1. Describe your current role and your responsibilities.
My current role is deputy director. In this role, I work closely with APA’s member electric utilities to implement an effective government relations program and to help advance the goals of APA’s members to provide electric energy and other services at the best value to their customers through conferences, trainings, and other activities. My role at APA often has me speaking publicly to various groups about utility industry issues, working with legislators and their staff, and using social media and other technology platforms to advance APA's message or to operate our day-to-day activities.
2. In general, how has being a Certified Cooperative Communicator (CCC) helped you in your work and in your career?
First, becoming a CCC provided me with in-depth familiarity with the industry I work for. Having the base of knowledge required to pass the CCC exam has provided me with the confidence I need when speaking publicly or advocating on behalf of our members. Not only that, but when I explain what my CCC means to the members of APA, it gives me greater credibility and authority to speak and represent our industry. I've also met other talented CCCs through the program who have helped me with ideas or by sharing their experiences. This has been advantageous to me and APA.
3. What’s one thing about being a CCC that has made a difference for you?
The base of knowledge I was provided with through the CCC process has made the biggest difference. When I was hired to my position, I did not have experience working for or with electric utilities. Going through the CCC program educated me on what I needed to know, and I have built on that ever since.
4. What is something you’ve approached differently or had greater success with because of what you learned from CCC?
The terms and language I use in my role at APA has been influenced by my CCC training. I approach how I speak about our industry to those who do not work for power companies much differently than I likely would without being a CCC. The continuing education aspects of being a CCC has furthered my learning about this industry and increased my ability to be effective in my position.
5. What advice would you give someone considering the Certified Cooperative Communicator (CCC) Program?
I would ask them if they intend to have a long career in the electric co-op industry. If they answer yes, I would encourage them to become a CCC so they can enjoy a successful career where they make a difference using the training they gain from the CCC program.