Andy Johns headshot
Andy Johns
Geoff Oldfather
Geoff Oldfather

Pioneer Utility Resources is pleased to announce Geoff Oldfather as the winner of the Dave D’Avanzo Communications Award for 2022. The award honors Pioneer's communicator of the year.

Oldfather retired in July as communications and public relations manager for Arizona G&T Cooperatives, based in Benson, Arizona. He supported the communications needs for Arizona's Utility Pioneers  for more than 13 years, providing stories and photography for Currents magazine.

“I can’t say enough about how I appreciate this,” Oldfather said, after being surprised with the award via video call at Pioneer’s StoryConnect Communications Workshop. “I’m going to cherish this, I really am, probably more than anything as I transition.”

Oldfather built his career advocating for good communications practices. He has been instrumental in bringing AzG&T members together with Pioneer staff to find creative ways of solving problems together. He  served as a past member of the Pioneer communications advisory committee and been a regular attendee of the co-op's workshop. As a three-term board member of Touchstone Energy, a national marketing brand for electric cooperatives, Oldfather advocated for stronger utility communications nationally.

“Geoff’s connections in the industry, and his willingness to share them, have been a huge help to Pioneer the past few years,” said Pioneer Utility Resources Editorial Director Mike Teegarden. “He is a master at working the phones and bringing people together to solve a common problem. He doesn’t ask for credit, he just wants to make sure everyone is taken care of.”

Mike Teegarden presented the award to Geoff Oldfather virtually during the 2022 StoryConnect Workshop.

The Dave D’Avanzo Communications Award

The communications award is named in honor of longtime communicator Dave D’Avanzo, who was known for always giving, helping, and making other people better. During a cooperative career spanning nearly four decades, Dave worked at four utilities: Umatilla Electric Cooperative in Hermiston, Oregon; Claverack Rural Electric in Wysox, Pennsylvania; Midstate Electric Cooperative in LaPine, Oregon; and Lane Electric Cooperative in Eugene, Oregon. He earned top communicator honors for his exceptional work and dedication serving his cooperative on Ruralite magazine. Dave died in 2020 after a long battle with cancer.

Past Communicators of the Year:

Formed 68 years ago, Pioneer Utility Resources is a not-for-profit cooperative corporation that serves the communications needs of community-based electric utilities and broadband providers in more than 40 states.