Touchstone Energy® Gives Top Award to Two Co-op Employees

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Touchstone Energy®, a national alliance of local, consumer-owned electric cooperatives providing affordable, reliable and safe energy to customers large and small, presented Char Kinzer from Crow Power in Minn. and Mark Bolton from Coastal EC in Ga. Distinguished Service Awards at their annual meeting in Las Vegas. These awards signify the highest honor within the brand and are only presented to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the development, growth, and success of the Touchstone Energy brand.

The 2007 Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Distinguished Service Award, the brand's highest honor, was presented recently to Char Kinzer, public relations manager at Crow Wing Power (Brainerd, Minn.), and Mark Bolton, vice president of marketing and member services of Coastal Electric Cooperative (Midway, Ga.) at the 2007 Touchstone Energy Annual Meeting in Las Vegas.

"I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to work with so many wonderful Touchstone Energy brand leaders throughout the country. Their inspiration is stimulating and contagious," said Kinzer in receiving her award. "The power we've been able to harness under the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives umbrella is awesome."

Bolton added during his acceptance, "Being a part of launching and building the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives brand has truly been the experience of a lifetime for me. I am humbled to have been selected for the award, but very grateful to have been able to serve."

The Distinguished Service Award is the most significant honor given by Touchstone Energy and is presented to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the development, growth, and success of the Touchstone Energy brand.

Kinzer was instrumental to a local and then national launch of the Co-op Connections card, a retail discount card for members and employees offering local and national discounts. In 2002, Bolton's ongoing efforts to build the brand captured national media attention with Coastal EC's "Godspeed" advertising campaign, which honored soldiers deploying to Afghanistan.

"Char and Mark are shining examples of why the brand is as strong and successful as it is today," said Jim Bausell, COO of Touchstone Energy. "Their leadership and tireless efforts on behalf of the Touchstone Energy brand have had an impact both in their local communities and on a national level."

Touchstone Energy is a national alliance of local, consumer-owned electric cooperatives providing affordable, reliable and safe energy to customers large and small. Touchstone Energy cooperatives serve their members with integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community.

For more information, contact Ann Maggard 703.907.5986

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