Agenda & Sessions

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Saturday, June 3, 2017

(Registration in ballroom area Noon – 5:00 pm)
5:00 pm – 6:30 pm • Welcome Reception
6:30 pm • Social Event – Sign-up Dinners
Time to explore some of the hottest restaurants in Baton Rouge, rivaling the most legendary establishments down the river in New Orleans. There will be a wide selection to tantalize your taste buds.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

(Registration in ballroom area 8:00 am – 1:00 pm)
7:00 am • Optional Golf Outing
LSU Golf Course. Course fees, rentals and transportation are the responsibility of the golfer. Reservation deadline May 19. To RSVP, contact Billy Gibson at .
10:30 am – 11:30 pm • New Member Orientation
1:15 pm – 1:30 pm • Welcome to Bayou Country
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm • Reaching the Positive Energy Boiling Point
Bruce Hamilton – Author, No Bad Days
The CCA Institute will get off to a flaming-hot start as Hamilton enthusiastically explains why he hasn’t had a bad day since he survived a near-death experience more than 10 years ago. He’ll share his secrets for making sure you’ll never have another bad day.
2:45 pm – 3:45 pm • A Very Bad Day: The Great Flood of 2016
Moderator: Billy Gibson, Association of Louisiana Electric Cooperatives
Panel Participants: David Latona, Chanon Johnson and Brent Bradley, Dixie Electric Membership Corp.
In this panel discussion, cooperative employees will describe the crisis that occurred in August of 2016 when the Greater Baton Rouge area experienced a 1,000 year flood, the worst U.S. natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy. They’ll detail how they responded to an event in which a quarter of the co-op’s workforce and their families were driven from their homes, while more than 130,000 homes, businesses, government facilities and other structures sustained extensive flood damage.
3:45 pm – 4:45 pm • CCA Business Session
4:45 pm – 5:00 pm • 200 Years of Red Stick
Davis Rhorer, Executive Director, Downtown Development District
Long-time director of the Baton Rouge DDD, Rhorer will share a brief history of the town called Red Stick that is celebrating its 200-year anniversary. He’ll share some hot tips on what to see and do.
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm • Cajun Fever
Come catch the Cajun Fever as we gather together at the Old Louisiana State Capitol, a historic landmark located just two blocks from the host hotel. Though Mark Twain once called this castle-like structure the most unsightly building on the Mississippi, step inside and you’ll find the place sizzling as the band Lagniappe belts out some Zydeco music and Cajun dancers pull everyone out of their seats to demonstrate a proper Bayou twostep and a fais-do-do. Plus, a couple of local co-op chefs and friends of CCA will serve up some authentic Louisiana cuisine right there on the spot.

Monday, June 5, 2017

8:00 am – 8:45 am • Regional Family Time
Start your day the co-op family way! This is a time to meet with fellow communicators from your CCA region for the latest updates and other informative conversation.
9:00 am – 10:00 am • Fix That Default Face!
Dr. Tommy Karam, Professor, Louisiana State University School of Business
If you don’t believe your tone of voice is important, just ask your significant other. Dr. Karam works with star athletes at LSU to show them how to project a more positive image to the public and close associates. By paying closer attention to how they walk and talk and the mannerisms they use, athletes – and you – can build more fruitful relationships just by making a few minor changes.

10:15 am – 11:15 am • Light Your Fuse

Stan Levy, Owner and Manager, Fuse Agency
Want to know how to light your fuse and have your brand blast off to success? Levy and his firm have designed the public image campaigns of many leading local companies and have even helped the Oregon Ducks become the hottest brand in college football. Levy will show how to achieve your goals through an all-in gumbo strategy.

10:15 am – 11:15 am • Winning Friends, Influencing People

Danny Heitman, Editorial Writer and Columnist, The Baton Rouge Advocate
An award-winning columnist, Heitman is also the lead editorial writer for the newspaper of record in Louisiana’s Capitol City. He will share his ideas on how to effectively persuade and win over an audience to understanding and adopting your point of view.
11:30 am – 1:30 pm • CCA Contest Awards Luncheon
The Awards Luncheon provides an opportunity to recognize outstanding communicators for their best work and inspires others to nourish their seeds of creativity in an increasingly competitive environment.

