Who are you?
Greg Brooks. I’m Community and Public Relations Director for Walton EMC, located in Watkinsville, Georgia.
How long have you worked with cooperatives?
More than 32 years!
Describe your role.
We’re a small department in a big co-op, so anything and everything communications. That includes member publications, website, social media, employee communications, media relations, special projects, video, photography, the annual meeting – the list seems endless. I also oversee Walton EMC’s community and youth outreach. But I think the same workload is common with many communicators who work for co-ops.
What do you enjoy about working with cooperatives?
The culture. Because our focus is service rather than profit, we’re able to genuinely care about our members and meet their needs. They’re not just a revenue stream to us. That mindset then seeps into every other part of our business. It’s nice that we can share and work alongside other co-ops rather than compete with them. It changes your entire outlook.
When did you join CCA? Why?
It was 1994 (I looked at my old CCA News copies and found my name in the New Members column in the April 1994 edition). It only listed my mailing address, phone and fax numbers – no such thing as the internet then. I was a new communicator and probably got a mailing or complimentary copy of the CCA News. CCA looked like a great organization to improve my skills (I’ve always tried to hang around people who are smarter than me). After attending the regional meeting in either Atlanta or Birmingham (don’t remember which was first), I was hooked. Nothing else in my career has helped me more than CCA.
Did anything surprise you about CCA?
Maybe not a surprise, but I clicked with my fellow South Region members. We were instant friends. I later found that CCA members from everywhere else are the same way.
What’s been your favorite thing about CCA so far?
Two favorite things; again, the people, and that CCA is so relevant to what I do. It’s always been right on target with what I need for professional development.
What are your hobbies and interests?
Radio (like communications or “ham” radio), camping, shooting.
Do you have a “bucket list”? What are some of the things on that list?
Visit all 50 states (10 more to go), fly in a P-51 Mustang and OV-1 Mohawk, take my camper out West for an extended visit.
Give us something about yourself that is surprising or that most people don’t know.
I’m allergic to meat from mammals, so no steak, sausage, barbecue, or hamburgers for me. It’s brought on by a bite from the Lone Star tick, so please wear repellent when you’re in tick habitat. Google alpha-gal if you want to know more.