Join CCA as they put the spotlight on communications at the 2023 CCA Institute.
Institute will be held June 4-6, 2023, at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland, Maine. Click on the tabs for agenda details, information on speakers, activities, and hotel room blocks.
Please direct any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to executing an outstanding CCA Institute!
Click here to find out how you can be a sponsor for this exciting event.
Holiday Inn By the Bay
Address: 88 Spring St, Portland, Maine 04101
Hotel Phone #: 207-775-2311
Room Rate: $199.00 plus tax (currently 9%). Room rate will also apply for the 3 days before and after conference.
Group Code: CCA Institute – 2023
Check in: 3:00 PM; Check-out: 11:00 AM
Hotel Cut Off Date: May 2, 2023
Experience the best of Portland, Maine. The Holiday Inn By the Bay is set along the picturesque shores of Casco Bay.
Reservations: Guests can book online through the CCA reservation link.
*Rates and reservations guaranteed through end of business day on Tuesday, May 2, 2023*
Portland International Jetport (PWM) is located five miles from downtown (about a 15 minute drive). Take airport exit to Outer Congress Street. Right at the light. Approx. 2 miles to Longfellow Square, bear right onto State Street. Turn left onto Spring Street. Go through the blinking light to the next light. Cross High Street, Hotel is on the right. Learn more.
Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) – 1 hour 49 minute drive from Boston to Portland
- Overnight guests may park under the hotel at a rate of$ l5 per vehicle, per night.
- Day guests may park in the external garage at a rate of $5 per vehicle, per
- Day guests who park under the hotel will be subject to full day parking prices.
Sunday, June 4
Storytelling: A Step-by-Step Method for Creating Magic in Your Audience
|Storytelling is the most powerful tool in the arsenal of communications, but writing stories can seem like guesswork, and the word “story” means different things to different people. In this interactive seminar, playwright and Georgetown professor Michael Long reveals the system used by Hollywood screenwriters to craft stories – from 90 seconds to 90 minutes – that are compelling to every audience (and for reasons you’d never suspect). Using a system of “beats,” writers can easily identify what they need to tell a story and what to ask the principal to extract a compelling and result-making narrative. Mike shows you how.|
|4:10-5:00||CCA New Member Orientation|
|7:00 p.m.||Group Dinners|
Monday, June 5
|Breakfast on Your Own|
|8:30-8:40||Institute Kick-Off / Announcements|
|8:40-9:45||General Session 1
The Amazing Science Behind Creativity (And How to Use It to Your Advantage)
|Creativity is the brain at its best, identifying powerful connections that others do not see. The source is dopamine, the chemical that makes us want more of everything, all the time. By understanding the connection between harmony and chaos, we can understand in a revolutionary way the source of creativity – and how harness it for our own success. As the co-author of The Molecule of More and its 2024 sequel, Taming the Molecule of More, Michael Long presents a life-changing proposal that explains why winners cheat, why geniuses often suffer with mental illness, and why creativity is inseparable from life.|
|9:45-10:45||General Session 2
Navigating a Crisis: How to Defend a Reputation from Attacks and Come Out on Top in a PR Crisis
|When a cooperative has been shamed online, too often the response to criticism does not meet the expectations of stakeholders. When the response falls short, the digital PR crisis begins. Leaders often want to get back to work instead of communicating what needs to be said. To do that, someone needs to assess and likely repair any damage to the co-op’s reputation that may have occurred. Furthermore, you can’t control what people say about you and/or your company online. And many don’t know how to correct the record without making it worse. In this talk, learn how to become better prepared to respond to a PR crisis and stay in control of your reputation—especially when it feels like you’ve lost it.|
|11:00-12:00||General Session 3
Building Connections in the Hybrid World
(University of Southern Maine)
|Details to come.|
|12:15-2:15||CCA Communications Contest & Honors Luncheon|
(Dori Lichty and Karen Jones)
|Details to come.|
|3:30-4:30||Connector Group Meeting/Social|
|5:00||Boat Cruise – Off-Site Group Activity|
|2-hour cruise on Casco Bay – Includes the 2-hour boat cruise/tour of Casco Bay, light hors d’oeuvres and one drink ticket. A cash bar will be available. Separate registration required for this event.|
Tuesday, June 6
|8:00-9:00||Connector Group Breakfast Meeting|
|9:00-10:00||General Session 5
How Do You Compete for and Retain Top Talent at Your Cooperative?
