Magazine article Rural Cooperatives

CCA Honors Go To: Krisle, Brooks, Dumont

Magazine article Rural Cooperatives

CCA Honors Go To: Krisle, Brooks, Dumont

Article excerpt

The Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA) presents three special honors each year. These recognize a co-op manager/CEO for communications excellence, a career achievement award for a co-op communicator and an award for an outstanding young co-op communicator (35 or younger).

Krisle w ins CEO Award

An accountant by trade, Bart Krisle, CEO at Tennessee Farmers Cooperatives (TFC), is one who sees things by the numbers. But he's equally committed to communicating about matters of importance to his cooperative, which is why the numbers added up to his winning the 2010 CEO Outstanding Communicator Award. Krisle believes "promotion of education," one of the original principles of cooperation, remains important to cooperatives today.

"In the co-op world, our communications people are the stewards of this principle. They are the ones who--day in and day out educate and communicate with our membership and other key business partners about how the cooperative is accomplishing its mission and creating value for its members," he says. Krisle has been with TFC for 26 years, assuming duty as CEO in 2006. He immediately gained a reputation for having a simple, honest, straightforward communications style with an "opendoor" policy that encourages employee and member feedback.

"As a TFC director, I've benefited from his ability to put information on our level and help us understand complex issues, says "Whitey" Doughery, TFC chairman. "It's also plain to see that Bart has an excellent relationship with our members at the local level, and it all comes down to how well he communicates with them."

In addition to his strong support for the co-op's award-winning communications team, he is noted for his ability to connect with employees and members at meetings.

In 2009, he instituted a new leadership-development program for key employees and required communications to be included in the curriculum. In 2010, he appointed a committee to study the use of social media as a marketing and communications tool for TFC and its 57 member co-ops and their 70,000 farmer-members. The co-op now has a social media presence on Facebook and YouTube with plans to integrate other interactive tools soon.

Klinefelter Award goes to Brooks

"Innovative. Dedicated. Professional. Eloquent. Successful. Giving. Humble." Those are a few of the words used by fellow workers and communications peers from across the nation to describe Greg Brooks, winner of the 2010 Klinefelter Award for his efforts to "further the cooperative system and raise the standards for cooperative communications." It is the highest honor the association gives for career accomplishment in cooperative communications.

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Remarkably, Brooks started his career with Georgia's Walton EMC 23 years ago as a member services representative. Despite having no background or training in communications or journalism, he began editing the co-op newsletter in 1993, moved fulltime to the newly created communications department in 1994 and was given the task of creating the co-op's first communications program. …

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