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NEW ORLEANS, La.—Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives on May 17, 2012 awarded Ashley Valdez the Brand Champion Award at the annual National Rural Electric Cooperative Association CONNECT® Conference for Cooperative Marketing, Communication & Member Services Professionals. Valdez, communications manager for San Isabel Electric Association, Inc. was one of six individuals from 700 electric cooperatives to win the award this year. This honor shines the spotlight on dedicated employees in various job roles who have shown exceptional leadership, effectiveness and consistency while locally or regionally building the brand. Valdez exhibits the Touchstone Energy core brand values of innovation, integrity, accountability and commitment to community while proudly serving members of San Isabel Electric Association, Inc.
Since 2006 Valdez has spearheaded an annual regional initiative supported by Colorado’s 18 Touchstone Energy distribution co-ops along Tri-State Generation and Transmission, the Colorado Rural Electric Member Services group, Colorado Rural Electric Association and its magazine, Colorado Country Life, to jointly sponsor the Junior Livestock Sale at the Colorado State Fair. The sale is instrumental in supporting the future of Colorado’s agribusiness as it effectively demonstrates to youth the importance of raising quality livestock and the work required of those who pursue careers in agriculture. While the Touchstone Energy brand garners a great amount of exposure and publicity, the hundreds of thousands of dollars raised each year are used to directly support the higher education aspirations of the participating youngsters.
Additionally, Valdez has been the driving force behind an ongoing multi-cooperative underwriting effort on Southern Colorado’s PBS affiliate, KTSC-TV. Six Touchstone Energy co-ops in the region have pooled their resources for several years to run announcements around the station’s high-profile programming, while supporting the PBS mission of enriching lives through engaging and essential programs that inform, enlighten and entertain.
Locally, Valdez played a vital part in developing the cooperative’s 2009 Touchstone Energy Home by generating a great deal of publicity for the project and the ribbon-cutting event attended by several local and state politicians and covered by various local media outlets.