Who are you?
Angela Howerter, Director of Corporate Communications at Cobb EMC in Marietta, GA.
How long have you worked with cooperatives?
I have been at Cobb EMC for 24 years. In college, I worked for a credit union, serving as a teller and communications specialist. Utilities in general are part of my DNA. My stepdad was a lineman for a few years when he was young, my brother works for a telecom company, and my husband is an EMC crew superintendent. Plus, in one of my college graphic design classes, we were tasked with creating mock ads and collateral for a local company—and I chose Georgia Power (gasp!).
Describe your role.
We’re a small shop of three in corporate communications. I work with a talented team that manages our cooperative’s communications, branding, advertising, website and internal communications. This also includes working with our board of directors and departments across the co-op on various projects and initiatives to benefit our members. Additionally, we work closely with the marketing department to communicate special value-added programs and events to our members.
What do you enjoy about working with cooperatives?
I’m surrounded by many wonderful people who consistently put others first, whether it’s our members, the community, or fellow co-op employees. Beyond the people, it’s gratifying to know that we’re doing work that matters—especially when a significant weather event causes extended outages. Some of my favorite times at Cobb EMC involve working around the clock to keep our members informed during multi-day outage events. The work is challenging during those times but also very rewarding.
When did you join CCA? Why?
I joined CCA in 2005 for educational resources focusing on communication skills and tools. The programs and opportunities to learn from webinars and others with shared challenges and goals are a great way to stay fresh in the electric co-op industry and communication.
Did anything surprise you about CCA upon joining?
Seeing the varied types of co-ops outside of the electric industry is interesting. It’s possible to learn from and gain ideas from others, even if they’re not in the same industry.
How has CCA supported you in your career?
The tips I’ve taken from webinars and workshops have helped me improve and develop the skills needed to stay on top of trends and help my team. Finding time to focus on professional development is difficult, but I appreciate the opportunities to learn from others and share ideas. I like to learn about all aspects of communications, even if I may not be hands-on in a particular process.
What are your hobbies and interests?
Are you a beach person or a mountain person? I’ve heard extroverts prefer the beach and introverts prefer the mountains, so it’s fitting that mountains are my thing! I love being outside in nature, and after buying and renovating a truck camper with my husband, I centered my Etsy and Amazon shops around that very thing. Camping, hiking and trying out new ideas for my store are some of my favorite things to do. I also love to read and play golf, but I need to keep practicing my golf game. Family is important to me, and I love spending time with my family and two dogs.
Do you have a “bucket list”? What are some of the things on that list?
Exploring our beautiful country in our camper is a big part of my travel bucket list. During COVID, when travel was impossible, I wrote down everywhere I have traveled in my life. I was surprised to realize how many places around the world I have been privileged to see; however, creating that list made me want to explore our country and continent more. I’m most anxious to see the Northern Lights and to visit Glacier National Park.
Give us something about yourself that is surprising or that most people don’t know.
I’m working on some opportunities to sell some of my products wholesale and in local stores.
What advice would you give to professional communicators just starting their careers?
Communications is such a diverse and evolving line of work, so take every opportunity to learn, whether that comes from professional development or networking. Adaptability is a critical skill set in communications, particularly for small teams. Many people think of communicators working independently, but at my company, we’re very collaborative, so it’s important to have the ability to work on a team and have a positive attitude.
Email Angela here