pro rodeo performances and other scheduled events. This year’s hitch was provided by Black Hollow Percherons from Plum City, Wisconsin.
The National Western junior livestock auction was also notable and broke several records this year. Nearly 100 animals were sold for a highest-ever total of $611,000 – that’s about $20,000 more than the previous record. The money helps fund a college education for young people who intend to pursue a living in livestock and agriculture.
Overall, the 2012 National Western and Tri-State’s involvement with it can be considered a huge success. “We couldn’t be happier,” said Paul Andrews, the National Western’s president and chief executive
The one-of-a-kind National Western Stock Show Parade, featuring a longhorn cattle drive, marching bands, floats, rodeo clowns, cowgirls, cowboys and more meandered along 14 blocks of Denver’s downtown business district yesterday to celebrate the opening of the 106th annual show.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock also declared parade day to be “Dress Western Day” in the city, encouraging downtown workers, visitors and others to show their western spirit. The parade’s grand marshal was former Denver Mayor Federico Peña.
The Rocky Mountain region’s electric cooperatives are once again serving as one of the main sponsors of National Western Stock Show and Rodeo, which officially opens tomorrow at 9 a.m. at the National Western Complex and runs through Jan. 22. Continue reading ‘Parade kicks off 2012 National Western Stock Show’
Representatives from Tri-State member systems in Wyoming and the Wyoming Rural Electric Association (WREA), as well as a few Tri-State employees, gathered in Casper recently to learn about the programs and tools available to them through Touchstone Energy.
The Touchstone Energy Brand Camp was led by Ann Maggard, director of communications at Touchstone Energy. Throughout the workshop, attendees gained
information about the resources available to their co-ops, such as the Co-op Connections Card, Web builder and the new online portal for business-to-business discounts — BIZ Connections.
Additionally, those in attendance were treated to a guest speaker from the minor league team, the Casper Ghosts, who discussed marketing and promotions on
a small budget and with new management.
Touchstone Energy (Arlington, Va.) is an alliance of more than 700 local, consumer-owned electric cooperatives in 46 states who are dedicated to providing
members with reliable, high-quality service at competitive prices. Tri-State and 43 of its 44 member cooperatives are members of Touchstone Energy.
This year’s KYGO Country Cares for St. Jude Kids Radiothon was inspiring, memorable and the most successful ever – raising a total of $105,375 to help support children’s cancer treatment at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Tri-State and Colorado Touchstone Energy cooperatives Morgan County REA, Mountain View Electric, Poudre Valley REA and United Power are proud to have made the event possible and help set a new record for the one-day event.
The live broadcast, held at the new Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill in Denver, attracted hundreds of supporters throughout the day and into the evening. A percentage of all restaurant sales that day benefitted St. Jude’s and on-site volunteers answered calls and took donations. Over the lunch hour, Tri-State communications manager Jim Van Someren presented a $3,000 check on behalf Colorado’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives live on the air.
“Tri-State and our member co-ops have a long-standing partnership with KYGO and St. Jude’s,” Van Someren said. “The work that St. Jude’s does is second to none and we’re proud to support such a worthwhile organization. It was gratifying to see how much good we could accomplish on its behalf in just one day.”
Colorado’s Front Range Touchstone Energy cooperatives have supported the mission of St. Jude’s for eight years through the radiothon. The 2011 event again provided exposure and the opportunity to put into action one of Touchstone Energy’s core values – commitment to community.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering research and treatment of children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. The world-renown facility is the first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Based in Memphis, Tenn., the hospital treats children from across the U.S., including kids from throughout Tri-State’s member system service territory. And it does so with no cost to the patients’ families, beyond what they can afford and their insurance covers, thanks to fundraising efforts such as this radiothon.
The Touchstone Energy hot air balloon landed in Colorado this week in conjunction with CONNECT ’11, NRECA’s annual communications and marketing conference taking place at the Downtown Denver Sheraton hotel May 9-12.
After a quick trip to Loveland Ski Area early Tuesday morning for a rare photo opportunity in the snow-covered Rockies, the balloon and its crew packed up and next stopped by Tri-State’s Westminster headquarters.
All of the photos will be considered for the popular balloon calendar published every year. “It was an excellent setting for a photo,” said Kevin Bernson, vice president of media and public relations for the balloon program. “The building was beautiful and the sun was perfect,” he said.
The balloon is now on its way to Columbia REA in Washington state where it will fly at the Walla Walla Balloon Stampede.
The Touchstone Energy hot air balloon is intended to serve as a goodwill ambassador for Touchstone Energy cooperatives. There are five balloons in the fleet, and the two newest balloons stand over 77 feet tall and are 60 feet wide when fully inflated. Each are built of hyperlife fabric panels and have a 14 cubic foot ascot basket. The balloons are fired by dual propane burners and fueled by two 15-gallon propane tanks.
Network Magazine is a quarterly publication that tells the stories of the people and communities of Tri-State G&T and its 44 member rural utilities. In the winter 2011 issue of Network we feature the progressive energy saving programs that are being spearheaded by Tri-State member co-op, La Plata Electric Association, including time-of-use load management and efficiency lighting upgrades to some of Durango’s major facilities.
Elsewhere in this issue read about the “Power of Human Connections” in action as Tri-State, on behalf of Colorado’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives, is helping those who are struggling with hunger in co-op-served communities across the state.
Finally, check out the Manager’s Column where 2010 NRECA president and Tri-State board member Wally Wolski encourages members to “put our differences aside, stand together with one voice and ‘ride for the brand’.”
For the 13th straight year, Colorado’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives will be a supporting sponsor of the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado. Tonight, January 13th, is Touchstone Energy Night at the rodeo, where the popular six-horse draft hitch will be showcased.
The hitch is one of the National Western’s top entertainment attractions and will be featured at 23 Pro Rodeo performances, two Mexican rodeo extravaganzas, the Martin Luther King Rodeo and rode through downtown Denver for the annual NWSS parade. In addition to seeing the electric co-op Touchstone Energy logo on the hitch, stock show attendees will see Touchstone Energy messaging in print and Internet promotions and throughout the event grounds.
Thanks to Colorado Country Life for help with this article.