Katie is the restaurant manager of Grey Gables Inn, a beautiful Victorian-era house situated in the small town of Boyne, just outside Traverse City, Michigan. Grey Gables Inn has been a mainstay of the town for more than 36 years. Katie partners with Great Lakes Energy, a member of Touchstone Energy since its inception in 1998, to help increase reservations and connect with customers. Through the Co-op Connections Card program, Katie takes advantage of free advertising for the inn and offers amazing deals on dinner and wine for co-op members. But, to Katie, it’s all about the connection and relationships she builds with the community.
Grey Gables Inn is one of 32,000 businesses in the Touchstone Energy network that have connected with electric co-op members through the Co-op Connections Card program. In 2015, more than 500 co-ops participated in the program. To date, members have saved $90 million in prescription benefits alone. In addition, the Healthy Savings suite continues to save members 20-40 percent off dental services at more than 100,000 participating providers. This one card certainly does it all, especially because our research shows that helping members save money increases engagement.
This past year, Touchstone Energy debuted ID Sanctuary, an identity theft protection service available through Co-op Connections’ partner deals. For $5 a month for individual coverage or $8 for a family, ID Sanctuary offers fraud and credit monitoring that scours billions of records and sources in order to protect co-ops’ members. Also rolled out in 2015 were EcoRebates, an appliance rebate finder widget that allows co-op members to locate rebates for energy efficient appliances, and Simply Rewards, an exclusive discount site offering deals on everything from hotels and rental cars, to high-end brands like Kenneth Cole and Nike. We are committed to helping co-ops connect with members and local businesses like Grey Gables Inn.
Real stories, like Katie’s, are highlighted in Touchstone Energy’s 2015 Annual Report. The report showcases just a few of the many positive stories from our member co-ops on how they engage with members and improve communities, while also highlighting our successes for 2015.