Who are you?
My name is Chris Kirk. I’m editor of The Tennessee Magazine, published by the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association and the state’s electric co-ops. I live in Brentwood, Tennessee, with my wife, Anna; our two daughters, Sloan and Caroline; and our dog and cat.
How long have you worked with cooperatives?
I joined the magazine staff as field editor in May 2005 following graduation from the University of Tennessee.
Describe your role.
I became editor of the magazine upon the retirement of mentor and friend Robin Conover in September, so I’m still sorting through some new responsibilities. Since January 2011 I had been associate editor. Much of my time is spent editing, but I also contribute feature articles and photographs. We produce 15-23 versions of the magazine each month, and I help the co-ops customize their local pages with content specific to that cooperative. I also take photographs at events like our legislative conference and annual meeting and the Washington Youth Tour and Youth Leadership Summit.
What do you enjoy about working with cooperatives?
I find it easy to be an advocate for these organizations with such strong roots in “Concern for Community.” Our cooperatives — and the people and places across Tennessee — have important, captivating stories, and I really enjoy helping share those stories with members, legislators and magazine subscribers across the nation. And co-op employees are among the hardest-working and most knowledgeable, dedicated and down-to-earth people you can meet.
When did you join CCA? Why?
I officially joined right after I began working at The Tennessee Magazine, but I already had a lengthy history with CCA thanks to my dad, Jerry Kirk, retired editor of The Cooperator. My mom and I got to tag along with him to many CCA Institute locations, so from the beginning I knew there was great value to membership. Dad and Robin have always been enthusiastic proponents for CCA and its education, training and networking opportunities.
Did anything surprise you about CCA upon joining?
I already had a taste of membership, so I haven’t really been surprised. I already knew about the strong personal and professional relationships forged among CCA members.
What are your hobbies and interests?
Writing this in mid-October, the first thing I’ll mention is my fanaticism for college football — especially my beloved Tennessee Volunteers. More active pursuits include fishing, hunting and golfing. Our family enjoys vacationing in the Florida Panhandle and spending summer weekends at the neighborhood pool.
Do you have a “bucket list”? What are some of the things on that list?
I didn’t have much interest in traveling to Europe until I started doing some genealogical research and found that the Kirks came to America from Scotland, so I’d like to someday visit there along with the rest of the United Kingdom, Ireland and Normandy, France. I’m not sure they reach “bucket list” status, but I want to explore the American West and the Florida Keys.
Give us something about yourself that is surprising or that most people don’t know.
This is tough. I’m a pretty typical dude, so here are some tidbits: I’m a nearly 40 Parrot Head and second-generation CCA’er. I played lacrosse at UT. I have aspirations of picking up woodworking or blacksmithing or some such creative trade.
Email Chris at email@example.com