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Illinoisans Helping Plan Cooperative Communicator Institute in New England
Illinois Ag Connection - 11/23/2022

The Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA) is a professional-development organization for cooperative communicators throughout the United States. Plans are in the works to put a spotlight on communication and host CCA's annual institute at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland, Maine, June 4-6.

"The three-day event will appeal to a wide range of communicators with general sessions covering crisis communication, communication's role in developing a company's culture, and how communicators can influence employee hiring and retention," says event o-chair Cliff Dolbeare, with GROWMARK, Inc., Bloomington, Ill. "Attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in hands-on breakout sessions on photography, videography, and digital-marketing strategies."

With CCA's emphasis on improving the communication technical skills of its members, the group is not afraid to try something new in order to accomplish the goal. "For the first time, the CCA Institute will feature a pre-conference writing workshop," added Dolbeare. "Mike Long, professional speechwriter, playwright, and director of writing for the graduate program in public relations at Washington, D.C.'s Georgetown University will provide tools and techniques attendees can use for immediate improvement."

Part of the professional-development assets of a membership with CCA is the opportunity to learn from leading and planning events, webinars, etc., as well as sitting on the board of directors. The 2023 CCA Institute Planning Committee includes Dolbeare; Elizabeth McOllough, co-chair, Gold-Eagle Cooperative, Goldfield, Iowa; Chandra Allen, Tillamook County Creamery Association, Tillamook, Ore.; Blair Brown, Flint Energies, Warner Robbins, Ga.; and Katelynn Baer, GROWMARK. "Our team has done an amazing job of ironing out location details, searching for quality speakers, and working hard to make the overall institute experience a valuable professional-development tool," said McOllough. "I am really looking forward to seeing everyone together in June." Those interested in attending the June, 2023, CCA Institute can watch for a detailed schedule, etc. in the spring by visiting or following the organization on Facebook.

CCA exists to improve the effectiveness of all cooperative communicators; advance professional standards of cooperative communicators; afford interchange of facts, research, techniques, and opinions among cooperative communicators; and conduct an annual institute and other programs suitable to meeting the purpose of the association. Board members for the 2022-2023 business year, and their home cooperatives: Candace Croft, president, West Florida Electric Co-op Association, Inc., Graceville, Fla.; Michelle Geans, vice president, Baldwin EMC, Summerdale, Ala.; Dolbeare, secretary-treasurer, GROWMARK; Adam Buckallew, MFA Oil Company, Columbia, Mo.; JuliAnn Graham, Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Hooker, Okla.; Kelly (Hester) Jimenez, Carroll Electric Membership Corporation, Carrollton, Ga.; Jennie Lacey, Flint Energies, Warner Robins, Ga.; Dori Lichty, CentralStar Cooperative, Waupun, Wis.; and Anne Moore, Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, GreenBay, Wis. Visit for more information.

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