Garkane Energy recently received national recognition in the 2015 “Spotlight on Excellence” awards program, sponsored by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Garkane received a Gold award in the Best Total Communication Program category. The annual awards competition recognizes the top-rated communication and marketing efforts by electric cooperatives and related organizations.

Participants in the awards competition competed with electric cooperatives of similar sizes from all over the United States. There were more than 780 entries in the Spotlight on Excellence program, now in its 27th year, and Garkane Energy was fortunate to win the Gold award this year. Faculty members from the University of Missouri – Columbia, University of South Carolina and Ohio University Scripps-Howard School of Journalism judged the entries.

Garkane received the Gold award for its year-long communication efforts centered upon its 75-year history celebrations. The focus of the communication efforts were based on the self-published history book titled, Lighting The Plateau, written by Garkane’s Board President, Carl Boyd. “The history book does an excellent job highlighting what life was like in rural Utah before Garkane brought electricity to the region, and we wanted to convey that in an interesting way. We hope the members were able to get a copy and read through it to better understand the sacrifice the early Garkane employees went through to bring power to the region,” stated Neal Brown of Garkane Energy.

“The judges noted that electric cooperatives are being challenged to communicate to the people they serve in more ways than ever before,” said Carol Crabtree, administrator of Spotlight on Excellence. “Printed newsletters, news releases, websites, social media and videos are all more important than ever to keep members updated.”

A special champagne reception honored the award recipients during the Connect Conference held in Minneapolis, Minn., on May 12. Winning entries were displayed during the event.