By Linda Nyberg, CCC, Sangre de Cristo Electric Association, Inc.
Mona Neeley is the director of publications for the Colorado Rural Electric Association. She is also the editor for Colorado Country Life (Colorado’s monthly statewide magazine).
What year did you get your CCC and how long did it take you to go through the process?
I earned my CCC in 2004. I think it took me about a year and half. I waited to take the test until it was being given here in Denver. Debbie Skillicorn was one of the proctors for the exam. It was the first time we could turn in our tests electronically. We had to save the results somehow (I don’t remember if it was on one of the small 3 ½-inch disks or how we saved it) and then print them out on a computer at the front of the room. I was on my Mac; the printer was hooked to a PC. I remember being worried that I would lose everything I had just done and then being so relieved when it all worked the way it was supposed to! (Although it seems that it took all of us some doing and redoing to make it work. There was some tension at the end of the test!)
What do you remember most about going through the process?
Two things: 1) realizing the overwhelming amount of information I needed to go through once the books and materials arrived; 2) how much I learned. I had worked for CREA/CCL since 1994 and knew a lot about the industry. Going through the CCC program, however, filled in some information on the co-ops’ financial side (TIER and OTIER) and helped me understand other parts of what we write about much better (kilowatts versus kilowatt-hours). Some of the materials are still reference books in my work library.
What do you remember about preparing to take the exam?
Hours and hours of studying and pages and pages of notes. (I learn best by writing and rewriting information, so I filled notebooks with notes.)
Is there any advice that you would like to give future CCC’s going through the process?
Know that it is a commitment, but also know that it is going to give you a basic understanding of the industry that will be beneficial in a lot of different ways and help you as you write about the industry.
It shows my commitment to be the best I can be at my job. It is also that annual reminder to make an effort to continue to learn and stay current on what is happening in our industry.
Is there anything else that you would like to add?
The CCC program is a good program and I am happy to see the way the board has continued to improve and update the program so that it stays relevant for all of the new, young communicators joining the co-op family. With so many communicators retiring in the next few years and younger employees replacing those retiring, the CCC program is even more important in carrying the co-op message forward and helping these new communicators understand a complicated and vital industry.