Who are you?
I’m Rebecca Shobe, manager of communications and public relations for Baldwin EMC in Summerdale, Ala. I have husband, Robert, and three sons — Rob, Ricky, and Ryan. I’ve worked in the cooperative world for almost 33 years.
Describe your role.
Here’s the official version: “Develops and implements positive and effective communication strategies and activities involving employees, members, and the public audiences of Baldwin EMC. Manages communications activities, promotes member understanding, advances employee engagement, and supports the cooperative’s vision, ‘to be the leader as a safe, member focused, efficient and community involved cooperative.’ Oversees the cooperative’s Operation Round Up program activities and represents the co-op as ex officio member of the Baldwin EMC Charitable Foundation Board.”
The facts are … I am privileged to work with a wonderful and creative team of incredible communications and public relations professionals who “Show, Share, and Tell Baldwin EMC’s Story.” They are the heart and soul of our communications and public relations programs, and the results of their efforts in member and employee engagement are outstanding. Our co-op is in great hands for the future. I’m proud to be able to support and encourage their amazing achievements!
What do you enjoy about working with cooperatives?
Cooperatives are businesses created to serve. The culture of service to our members, to our communities, and even to other cooperatives is a place I feel like I belong. One of my co-workers likes to say “cooperatives are in business to make a difference – not a profit” and that statement explains exactly how I feel about working for the co-op. Besides all of that, and maybe most important, cooperatives are like family – sharing common values and principles and accepting one another for who we are.
When did you join CCA? Why?
I joined CCA in 2009 or 2010 because I had heard such good things about the association and the institute. It was a year or so later I attended my first institute and realized how beneficial the relationships are with other communicators.
Did anything surprise you about CCA?
The close friendships between long-time CCA members impressed me. It seemed like everyone knew everyone else! The Institute and workshops are great learning experiences, but the extra value of meeting and getting to know other communicators across the country is invaluable.
What’s been your favorite thing about CCA so far?
The amazing people I’ve met at conferences and while serving on committees is the best perk of CCA. I love learning from others who work in different industries and locations and realizing how much we share the same joys and challenges in communications.
What are your hobbies and interests?
I love to read and prefer reading on Kindle – both for relaxation and for spiritual growth. I’m pianist for my church and sing on the praise team; I also teach small group Bible studies and serve on the leadership team. Between work, home and church, I stay busy!
Do you have a “bucket list”? What are some of the things on that list?
- Travel to Alaska to visit my two grandchildren (and their parents of course!)
- Leisurely vacation in the Smoky Mountains (or any mountains will do as long as it’s not too cold)
- Read all of the “Mitford” series – preferably on Kindle.
Give us something about yourself that is surprising or that most people don’t know.
I have a paralyzed vocal cord due to thyroid surgery. For more than two years I could hardly speak above a whisper. Two successive surgeries restored my voice – not to completely normal, but at least I sound like myself again. After that experience, being able to sing in church is a huge praise for me. My voice still isn’t very strong and will give out on me at random moments – usually when I’m in an important meeting or at a drive-through window!
Email Rebecca here.