REC Communications Specialist Receives National Recognition

June 22, 2016

Casey Hollins, REC's communications specialist, recently received national recognition from her peers at the Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA) at the CCA Institute in Omaha, Neb.

Hollins received the 2016 Michael Graznak Award, which recognizes CCA members under the age of 35 who have outstanding communications skills and show promise of a bright future.

"She exhibits an extraordinary ability to understand the viewpoint of the REC member, with potential questions and needs they may have," said nominator Rhonda Curtis, former manager of public relations and communication for REC.

The award’s namesake Michael Graznak, found his passion in the world of cooperative communications, first at Missouri Farmers Association Oil Company and, a few years later, at Farmland Industries. He loved taking photographs and writing stories about the people and places he experienced, even compiling a book of poetry and pictures titled "Fragments from our Heritage," which is presented to each Graznak award winner. The CCA established this award in his memory.

Hollins coordinates a comprehensive annual communications plan, which includes not only regular communications efforts but also special projects and campaigns. She’s involved in her cooperative’s membership magazine, Cooperative Living; the employee newsletter, PowerLines; the annual report; social media; print advertising; the website; photography; and videography. In addition, Hollins is an active member of CCA, serving on the contest and education committees, the 2014 institute committee, the 2015 and 2016 professional development workshop committees, and the MCC task force. She also regularly attends institutes, workshops and webinars.

"Many hours in the evenings and weekends were spent increasing her knowledge of cooperative philosophy and history," said Ann Lewis, REC director of communications and public relations and Hollins’ supervisor. "When presented with opportunities to learn, she will take advantage of them to help her grow both personally and professionally."

"Being named the fortieth recipient of the Michael Graznak Award from CCA is one of the most incredible honors of my life," said Hollins. "I am very passionate about the work I have been blessed to do at REC. To be recognized for this work means so much to me. CCA has truly helped shape the communicator I am today, and I am fortunate to be part of CCA and a member of the REC work force."

CCA is an organization of 350 professionals who communicate for cooperatives. CCA works toward helping members excel in communications by emphasizing ideas and strategies aimed at making communications more successful for cooperatives. Founded more than 55 years ago, CCA recognizes the differences in the markets co-ops serve and in the audiences co-ops must reach.

REC provides electric service to over 161,000 connections in parts of 22 Virginia counties. With its general office in Fredericksburg, Va., the Cooperative operates and maintains more than 16,000 miles of power lines through its service area, which ranges from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay. Follow REC on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Back to the newsroom

Casey Hollins Casey Hollins