About the Award

The J.C. Brown CEO Communication Leadership Award (J.C. Brown Award) recognizes an electric cooperative or public power district chief executive officer/general manager who is committed to advancing communication at the cooperative and in the electric cooperative industry. Established in 2003, the award memorializes the late J.C. Brown and his unwavering dedication to the importance of communication as a vital link connecting electric cooperatives with each other and with their consumers, and to advancing the cooperative business model. Read the J.C. Brown fact sheet (PDF) for more detailed information.

The J.C. Brown Award winner is recognized at NRECA's CEO Close Up conference in January. The CEO and his or her communication's team are also recognized at the CONNECT conference in May.

Read about the legendary wit of J.C. Brown here.

Application Process and Timeline

The 2021 cycle is now open, and entries will be accepted until Oct. 30, 2020.

Helpful resources available for download:

Note: We strongly recommend downloading and completing the hard copy of the nomination form prior to beginning your actual submission. The online submission form must be completed in one sitting and does not allow you to save the form and come back to it later.

Please make note of the word limits to written responses and the size limits for any optional supporting materials.

All nominators receive notice regarding the status of their entry by mid-December after the close of the award cycle. Please note subsequent award criteria are subject to change.

2020 J.C. Brown Award Winner

The 2020 award was presented during NRECA's CEO Close-Up conference in January. Congratulations to Ted Case, executive director, Oregon Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

Read more: Oregon's Ted Case Wins J.C. Brown Award

Ready for more inspiration as you consider a J.C. Brown award application? Check out the list of past winners and highlights of recent winners.


Contact Alexis Dunnum,, 703-907-5714.

The J.C. Brown CEO Communication Leadership Award is sponsored by the Council of Rural Electric Communicators (CREC) and the Certified Cooperative Communicator (CCC) Program Board in conjunction with the Spotlight on Excellence Awards Program.

See the Awards & Recognition page to learn about other communications awards programs.