Rantala of nationwide Blue Hawk Cooperative wins CEO Outstanding Communicator and communications-contest winners announced
June 12, 2023 – The nationwide Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA) held their annual institute in Portland, Maine, last week. Anne Moore of Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, Green Bay, Wis. was honored with CCA’s Michael Graznak Award.
The long-running award is named for Michael Graznak, a cooperative communicator, whose life was cut short when he passed away while on a work-related field assignment. Throughout his career, Graznak supported cooperatives and was actively involved in CCA. During the course of many decades, 45 CCA members have been honored in his memory.
“In one of the recommendation letters, it was said the 2023 winner (Anne Moore) ‘always makes sure everyone feels included on the team and encourages others to let their ideas be heard,’” said Kelly Jimenez, Carroll EMC, Carrollton, Ga., as she gradually announced this year’s winner at the honors banquet Tuesday night, June 6. “This person has been responsible for wearing numerous hats at their cooperative, including managing the website and social-media pages, e-mail platforms, and serving as the public-relations liaison. She’s extremely organized and has a passion for photography and video production. The recipient (Anne Moore) also has an active role in CCA, including being a member of the board of directors, and has been recognized in the CCA Communications Contest.”
Lance Rantala, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the nationwide Blue Hawk Cooperative, was honored at the same banquet with the 2023 CCA CEO Outstanding Communicator Award. In one of the nomination letters, Blue Hawk’s Vice President of Marketing and Communications Teri Ditsch said, “Lance believes communication is such a crucial part of our cooperative’s success, that I’ve participated in all board meetings, representing our communications team, for many years. He feels it’s important to have my opinion in our strategic planning and vision, along with first-hand knowledge of what’s happening on a board-leadership level, to stay on top of messaging.”
The CCA Board of Directors recognized Randy Hill, Planters Electric Membership Corporation, Millen, Ga., as the 2023 Outstanding Leader for his extensive dedication to every CCA committee of which he’s a member.
Winners of the 2023 CCA Communications Contest were also announced during the three-day event. Allison Jenkins, MFA Incorporated, Columbia, Mo., was named writer of the year. Photography best of show was presented to the communications team at CHS, Inc., Inver Grove Heights, Minn., for the best use of photos in a publication. From Columbia, Mo., the marketing department at MFA Oil Company won best of show in programs and projects with their recent promotional video. Finally, best of show in the publications category was awarded to the communications department from CHS, Inc., for the C Magazine member publication.
Next year’s CCA Annual Institute will be held June 2-4, 2024, in Des Moines, Iowa.
CCA exists to improve the effectiveness of all cooperative communicators; advance professional standards and exchange facts, research, techniques, and opinions among cooperative communicators; and conduct an annual institute and other programs suitable to meeting the purpose of the association. Board members for the 2022-2023 business year, and their home cooperatives: Candace Croft, president, West Florida Electric Cooperative Association, Inc., Graceville, Fla.; Michelle Geans, vice president, Baldwin EMC, Summerdale, Ala.; Cliff Dolbeare, secretary-treasurer, GROWMARK, Inc., Bloomington, Ill.; Adam Buckallew, MFA Oil Company, Columbia, Mo.; Kelly Jimenez, Carroll EMC, Carrollton, Ga.; Jennie Lacey, Flint Energies, Warner Robins, Ga.; Dori Lichty, CentralStar Cooperative, Waupun, Wis.; Anne Moore, Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, Green Bay, Wis.; and Brianna Wall, Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, Norman, Okla. Visit www.communicators.coop for more information.