The Autry Award for 'Always On' Communication

About the Award

The Autry Leadership Award for "Always On" Communication (Autry Award) is a "lifetime achievement" recognition acknowledging an electric cooperative communicator who has made extraordinary, lasting contributions to the practice of "Always On" communication on a national level. The award was established in 2017 in honor of Jimmy Autry, who retired that year after a distinguished career as an electric cooperative communicator whose singular impact was recognized across the nation. Jimmy was instrumental in creating and promoting the Always On framework for communication, which is as strategically important to a cooperative’s success as the infrastructure that keeps the lights on. An Always On communicator is focused on creating and delivering strategic communication that strengthens member relationships, enabling operational success.

Learn more about Always On communication in the Always On Report.


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Nomination Process

An Autry Leadership Award nominee is someone who is well-known and respected across Co-op Nation and who has worked a minimum of 20 years in electric cooperative communications, including time at a strategic management level. An individual may be nominated within one year of ending service. The nominee’s cooperative must be a voting member of NRECA. The Autry Leadership Award is awarded only as merited, and a recipient may receive it only once.

Potential candidates may be nominated by any industry peer who is currently employed by an electric cooperative that is a voting member of NRECA. Current members of the CREC Executive Committee or CREC Awards & Recognition Committee chairpersons may not submit a nomination. A worthy nominee will have:

  • Made an extraordinary impact on and contribution to the practice of Always On communication. This individual will be well known across Co-op Nation, and not just within the marketing-communications community.

  • Executed a substantial body of work that demonstrates leadership and innovation in communication, member service, and community relations.

  • Inspired others and served as a national role model for strategic communications excellence.

To submit a candidate for consideration, complete the Nomination Form and include three letters of reference. Reference letters should not come from the nominee’s home co-op and should demonstrate the singular impact of the nominee beyond the home co-op, state or local region. Nominations will be accepted at any time and directed to members of the CREC Executive Committee and Awards & Recognition Committee Chairs, who will evaluate and score the nominee based on the three qualifications listed above. With a unanimous affirmative vote of these committees, the nomination will move to the full CREC for approval. A nominee receiving a majority vote in favor of his/her nomination will be named an Autry Leadership Award winner. Nominators will be notified as to the final status of the nomination.