Touchstone Energy Members:
Last week, the Touchstone Energy Board of Directors and Regional Members and National Advisory Committees held our annual joint meetings to discuss the programs and initiatives that serve Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives across the country.
The event began with a full day of meetings for the Brand Strategy, Energy Solutions, Business Development, Standards & Best Practices, and Cooperative Relations Committees. Please take a few moments to review the JAM 2019 Advisory Committee discussions that provide the brand with member guidance and insight.
The Regional Members kicked off their meeting with an examination of critical conversations happening throughout the Touchstone Energy cooperative community, which they then presented to all attendees. They’ve done an excellent job identifying key areas for our attention in the coming months, and I highly recommend their work to you.
Other topics included our continued communication of the realignment of dues, effective in 2020. This is the first change to dues since 2008, and because each region has unique needs and considerations there will be a three-year phase-in of all dues adjustments regardless of whether a member’s dues are increasing or decreasing. We’ll be open and transparent in communicating those changes as we begin the invoicing cycle for Touchstone Energy dues. You should also know that Touchstone Energy is a financially healthy, stable organization, and we shared that information with the Touchstone Energy Board as well.
Next, there was a lot of discussion around the upcoming review by the NRECA Board of their relationship to Touchstone Energy. Part of this work is to look at the contractual relationship between NRECA and Touchstone Energy, but another important charge of the NRECA Board is soliciting member feedback about the strategic relevance of Touchstone Energy to co-ops today and into the future. I anticipate the NRECA Board committee doing this work will extend an invitation to all members to provide that perspective, and I highly encourage you to participate in that effort. At the end of the day, this effort is all about you, our electric cooperative members.
Finally, I know many members are interested in when the search process will commence for a new Executive Director of Touchstone Energy. As I’ve said, I’ll serve in this interim capacity as long as I’m asked. That said, I do not anticipate NRECA will fill the Executive Director position on a permanent basis until the work of the NRECA Board concludes at their December 2019 meeting.
In the meantime, I’m confident the talented people on the Touchstone Energy team will continue to provide the highest level of service to our members, and I’m grateful to our Board of Directors, Regional Members and Advisory Committees for their leadership. Every week, I learn more about the deep connections between their efforts and the success of our member cooperatives in the communities we serve together. Again, thank you for your interest and involvement as we lead the Touchstone Energy brand into the future.
Jeffrey Connor | Interim Executive Director | Touchstone Energy Cooperatives