Category: Associations

New editor at Kentucky Living

Shannon Brock succeeds Anita Travis Richter

Joel Sams joins Kentucky Electric Cooperatives

After more than 25 years of service to electric cooperatives, Kentucky Living Editor Anita Travis Richter is retiring at the end of 2022. Anita has consistently demonstrated a commitment to professional standards, personal accountability, and creative collaboration. She has distinguished herself as a generous resource and problem-solver for our member cooperatives. Anita’s institutional knowledge has been invaluable, providing insight into industry norms and practices that has aided Kentucky Electric Cooperatives to make informed decisions for the benefit of member co-ops. Her legacy is that of both a leader and a team player, demanding excellence while also being willing to handle unglamourous tasks and unrelenting deadlines…all with a positive attitude. We are grateful to Anita’s husband, Mark, and daughter, Claire, for sharing her with us all these years. We encourage you to congratulate Anita on her exemplary career and thank her for her commitment to Kentucky co-ops.

We are blessed to have on our staff the ideal successor for Kentucky Living editor, Shannon Brock. Shannon will begin her new role as editor as of the January issue of the magazine. Since 2015, Shannon has served as managing editor of Kentucky Living, embracing the mission of the statewide association to be of service to our member co-ops. A Pineville, Kentucky native, Shannon graduated from the University of Kentucky and worked for Landmark Community Newspapers for six years: three at The Anderson News in Lawrenceburg, three as editor of The Spencer Magnet in Taylorsville. She worked at The State Journal in Frankfort as news editor for one and a half years. Shannon and her husband, Josh, live in Louisville with their two children.

Finally, we are excited to welcome Joel Sams to the Kentucky Electric Cooperatives Communications team as the new managing editor of Kentucky Living. Joel brings a skillset and perspective well-suited for our service to member co-ops. He will work closely with the editorial and design teams and will be a primary contact for local section editors and communicators. Joel grew up as a member of Blue Grass Energy in Millville. He’s a graduate of Asbury University and most recently worked as the press and editorial manager/managing editor for The Council of State Governments. Joel lives in Frankfort with his wife, Brittany, and two children.

2020 KMSA Virtual Fall Meeting

The Kentucky Member Services Association (KMSA) is pleased to announce the agenda for its annual Fall Meeting on October 22 and 23.

This all-virtual program is limited to two 2-hour sessions on Day 1 and one 3-hour session on Day 2. There is no charge for attending this virtual conference. Though we hope that all communicators and member services professionals attend, the links to these sessions will be open to all co-op personnel. Specific Microsoft Teams virtual meeting links for each day are being shared both in the e-mail invitation and in the state association newsletter.

Click here for the 2020 agenda.

Rural Electric Magazine wants “Co-op Electric Vehicles” photos for February contest

Rural Electric Magazine announced their February photo contest theme is “Co-op Electric Vehicles.”

The magazine is requesting photo submissions of how your co-op demonstrates and promotes EVs to your members. 

Submissions and voting will be open until February 28. 

You can see entries that Rural Electric Magazine has received so far by clicking here

Social media best practices shared at 2019 KMSA

One of the presentations at 2019’s KMSA addressed the best practices you could put in place to help your cooperative’s presence on social media. This presentation was given by Kacey Harmeling, a graphic designer for Kentucky Living magazine, and Mary Lyons, Communication Office Coordinator at KEC. Both of which have prior experience in managing social media platforms for companies before they were hired at KEC.

The presentation included best practices like creating a social media calendar, examples of good social media content, how to engage followers, and how to best respond to followers.

Click here for a PDF version of the PowerPoint presentation.

If you have any questions about this presentation, you can email Kacey Harmeling at or Mary Lyons at

NRECA Supervisor and Manager Development Program April 15-16

With the impending retirement wave of co-op leaders and the rapid changes occurring within our industry, NRECA has developed a new program to provide co-op employees with the knowledge and skills they need to lead their teams through these changes and bolster the co-op overall. Kentucky Electric Cooperatives will host two courses in the NRECA Supervisor and Manager Development Program (SMDP).

