East River Electric Power Cooperative’s Chief Member and Public Relations Officer Chris Studer has been named the 2022 Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives Distinguished Service Award recipient. Touchstone Energy Board President Deb Mirasola presented Studer with the award during the Touchstone Energy general session at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s (NRECA) annual membership meeting in Nashville, Tenn., Tuesday, March 8.

Studer was honored for his dedication and service promoting the cooperative difference and helping Touchstone Energy evolve into the strong brand and national network it is today with more than 650 members in 46 states.

“Chris exemplifies the values of our brand and provides unwavering support to his member systems and local community,” said President Mirasola. “On the local, regional and national levels, Chris has showcased that working at a cooperative is about much more than selling electricity. He deeply understands the Cooperative Difference and lives out that difference each day.”

In thanking the Touchstone Energy Board of Directors for the honor, Studer said, “I’m so fortunate and proud to work with such great cooperative leaders who continue to build and enhance the brand that is so important to cooperatives across the country. Your leadership and commitment are unmatched, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to work alongside you.”

As Chief Member and Public Relations officer for East River Electric, Studer leads the organization’s communications, marketing and government relations efforts. He also serves as one of Touchstone Energy’s Regional Members (RMs), which he previously chaired. In his role as RM, Studer works closely with other RMs to ensure the national brand network increases value and engagement to members across the nation.

Studer also thanked the East River Electric board of directors, leadership and staff, noting he was fortunate to work every day with talented people who live the Touchstone Energy values and use the brand to help communicate the Cooperative Difference. He also recognized and thanked the Touchstone Energy national staff and said the network was fortunate to have such impressive people working on its behalf.

“The Touchstone Energy brand creates a powerful link in the minds of cooperative consumers across the country,” concluded Studer. “It’s such an important piece of our business – helping to educate and engage our members to strengthen relationships and we use the brand and its core values to strengthen our collective reputation – because we are all stronger together.”

The Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Distinguished Service Award is the organization’s highest honor, presented annually to a cooperative leader who has made outstanding contributions to building the brand on the national stage.