Andy Johns headshot
Andy Johns

Tennessee Municipal Electric Power Association took the stage at the American Public Power Association Customer Connections Conference in November, winning an Excellence in Public Power Communications award for the municipal association’s quarterly consumer magazine, Tennessee Connections.  

TMEPA Government Relations Assistant Savannah Gilman accepted the APPA award in November.

“It's our honor to accept this award from APPA for our magazine,” TMEPA Executive Director/CEO Brian Solsbee says. “We owe a huge thanks to our partners at Pioneer Utility Resources for helping TMEPA reach consumers with utility news and community stories.” 

Tennessee Connections magazine, competing against utility publications across the nation, received an award of merit. It was the first time the municipal association entered a publication in APPA’s print/digital category. 

“Being out there and engaging the public is what we’re about,” Solsbee explains. “We’re out there to serve the communities; we’re customer focused and community driven. Pioneer’s team has done a phenomenal job bringing it all together, creating a content focus.” 

Consumer communications are one of the benefits TMEPA provides to the association’s 60 member utilities, public power districts and municipal utilities across the Volunteer State. Pioneer works with the association to publish eight local, community-focused utility editions of Tennessee Connections. The eight participating utilities include Brownsville Energy Authority, CDE Lightband, Dickson Electric System, Humboldt Utilities, Lewisburg Electric System, Ripley Power and Light Company, Sevier County Electric System and Sparta Electric and Public Works.  

"I look forward to working alongside TMEPA and our Tennessee partner utilities each quarter,” Pioneer Assistant Editor Chasity Anderson says. “Their excitement to connect with consumers through the magazine is obvious. They work incredibly hard to share stories from their communities and keep consumers updated about what has been happening at their utilities. I love being part of this connection process." 

Read the TMEPA Case Study   


About Pioneer 

As a communications cooperative created in 1956 by utilities in the Pacific Northwest, Pioneer serves the needs of consumer-owned utilities across the country with offices in Oregon, Missouri and Alabama. 

In addition to magazine and strategic communications services, Pioneer and its service partners Efficiency Services Group and NewsData partner with more than 250 community-owned utilities, broadband providers and state associations to assist with full-service social media, content marketing, broadband marketing and website services along with energy efficiency, electric supplies and focused, independent coverage of Western energy markets. Learn more at

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