1:45 pm – 2:45 pm • Smokin’ Hot Messages

Benny DiChiara, Owner DiChiara Creative Advertising Agency
Communication breakdowns can often be avoided by simply making sure your message is crystal clear. DiChiara will offer his ideas on how to target the right message to the right audience through the right channels to build a lasting bond with your members.

1:45 pm – 2:45 pm • Sizzling Shutterbug Tips

Casie Deville, Owner, House of Deville Art and Photography
Whether you’re in the studio or in the field, Deville will share the skills and creative techniques that have made her an award-winning photographer. She’ll have you venturing well beyond the automatic program setting on your DSLR and even show how to take more vibrant images on your smart phone.

3:00 pm – 3:45 pm • Fire-walking to the Top

Randy Pierce, CEO Association of Louisiana Electric Cooperatives
Pierce began his career 30 years ago as a co-op communicator and has worked his way up to the head of Louisiana’s rural electric statewide association and a leader in the national Rural Electric Statewide Managers Association. A solid supporter of co-op communicators and the work they do, Pierce will provide insight on how to effectively get through to the boss and also suggest ways to get to the top of the management ladder.

3:00 pm – 3:45 pm • Steamin’ Streams

Jamie Vander Molen, Director of Digital Training, Dairy Management Inc.
Facebook Live is capturing the Social Media world by storm. This session will explore how to integrate this new technology into your communication plan.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

8:15 am – 9:15 am • Get it on Film

Matt Wettersten, Public and Media Relations Specialist, GROWMARK, Inc.
You don’t have to be Cecil B. DeMille to produce quality video on a budget. We’ll cover everything you need to know to create eye-popping visual messages that will engage your members and help you promote your brand to audiences young and old.

8:15 am – 10:30 am • Unlocking the Mysteries of Illustrator* (Limited to 50 participants**)

Vector art?! You need vector art?! What is vector art?! This two-hour course will explore how to use the tools found in Adobe Illustrator to create vector-based images for crisp, high-quality printing. Led by LANtech, the course will show you how to unlock the power of this popular but often intimidating software design application.
  • Participants must bring a laptop with Adobe Illustrator to participate.
  • To register for this course, you must also email cca@communicators.coop. Registration payment must be received within 3 business days to secure your seat. First come, first served.

9:30 am – 10:30 am • Assert Yourself

Julie Burch, Motivational Speaker
Keynote speaker Julie Burch will lead this breakout session on how to get your message across more assertively in way that will be sure to capture the attention of your members.
11:00 am – 12:00 pm • Roundtable Discussion by Topic of Interest
Share ideas with your fellow CCAers in small group discussions separated by topic of interest.
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm • Lunch and Entertainment
Enjoy lunch and then get ready to laugh as Cajun Humorist Kent Gonsoulin spins his colorful tales of life on the bayou with the Boudreauxs and the Thibodauxs.
1:45 pm – 2:30 pm • Setting the App World on Fire
Chris Meaux, Owner and Founder of Waitr
One of the hottest apps on the market, Waitr is growing by leaps and bounds and spreading across several regions of the country. Meaux will reveal his secrets on how he has created a successful customer-oriented business and how you can develop an app to suit your co-op’s needs.
2:45 pm – 3:15 pm • Turn Down the Heat
Julie Burch, Motivational Speaker
The ability to manage stress and stressful situations can make the difference between personal success and failure. Burch will show you how to take control of your life, even when the heat is on. Our closing keynote speaker will inspire you to return home with a positive frame of mind and ready to set the world on fire.
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm • Honors Reception
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm • Honors Banquet
Enjoy great food and a great view of the Capitol City as CCA bestows its most prestigious awards on deserving co-op communicators.