The LaBerge Award for Excellence in Strategic Communication 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 Application Criteria Guidelines for more detailed information.

Nomination Process and Timeline

The 2021 award cycle is now closed and entries are currently being evaluated. 

You can download the Call for Entries, Frequently Asked Questions, the Judges’ Rubric and a sample of the nomination 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.

Please note subsequent award criteria are subject to change.

2020 LaBerge Award Winner

Congratulations to the 2020 LaBerge Award Winner, Nanci McMaken, vice president and chief communications officer at Pioneer Electric Cooperative.

Read more: Pioneer REC’s Nanci McMaken Wins LaBerge Award for Excellence in Communications

Watch the Video: 2020 LaBerge Award Winner

Ready for more inspiration as you consider a LaBerge award application? Check out the entry form of the 2020 winner.

Past Winner

2019 Winner: Keith Stapleton, chief communications officer of Sam Houston Electric Cooperative. Read more.

Watch the Video: 2019 LaBerge Award Winner



Contact Alexis Dunnum,, 703-907-5714

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.