Georgia Magazine - August 2017 - 15
immy Autry, senior vice president
of member and community relations at Reynolds-based Flint Energies, received the inaugural award
that will bear his name, the Autry
Leadership Award for Always On
Communication, on May 3.
The award, created by the Council of Rural Electric Communicators
(CREC) to honor Autry's impact on
communications and member services within the cooperative industry,
was announced at the 2017 CONNECT Conference held in Tampa,
Fla., by the National Rural Electric
Autry has served as mentor, adviser and coach to hundreds of cooperative communicators and member
service representatives for years.
"Jimmy understands that effective communications is key to the
success of the co-op model, and he
has passed that wisdom on to the
next generation," says Mike Birkeland, director of member service and
community relations for Lake Country Power in Grand Rapids, Minn.,
and president of the CREC.
Autry has spent more than 33
years in the electric utility industry,
working at four electric cooperatives
and one municipal system. He plans
to retire late this year.
"I am grateful to the CREC for
giving Jimmy the recognition he so
amply deserves," says Flint Energies
President and CEO Bob Ray. "After
Jimmy announced his retirement last
year, we realized it would take at
least two people to fill his shoes ...
and that still might not be enough!
"I speak for the cooperative community at large when I say we are
going to miss his experienced perspective, his extraordinary positive
Award named for Flint Energies executive
Jimmy Autry of Flint Energies accepts the
new Autry Leadership Award for Always On
Communication at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association's CONNECT
Conference in Tampa, Fla., on May 3.
spirit and his success in fulfilling the
Composed of communicators
from co-ops and co-op organizations,
the CREC emphasizes the importance
of communications as a strategic
management function and offers an
array of programs for communicators.
igh school students sponsored
by 37 Georgia electric membership cooperatives (EMCs) learned
about U.S. government, history and
leadership during the annual Washington Youth Tour in June. This year,
113 students and 17 adults represented Georgia.
Highlights in the nation's capital
included stops at the Smithsonian Institution museums, National Archives,
Washington National Cathedral, the
U.S. Supreme Court, Mount Vernon,
Arlington National Cemetery and the
World War II, Franklin D. Roosevelt,
Martin Luther King Jr., Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Korean War
and Vietnam War memorials.
The group also enjoyed the play
"Beauty and the Beast" at Toby's Dinner Theatre in Columbia, Md., and an
evening cruise on the Potomac River with delegates from Arizona and
During the group's tour of Arlington National Cemetery, four del-
egates laid a wreath at the Tomb of
the Unknown Soldier on behalf of
the Georgia delegation.
On Capitol Hill Day, delegates
toured the U.S. Capitol and visited
Georgia's congressional leaders.
The delegates elected Derek
Huell, sponsored by Flint Energies
(Reynolds), to serve as this year's
representative to the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association
(NRECA) Youth Leadership Council
(YLC). Huell returned to Washington, D.C., in July to attend an NRECA
YLC conference, where he learned
more about the electric cooperative
industry and developed his leadership and presentation skills. He will
showcase those presentation skills at
the Georgia EMC Annual Meeting this
year in Savannah and the 2018 Washington Youth Tour kickoff banquet
next June, and he also will attend
the 2018 NRECA Annual Meeting in
"I would like to thank the EMCs
More online at www.georgiamagazine.org
Washington Youth Tour wraps up
Derek Huell, who was sponsored by
Reynolds-based Flint Energies, was chosen
by his peers to serve as Georgia's delegate
to the Youth Leadership Council.
across Georgia and the entire country for an unforgettable week of momentous experiences," Huell says.
"The opportunity to join forces with
students from around the entire nation and unify for a common goal is
unparalleled in its importance for enacting change today, tomorrow and
every day afterward."