Why join a communications cooperative? Co-ops pay big dividends.

Since Pioneer Utility Resources was founded, more than $2.5 million has been returned to our members. The tradition continued last week, when the communications co-op mailed checks totaling $178,355.60 to 98 public power utilities and statewide associations.

Pioneer’s Board of Directors approved returning 100 percent of the cooperative’s 2019 operating margins (known as capital credits) to members and utility partners.

“That Pioneer is continuing to invest in the quality of its services, keep prices stable and provide a substantial return to its members is evidence of its strong relationship with our utility partners,” says Pioneer CEO Michael Shepard.

Checks ranged from $25 to $9,800, based on how much a utility spent with Pioneer last year. This round of capital credit checks represented a return of 5.8% of eligible 2019 spending with Pioneer.

Creativity on Tap

Pioneer is a full-service communications shop for publicly-owned utilities. Our team of experienced communicators, web experts, and designers support members with:

Cooperative Strength

Each year Pioneer returns at least 20 percent of prior-year margins to participating utilities. Due to the co-op’s strong financial health, the board opted to retire all of last year’s margins.

“Thanks to you, last year was another strong year for Pioneer, with increased use of both our print and digital communication services by consumer-owned utilities,” says Michael.

2019 highlights include:

  • Rebranding from Ruralite Services to Pioneer Utility Resources.
  • Addition of 20 utility members.
  • Sale of our headquarters building and purchase of a larger neighboring building.
  • Began process of acquiring both ARC Media and WordSouth. Both were finalized in 2020.

“None of our current and historic financial success would be possible without the community-owned utilities that use our magazine, website, social media, and other communications offerings,” says Michael. “We are deeply grateful for your continued support, partnership, and membership.”

New Faces Representing You

Pioneer is led by our Board of Directors, a team of seven utility general managers and/or board members. Three new board members have joined Pioneer in 2020:

New board members (L-R): John Bartley, Libby Calnon and Lisa Johnson.

Want to Join?

Pioneer supports more than 100 utilities in 25 states. To join the cooperative, you must subscribe to at least one of our services and be a public power utility (electric co-op, public utility district, or municipal utility). Statewide and regional associations with primarily public power members may join, too.

Members pay $10 to join, accepting our cooperative articles of incorporation, bylaws, policies, and amendments. Email us to learn more!

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