Thank you to all who attended the 2021 Communicator Workshop.

We had a great group of attendees and speakers with interesting ideas and discussions shared.

Check back to this page often for news of our next communicator’s event.

We thank all of our speakers and contributors. Below are their presentations to view or download.

Maura Giles-NRECA
Lori Everhart-Touchstone
Michael Kahn
Steven Johnson-VMDAEC
John Grott-VMDAEC
Tommy Campbell-VMDAEC
Jim Robertson-VMDAEC

Jim Robertson-Indesign-VMDAEC

Jim Robertson-Color For Printed Documents-VMDAEC

Jim Robertson-Check Photo Links-VMDAEC

Jim Robertson-Corrected Photo Specs-VMDAEC

Jim Robertson-Photography 1-VMDAEC

Jim Robertson-Photography 2-VMDAEC

Jim Robertson-Photography 2Video-VMDAEC

Jim Robertson-Photography 3-VMDAEC

Jim Robertson-Shooting Tips-VMDAEC

Jim Robertson-Smartphone Tips-VMDAEC

Jim Robertson-Video-VMDAEC

Casey Hollins and Jennifer Wall-Storm Prep
Carrie Schweikart-QUAD
Mark Adezsko-AMP
Heather Holbrook





12:15 pm:

YAME – Maura Giles, NRECA

2:30 pm:

Internal Engagement – Lori Everhart, Touchstone Energy

6 pm:

Dinner at Rhett’s sponsored by


8:30 am:

Writing/Grammar – Michael Kahn, ACH Network Communications

10 am:

Magazine Updates – VMDAEC

Digital Features, Updates – VMDAEC

Layout/Design Tips – VMDAEC

Technical Issues/Tips – VMDAEC

11:30 am

Lunch sponsored by

12:15 pm:

Photography/Videography, shooting, processing tips – VMDAEC

2:15 pm:

Roundtable Discussions

• Effective News Releases/Articles – Preston Knight/Gregg MacDonald

• Storm Preparedness/Response – Casey Hollins/Jennifer Wall

• Community Engagement – Joy Stump/Lauren Irby

• Social Media Strategy – Rachel Conrad/Laura Emery

• Broadband Communications – Melissa Gay/Beth Hallett

4:45 pm:

G&T Update – Kirby Jordan, ODEC

6 pm:

Dinner – Together but on your own


8:30 am:

Print Industry/Best Practices – Carrie Schweikart, Mark Adeszko

9:15 am:

Media Training – Heather Holbrook, MarComm Consultant

10:15 am:


10:20 am:

Media Training

Conclude by Noon

Event Speakers:

Maura Giles

(Pronounced: Mara Jīls)

Maura is the Senior Leadership Communications Manager for NRECA, where she provides communication support for NRECA’s board of directors, member communications department, and various special projects such as YA-ME. Before joining NRECA three years ago, Maura served 7½ years as the Manager of Cooperative Relations for South Central Indiana REMC, the largest electric distribution co-op in Indiana.

Lori Everhart

Lori Everhart has more than 20 years of experience as an electric cooperative communicator. Since 2019, she has held the position of Touchstone Energy Senior Manager of Communications and Member Relations. Lori also has hands-on experience as a distribution co-op communicator, having spent the two years before joining the Touchstone Energy team as communications manager with Roanoke Electric Cooperative in her home state of North Carolina. Lori began her electric co-op career with NRECA as a political affairs writer, analyst and strategic advocacy communications and marketing manager from 1997-2007. She also served as the association’s liaison to the Statewide Editors Association, G&T and Distribution Cooperative Communicators.

Michael Kahn

Michael Kahn is Director of ACH Network Communications (a fancy way of saying blog and press release writer) at Nacha. He started in radio at 16, fulfilled his dream of working at both New York all-news stations (WCBS-AM and WINS), covered London for UPI, was the Washington Metro Supervisor at The AP, and spent 11 years at NRECA’s communications department.

Heather Holbrook 

Heather Holbrook is a North Carolina-based strategic communications and marketing consultant with more than 25 years of experience. With a background in journalism, she’s leveraged the tips, tricks and tools of the trade to her advantage in the corporate communications realm. At Brunswick EMC, she established the cooperative’s marketing communications department, created its communication strategy, managed internal and external communications on every platform, and developed relationships with the media and community organizations. With a service territory of more than 1,000 square miles in coastal Southeastern N.C., Heather served as the co-op’s media spokesperson through Hurricanes Irene (2011), Matthew (2016), Florence (2018) and Dorian (2019).

Carrie Schweikart

Carrie Schweikart is a Sales Executive for Quad, printer of Cooperative Living. She serves the needs of catalog, retail, direct mail and publication clients through the integration of print, workflow and multi-channel solutions. Quad has the uniqueness of offering a strong print foundation as part of a much larger, robust integrated marketing platform to provide national and global solutions to our clients when needed.

Mark Adezsko

Mark Adeszko is CEO of American MainStreet Publications, the sales and marketing arm of 26 statewide publications serving over 10 million member-owners of rural electric cooperatives across the country.


If you have any questions please email Jim Robertson or Amanda Cunningham.