How Utility Pioneers Shined in 2020 

Posted on Dec 16, 2020

’Tis the season to look back to reflect on the last year—or, as is the case for many of us, try to forget it happened.

We can all agree 2020 was rough. But despite the challenges, there have been some bright spots, too:

  • You can wear pajamas to work. (But don’t stand up during a Zoom call.)
  • Virtual conferences helped more staff attend training.
  • Each crisis strengthened our core principle of cooperation among cooperatives. (That goes for public utility districts, too.)

Pioneer and public power staff bonded in new ways in 2020. Whether it was through raising money to rebuild storm-weary communities, virtual happy hours or sharing insights as guest bloggers, it’s been great to connect (virtually) with so many members of our public power family.

As your needs grew, we expanded to help. Three people joined our editorial team: Chasity Anderson, CCC, David Herder and Alyssa McDougle.

Chasity Anderson, CCC

David Herder

David Herder

Alyssa McDougle

Alyssa McDougle







We returned almost $200,000 to our co-op members and added two companies to our family:

WordSouth, a broadband-focused Alabama-based content marketing group, helps you connect with consumers to tell your story, market your services and train your people.
Read about our WordSouth partnership.


ARC Media is a Missouri-based full-service media company specializing in targeted social media campaigns and 24/7/365 consumer-member digital monitoring and response programs.
Read about our ARC Media partnership


We’re excited about what 2021 holds for all of us. But before we move forward, let’s take a moment to share our favorite #UtilityPioneer moments.


Sharing Best Practices

We love sharing ideas on our blog. We get excited when you share advice with peers there, too. Here are our most popular 2020 posts.

  1. Four Teleworking Myths and How to Power On
  2. Three Ways to Lead Meetings from a Distance
    BONUS: We pooled all our digital meeting support on one page.
  3. Pam Spettel | Oregon: Seven Ways to Keep Up Day-to-Day Communications During a Crisis 
  4. Beth Tokioka | Hawaii: Mahalo for Wearing Masks 
  5. NewsData Staff: Reporting Tips for a Social-Distance World 


Pioneer-ing Tools 

Whether it’s e-books, training videos, podcasts or webinars, as a communications co-op we exist to strengthen you. Here are most popular (and free) tools in 2020:

BONUS FOR NEW MEMBERS: More Powerful Together
One of the perks of our growing co-op family is that many utilities have never used our tools before. Need an easy-to-customize campaign for 2021? Pioneer members can use our award-winning More Powerful Together campaign. Get two year’s worth of editorials, advertising templates and social content, all free as a perk of membership. Watch this video for an overview, then email to get access. 

We’re Ready for 2021! 

We miss you, and we’re not just saying that—many of us have worked with you for years and consider you close friends. 2020 has been a year of surprises, but it’s also been a year of strengthening relationships. We can’t wait to see what we can do together in 2021. Have ideas to get us started? Send them our way.

Happy (almost) New Year!


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