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Wheatland Electric wins National Spotlight on Excellence Award
The Member Services team poses in front of Wheatland’s signature red, extended passenger van during the 2021 Cram the Van season. Pictured from left are Heather Rufenacht, member services coordinator; Mary Hoisington, member services and key accounts manager; Shajia Donecker, social media specialist; and Alli Conine, director of member services and corporate communications. Not pictured from the Member Services team is Sara McClure, member services and key accounts manager.

The member services team at Wheatland Electric recently received national recognition in the 2022 Spotlight on Excellence Awards program, sponsored by the Council of Rural Electric Communicators (CREC) and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA).  


Wheatland Electric’s member services team received a Gold Award in the Best Total Communications Program category for its 2021 Cram the Van “Yes, WE Can!” food drive campaign. This year’s promotional efforts — both in person and online — resulted in a total of 44,576 pounds in can donations (as well as cash) for a dozen area food banks across southwest and central Kansas. 

The member services team is led by Alli Conine, director of member services and corporate communications, and also includes the following team members: Sara McClure and Mary Hoisington, both member services and key accounts managers; Shajia Donecker, social media specialist; and Heather Rufenacht, member services coordinator. Winners were recognized during the CONNECT conference in Seattle, Wash., a national conference for communications and marketing professionals. 

The annual Spotlight on Excellence Awards program recognizes the best communication and marketing efforts by electric cooperatives and related organizations. Entrants competed with electric cooperatives of similar size in 18 categories with over 600 submissions made across the nation. 

Faculty members from the University of Missouri–Columbia and University of South Carolina, as well as noted professionals in the fields of marketing, web design and digital communications, and newspapers judged the event, which uses a finite scoring system to determine the winners.