|This thought keeping co-op leaders up at night. The answer is simple. Create a people focused V.A.L.U. E. culture. It’s the key to succeeding and thriving in today’s new hiring world. P.S. it doesn’t hurt that cooperatives, if we tell our story right, have the perfect mix to entice today’s generations to say yes to a career that aligns with their internal purpose and drive.|
|10:15–11:45||General Session 6
Young Adult Member Engagement
|Young adults are driving change, and society’s evolution means our member and workforce expectations are shifting. This session will help you understand that shift and learn about what today’s members and employees expect from their cooperative, and how you and your co-op can meet these expectations, ultimately increasing engagement with your next generation of members.|
|11:45-1:00||Lunch on Your Own|
|1:00-2:00||Breakout Session 1
Keep Your Cool: How to Manage a PR Crisis
|This high-energy session will offer actionable steps for any size communications team to prepare for and successfully execute through a crisis situation. Whether it’s an accident, a casualty, a legal issue, a fire or some other catastrophe, this session will give you the PR skills we hope you’ll never need to use.|
|1:00-2:00||Breakout Session 2
|Details to come.|
|2:15-3:15||General Session 7
Manage Your Projects Like A Pro
|How often does a task fall through the cracks? Do you often find yourself forgetting to respond to an important email or perhaps failing to follow through? Co-op communicators are expected to produce at extremely high levels, and it can be difficult to keep up with all the projects and tasks. Learn productivity hacks you can begin implementing right away to keep your projects organized and your priorities in line. These tips will draw on your passions as inspiration to complete the things you have to do so you can give adequate time to the things you want to do.|
|3:30-4:30||Breakout Session 3
|Details to come.|
|3:30-4:30||Breakout Session 4
Digital Marketing: Getting the Most Out of Your Website Marketing Strategies
|In this session we will discuss how design, data, and SEO strategies can improve the effectiveness of your website within your marketing plan. We will review how valuable data is in decision making and cover the new metrics offered by GA4 (Google Analytics 4). We will share examples of ideas and real-life applications. Participants are encouraged to participate in our Q&A time.|
|6:00-7:30||Honors Reception/Banquet (New Hampshire)|
|7:30 p.m.||Free Evening/Departures|
|Speaker: Mike Long
Writing Workshop and General Session 1Trained as a physicist, Michael Long is an award-winning author, speechwriter, screenwriter, and playwright.He is co-author of The Molecule of More, a Top-Ten Bestseller at Amazon and Audible, translated into over twenty languages. As a playwright he is a two-time winner of the Neil LaBute New Theater Festival. He has also been a grand-prize finalist in screenwriting at the Slamdance Film Festival.
A popular speaker, Mr. Long has addressed audiences around the world on writing and on the practical science of creativity, including in a keynote at Oxford University. He teaches writing at Georgetown University.
For more, visit MikeLongOnline.com.
||Speaker: Molly McPherson, M.S., APR
General Session 2
Molly McPherson, M.S., APR, is a nationally recognized expert in crisis public relations in the age of social media. She is the author of the book, Indestructible: Reclaim Control and Respond with Confidence in a Media Crisis and is a well-known Pop Culture & PR expert on TikTok. Molly helps organizations manage issues – from emerging to crisis – by combining her knowledge of current communication practices with years of media and crisis management experience.
In addition to hosting the podcast “The Indestructible PR Podcast with Molly McPherson,” she frequently speaks to executives and organizations about communication trends, crisis communications, and public relations. Through her experience in FEMA’s Office of External Affairs during post-Hurricane Katrina efforts, and as Director of Communications for the Cruise Line International Association in Arlington, Virginia, Molly created a proven public relations framework for responding to a public backlash both online and in the press.
