“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” Zig Ziglar

I learned about the CCC designation three months after accepting a position with the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives in 2011. I started my journey in the electric cooperative industry with no previous knowledge or exposure to this field. Let’s be honest: I had no clue that there were “distribution” cooperatives and “generation and transmission” cooperatives, let alone the ins and outs of this complex and essential industry. While I felt confident in my communications training having obtained a BA in journalism and having worked as editor-in-chief and news editor in a couple of newsrooms, I knew my learning curve in the electric co-op world would be steep. When I attended NCCO as one of the newest of newbies, I was told there was a professional, longstanding and esteemed certification that would better equip me to communicate in electric cooperative matters. With only three months of employment, I jumped into the opportunity to pursue my CCC designation.

In 2012, I was one of five candidates who took the exam and passed from a pool of 17 test takers. I never get tired of sharing my CCC story: I invested time and energy to pursue this invaluable certification because I knew it would give me a boost (in knowledge, in confidence and in competence) in the industry I’ve learned to love. What distinguishes the CCC certification from other professional communication designations is the empowering knowledge one gains from better understanding the electric cooperative industry: its history, regulatory environment, business model, technical facets and much more. Yes, the CCC designation strengthens one’s communications techniques, but the core of its mission is to empower communicators with industry knowledge and equip them to serve as the “voice” of cooperatives across the nation. Achieving the CCC designation is not the end of a journey; on the contrary, achieving this designation is the beginning of a lifelong learning endeavor.

I have been serving on the CCC Board of Directors for 6 years now, and I’m a strong believer in the value of this certification. Serving on the board has been one of the greatest highlights of my career. I have had the honor of working alongside the industry’s brightest and most talented individuals. As I wrap up my service with the CCC Board in May, I look back at how enlightening the last six years have been, but I look to the future enthusiastically. The CCC Board is comprised of hard working, passionate and extremely dedicated communicators; I know they will continue to provide strong direction and improvement to the program. To my fellow CCCs, I encourage each of you to continue serving as ambassadors for this program and find ways to become involved. There are new generations of communicators entering the field, and they need the same “push” and nurturing I received back in 2011.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve on the board for the last six years. It has truly been an honor. Together, let’s continue to make this journey the best that it can be!

Anna Politano

Chair, CCC Board of Directors

Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives