OEC CEO wins national leadership award for communication innovation

CONTACT: Patrick Higgins

PALM DESERT, Calif. – Pat O’Loughlin, president and CEO of Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives, today was recognized for his leadership in the electric cooperative industry.

O’Loughlin was named the recipient of the 2018 J.C. Brown CEO Communication Leadership Award. The award, presented by NRECA, recognizes an electric co-op executive who advances communication in the electric cooperative industry.

“Effective communication is the centerpiece of Pat’s vision for Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives. This focus has enhanced relationships between Ohio’s not-for-profit co-ops and their consumer-owners,” Matheson said. “Pat and his communications team have found a winning formula that engages and supports the local co-ops while also positioning Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives as a leader in the Ohio business community.”

O’Loughlin’s focus on communications promoted the not-for-profit cooperative business model, launched the Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives (OEC) brand, and led to the creation of a three-year strategic plan to elevate the cooperative principles. OEC is the statewide organization that serves 24 electric cooperatives in Ohio.

Under O’Loughlin’s leadership, OEC has shared its strategic communications planning capabilities with its member co-ops. In 2017, OEC conducted internal communications audits and helped craft communications plans for six member co-ops. These efforts resulted in the realignment of human resources to improve communication challenges, enhanced employee engagement, member acceptance of an impending rate increase, and other benefits.

Commenting on this year’s award, one of the judges said that O’Loughlin “consistently sees the whole picture from top to bottom. He plans and then executes the task with precision and with passion for the cooperative way of business.”

The J.C. Brown award memorializes the late J.C. Brown, who–as editor and publisher of NRECA’s RE Magazine–is best remembered for his dedication to communication as a vital link connecting electric cooperatives with each other as well as with their members. The panel of five judges consisted of communication and management experts in academia, business and industry, including electric co-ops.