Instructor: Bryan Singletary

  • Monday April 15, 2019 – 710.1 Stepping into Your Supervisory Role: Learning to Lead
  • Tuesday April 16, 2019 – 714.1 Change is Hard: Guiding Your Team through Complex Times

Location: Statewide Office
1630 Lyndon Farm Court
Louisville KY 40223
Second Floor: Training Center

Supervisor and Manager Development Program (SMDP); – The Supervisor and Manager Development Program is a flexible, co-op-specific education program focused on strengthening the leadership skills, knowledge and abilities needed to hire, develop and lead others, manage performance, communicate effectively and make decisions.

If you were working towards the Supervisory Certificate and/or the Management Essentials Certificate, the courses you take in this program could count toward the Supervisor and Manager Development Program. (NRECA – 1 credit CEU – 0.6 credits)


Co-ops will be billed for their attendees at the per-person cost, which will be based upon the total number of attendees.  In any event, we will only bill enough to recoup the purchase price of the programs and ancillary charges such as food and beverage.


A block of rooms has been reserved at:
Embassy Suites by Hilton Louisville
9940 Corporate Campus Drive
Louisville, KY 40223

Cut-off date for making reservations is March 18.  Please make your reservation before that date in order to secure a room at our block rate of $129.  To make a reservation, either call (502) 426-9191, or click on the link below which will take you to the room block site.


Enjoy: complimentary cooked to order breakfast, Wi-Fi, and parking as well as an evening reception with beer, wine, cocktails, and sodas.

Please complete this registration form by APRIL 1 and return to Kelli Gibson



Linemen show off skills at annual Rodeo

Every day, lineworkers across Kentucky are out in remote areas of the state doing what it takes to keep the power flowing to more than 1.5 million people served by electric co-ops. Once a year, however, a select group of these lineworkers come together for two days of competition like no other, the Kentucky Lineman’s Rodeo.

On Sept. 13-14, 125 lineworkers representing 17 of Kentucky’s electric co-ops converged on the Murray-Calloway County Fairgrounds to compete in the 14th annual rodeo.

Click here for list of winners and scores

“It’s about teamwork, it’s about camaraderie and it’s about showing off the skills these linemen have learned,” says David Smart, president and CEO of West Kentucky Rural Electric, which hosted this year’s event.

Blue Grass Energy was the big winner, sweeping the overall individual journeymen category and taking first in the overall team category. Tim Hembree, a journeyman lineman from Blue Grass, placed in the top three in eight categories.

“The Kentucky’s Lineman’s Rodeo is an opportunity for linemen to demonstrate their commitment to safety while showcasing their skills,” says Mike Williams, president and CEO of Blue Grass Energy. “I’m very proud of the hard work and dedication to safety that not only our lineworkers, but all linemen demonstrated while participating in this event.”

The Lineman’s Rodeo was created by the Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives to promote safety for co-op linemen around the state. The training and skills of these linemen are part of the mission of Kentucky’s electric cooperatives, to provide a high level of electrical services at the lowest possible price through a local, consumer-owned form of business.

“Training for the rodeo has really helped our younger guys,” says Randy Meredith of Nolin RECC, which will host the 2019 rodeo. “They improved in safety and they improved in their technique. So, it was a real win, win situation.

Seven senior individuals, 36 individual journeymen and 36 apprentice lineworkers competed in these events: Capacitator De-Energize, Line De-Energize and Armor Rod & Tie. There were 31 teams from the 17 co-ops that competed in the OCR Changeout, Line Replacement and Underarm Disconnect competitions. Individuals and teams competed in the “Hurt man” competition, which focuses on following the correct procedures in the event someone needs to be rescued after coming into contact with a live wire.

Jason Isaacs, a lineman for Blue Grass who competed for the first time, says the experience was one he plans on repeating.

“It was nerve-racking, but it was a great experience,” he says. “With everyone watching, you just want to do good.”