The third annual #WhoPowersYou contest launches this fall, but now's the time for your co-op to start making plans.

Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives is again sponsoring the online contest recognizing people making a positive impact in their communities.

"The contest is really beneficial for your cooperative," said Mary Ann Cristiano, director of marketing, advertising and digital strategy at Touchstone Energy. "It endorses the Touchstone Energy core value of commitment to community. It helps energize your local community by raising awareness of a local need. And it provides the winners with a means to continue to give back."

"We've learned a great deal from our last two contests and hope to make this one even more successful. Last year we doubled the number of nominations and we anticipate that number to grow even more this year," said Cristiano.

The 2018 edition launches Oct. 1 with a redesigned #WhoPowersYou website. Getting involved is easy. Touchstone Energy has created promotional resources including ads for print, social media and web banners. There are also ready-made emails to send to both employees and members, suggested social media posts, and an image library to customize communications.

"Of course, the easiest way to participate is just to share the posts that we put on Facebook and Twitter," said Cristiano.

"It's easy to enter. You just share a photo of your nominee and a brief description of how the nominee has made a difference in their community," said Cristiano. Only members and employees of Touchstone Energy co-ops can make nominations, but the nominees do not have to be co-op members.

The grand prize winner receives $5,000; second place is $2,000; third place is $1,500; and honorable mention is $500.

The contest will run through Nov. 4, after which a panel of three outside judges will select the winners, with an announcement due in December.

Touchstone Energy said the 2017 edition of #WhoPowersYou generated more than 3 million impressions across social media channels, more than 128,000 social media engagements, and nearly 40,000 visits to

But ultimately, Cristiano said the contest's success depends on co-op involvement.

"We couldn't do it without your support and promotion of local heroes making a difference in your community."

Check out more information about #WhoPowersYou, including a playbook and resources.