The LaBerge Award for Excellence in Strategic Communication (LaBerge Award) recognizes an electric cooperative communicator with demonstrated excellence, influence and impact in co-op communications, both as a practitioner and contributor across the network. The award was established in 2018 in memory of Justin Erick LaBerge, who served as the senior leadership communications manager for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Read the LaBerge guidelines PDF for more detailed information.

The LaBerge Award winner is recognized at NRECA's CONNECT conference in May.

Application Process and Timeline

The Call for Entries for the 2020 cycle is now closed. The LaBerge winner will be announced at the CONNECT conference in May.

You can download the Call for Entries, Frequently Asked Questions, the Judges’ Rubric and a hard copy of the application form for an overview of the award and process to help you prepare. The "Always On" document (PDF) provides more background on areas that are referenced in the award criteria. The online form 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 will receive notice regarding the status of their entry by Dec. 10, 2019.

Please note subsequent award criteria are subject to change.

2019 LaBerge Award Winner

The 2019 inaugural award winner was presented during NRECA's CONNECT Conference in May. Congratulations to Keith Stapleton, chief communications officer of Sam Houston Electric Cooperative.

Read more: Sam Houston’s Keith Stapleton Receives Inaugural LaBerge Award

Watch the Video: 2019 LaBerge Award Winner

Ready for more inspiration as you consider a LaBerge award application? Check out the highlights and entry form of the 2019 inaugural winner.


Contact Anne Prince,, 703-907-5544

The LaBerge Award for Excellence in Strategic Communication is sponsored by the Certified Cooperative Communicator (CCC) Program Board and the Council of Rural Electric Communicators (CREC) in conjunction with the Spotlight on Excellence Awards Program.

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