Cooperative Communicators Association plans for annual institute in Des Moines, Iowa

March 7, 2024 – Early-bird registrations for the nationwide Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA) Institute in Des Moines, Iowa, are due May 2, 2024. The early-June event moves to different locations every year and is a popular tool for providing communicators in the cooperative-business model education and networking opportunities. The agenda and registration information can be found at

“Des Moines is said to be the fastest-growing metro in the Midwest, and it’s within a five-hour drive of 25% of the country,” said CCA Institute Co-Chair Dori Lichty, from CentralStar Cooperative, Waupun, Wis. “We’re excited to host our 2024 CCA Institute in such a popular and easily-accessible location.”

Graphic designer, Greg Nettles, will kick off the institute with a hands-on workshop Sunday, June 2, from 1-4 p.m. Nettles owned and operated his own design business for 19 years before joining the agricultural cooperative, GROWMARK, in 2016 as manager of design and production. “If you already know how to design a layout with text and photos in Adobe InDesign, but want to bump up your design skills to the next level, this training is for you,” said Lichty.

Monday morning, June 3, kicks off a robust two-day list of speakers all geared toward improving a variety of communication skillsets. “Organization surveys have told us membership wants to learn as much as possible about artificial intelligence, so this year’s institute features a strong focus in that area,” noted Lichty. “General sessions will cover developing personal relationships, fundamentals and incorporation of artificial intelligence, management skills, giving persuasive presentations, building and measuring video use, and how to succeed through integrity. Breakout sessions will detail modern writing techniques for attracting and holding reader attention, process thinking for better overall communication, artificial-intelligence tools for video editing, and tips for improved employee communication.”
Those who work in communication with cooperatives, but don’t have the budget to attend the CCA Institute, can apply for financial assistance from the Sullivan Education Fund by April 1, 2024. Find information about the fund at

CCA exists to improve the effectiveness of all cooperative communicators; advance professional standards; and exchange facts, research, techniques, and opinions among cooperative communicators. Board members for the 2023-2024 business year, and their home cooperatives: Michelle Geans, president, Baldwin EMC, Summerdale, Ala.; Cliff Dolbeare, vice president, GROWMARK, Inc., Bloomington, Ill.; Dori Lichty, secretary-treasurer, CentralStar Cooperative, Waupun, Wis.; Adam Buckallew, MFA Oil Company, Columbia, Mo.; Kelly Jimenez, Carroll EMC, Carrollton, Ga.; Jennie Lacey, Flint Energies, Warner Robins, Ga.; Anne Moore, Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, Green Bay, Wis.; Brianna Wall, Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, Norman, Okla., and Hayley Leatherwood, Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives, Oklahoma City, Okla. Visit for more information.

Photo: Documentary filmmaker Juliette Sutherland visits about making videos for business use during the 2023 Cooperative Communicators Institute in Portland, Maine. This year’s event is scheduled for June 2-4, 2024, in Des Moines, Iowa.

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