Follow Molly on her YouTube channel, @mollymcpherson on Twitter, @molly.mcpherson on Instagram, and @mollybmcpherson on TikTok.
|Panelist: Dori Lichty
Dori Lichty, Beaver Dam, Wis., knew early on she was going to be a full-time communicator. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, River Falls, Wis., with a bachelor’s in agricultural marketing communication and went to work for the newspaper industry, followed by cheese marketing. In 2007, she started in agricultural cooperative communication and continued on that path. Today, Dori Lichty is the communication specialist with CentralStar Cooperative, Waupun, Wis., specializing in internal communication, recruiting, merger/acquisition communication, video production, and social media for the multi-state genetics and milk-testing cooperative. Dori has won several Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA) awards for her leadership and work projects, has participated in round-table discussions with CCA, and currently sits on the CCA Board of Directors. She is married to her husband, Steve, and they dairy farm with their two children. Dori enjoys opportunities for professional development; reading low-stress, happy-ending stories; second-handstore shopping; making crafts; and showing Holstein and Jersey cattle with her family. She is also an active member of the Dodge County Dairy Youth Advisory Committee.
||Panelist: Karen Jones
Karen Jones is the youth and young producer specialist for GROWMARK, Inc., a regional cooperative providing agriculture-related products and services and grain marketing primarily in the Midwest and in Ontario, Canada. She develops, manages, and administers GROWMARK’s involvement in youth programs and serves as GROWMARK’s representative at events involving young people’s activities. She also manages the GROWMARK Foundation.
Karen joined GROWMARK in 2004, after receiving a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Communications from the University of Illinois. Her professional experience includes employment in GROWMARK’s agronomy division, marketing services department, and corporate communications.
Raised on a grain farm in central Illinois, Karen was a 10-year 4-H member and active in FFA, earning her American FFA Degree in 2001. She remains active with her hometown FFA alumni chapter, as well as serves on the board for the Woodford County CEO Program, is leader of the Roanoke Happy Hustlers 4-H Club, and serves on her county 4-H Foundation board. She also volunteers at her church and her daughter’s school.
Karen and her husband, Christopher, farm in cooperation with Karen’s family. They have a nine-year-old daughter.
|Speaker: Chellie Phillips
General Session 5
Chellie Phillips is a sweet-tea-sipping, sassy Southerner with a passion for helping dynamic, career-minded professionals write their own success stories. She’s a coach, corporate trainer, and speaker, as well as the author of three award-winning books: When In Doubt, Delete It!, Get Noticed, Get Hired and Culture Secrets. For over 25 years, she has used her first-rate public relations and communication skills to strategically share the cooperative message. She’s been instrumental in creating a company culture that encourages employee support, growth, and community. Chellie is on a mission to help others create and find meaning and value in the workplace.
|Speaker: Maura Giles
General Session 6
Maura is the Senior Leadership Communications Manager for NRECA, where she provides communication support for NRECA’s board of directors and members, and special projects.
Currently at NRECA, Maura leads the Young Adult Member Engagement initiative, which helps co ops develop a workforce that can adapt to changes and meet contemporary expectations.
Before joining NRECA, Maura served as Cooperative Relations Manager for an electric co-op in Indiana, spokesperson for the Indianapolis Zoo, Internal Communications Manager for a hospital system, and managing editor of a daily newspaper.
She holds bachelor’s degrees in communications and English, and an MBA.
|Speaker: Rebecca Vandenberg
Breakout Session 4
Since founding VanDenBerg Web + Creative in 1999, Rebecca VanDenBerg has helped hundreds of businesses look great online. With over twenty-three years’ experience, she combines web development expertise with design savvy to build websites that capture attention and convert to sales.Rebecca credits her “just figure it out” farm upbringing for her strong work ethic and resourcefulness. Whether designing sites for farmers, bakers, contractors, or veterinarians, Rebecca finds creative solutions for their online marketing needs. She brings clarity, organization, and results to each website project, freeing business owners to do what they do best: run their businesses.
|Speaker: Brianna Wall
General Session 7
Brianna serves as manager of marketing and member relations at Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, where she has worked since 2006. Her team manages the production of all co-op print and digital communications — internal and external — social media engagement, advertising, campaign development, communications strategy, key accounts, energy efficiency programming, youth and leadership programming and more. Her prior work as OEC’s editor and creative director earned dozens of state and national awards, and she has presented on a variety of communications topics in an effort to share successes and challenges her co-op has faced. She has served on the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s Council of Rural Electric Communicators since 2018 and helps coordinate the annual Spotlight on Excellence awards program. She and her husband, Corey, with their son, Bryson, live in Moore, Oklahoma, where she actively supports community development through her volunteer and civic work.
Early Bird pricing ends May 2 — Final date to register is May 12
CCA Institute Registration 2023
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All cancellations must be made in writing via email to email@example.com or faxed to 814-355-2452.
A 50% refund will be provided for cancellations received by May 9, 2022.