Some of the best ideas come from the face-to-face collaboration of co-ops sharing ideas, according to Scott Bialick, senior program manager of strategic partnerships for Touchstone Energy Cooperatives. On May 25, communications and member services professionals representing more than 10 electric cooperatives in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware gathered at the VMDAEC headquarters in Glen Allen, Va., for a day of personal development, strategizing and sharing ideas.

“The Touchstone Energy Member Engagement Mixer provides a structured format to guide those crucial conversations between communicators, members services, key accounts managers, community and economic development staff and more,” said Bialick, who led the presentation. “By the end of the day, we hope the attendees can share examples of the great work they’re doing, learn about key Touchstone Energy resources that can make their jobs easier, and get inspired to tackle that next project head-on.”

Joining Bialick via livestream throughout the day were Touchstone Energy Executive Director Jana Adams, as well as Josh McGhee, director of member experience and organizational effectiveness, and Mary Ann Cristiano, senior director of consumer marketing.

Attendees were introduced to new resources and participated in roundtable discussions on a variety of topics, including how to amplify messaging, co-op culture and professional development, community development, and beneficial electrification.

“I was able to take away some new ideas from the presentations,” saidLloyd Lenhart, director of community relations at Southside Electric Cooperative. “The thing I most appreciated was being in the same room with my peers and being able to share ideas in person.”

Thank you to Old Dominion Electric Cooperative for hosting dinner the night prior.

—Report by Jim Robertson, Director, Special Projects, VMD Association