download6Erin Campbell
Communications Manager
Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives

Greetings, fellow Certified Cooperative Communicators!

As the new chair of the CCC Board, I’d like to briefly introduce myself and outline my goals for the CCC program in the year ahead.

I joined the electric cooperative industry in 2008, looking to leave the volatile world of banking in the midst of an economic recession. When I first joined Corn Belt Energy, a 35,000+ meter distribution co-op in Central Illinois, I didn’t know much about the cooperative business model or the utility industry. I attended NRECA’s new communicator orientation in 2009, and that’s where I learned more about the cooperative advantage and heard about the CCC program. I decided to work towards earning my CCC credential as a way to make myself learn about the industry and also as a way to “earn a seat at the table” and gain credibility at my co-op. I took the CCC exam in 2010 and received a passing score. Two summers ago, I returned to my home state as the communications manager for the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives. Working as a statewide communicator brings its own set of unique challenges, but I am very thankful that I have a distribution communications background to draw upon.

I’ve been serving on the CCC Board for over four years, and I am in the midst of my final two-year term. Serving in this capacity has been one of the highlights of my career, and I am honored to invest in a program that has given me so much. I have two goals to keep me focused during my tenure as chair:
1. Increase the transparency of the CCC program
2. Find ways to streamline information

In early 2015, the CCC Board conducted a broad survey, which gathered responses from CCCs, non-CCC communicators and co-op CEOs. While some answers and statistics were expected, I was struck by some of the more critical responses, which opened my eyes to negative perceptions of the program. Based on those findings, your CCC Board is developing ways to share scores with candidates who fail the portfolio review or exam so that they can learn from the scores and prepare to succeed on their second try. We truly want every candidate to succeed in earning their CCC, and we are also developing a comprehensive set of guidelines and expectations for CCC peer advisors so we can provide a consistent, valuable resource. To aid in program transparency, the board is also developing a FAQ document for candidates, which addresses common questions about the portfolio process, the CCC exam, and the CCC Peer Advisor program.

I also hope to focus on streamlining the program materials and identifying efficiencies while serving as chair. I’m working with our CCC committees to look at ways we can incorporate CCC program materials into existing documents, better organize the CCC pages on, and update our board’s strategic plan.

I thank you for continuing to support the CCC program and renewing your CCC credential each year. Your board works diligently to maintain a high level of integrity and accessibility. If you ever need clarification or have comments to pass on, please do not hesitate to contact a CCC board member or our CCC program administrator, Jean Capon (you make know her as Jean Barber; she was recently married). I’m looking forward to what we can accomplish in the months ahead!

- Erin Campbell