Middle Tennessee Electric’s CEO Chris Jones received the 2022 J.C. Brown CEO Communication Leadership Award. The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) presented Jones the award at the organization’s CEO Close-Up Conference Jan. 10 in Phoenix.
According to NRECA, the J.C. Brown Award “recognizes an electric cooperative or public power district CEO/general manager who is committed to advancing communication at the cooperative and in the electric cooperative industry.”
Jones, who graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in communications joined MTE in 1999, serving as communications coordinator and later the VP of communications and member services before being named CEO in 2013.
“We should understand, yet not be intimidated by, the reality that communication is work that is never finished and demands intentionality and continuous improvement,” Jones said. “I have been studying communication since college and attempting to execute it throughout my professional career, and I know I still have much to learn and improve upon. However, I am humbled by and appreciative of this recognition from NRECA.”
Jones emphasized the importance of clear, simple and repeated communication across multiple channels to all of MTE’s audiences, always striving to meet the goal of making the lives of MTE members better. In recent years, Jones led robust communications efforts that helped navigate the organization through a major tornado in its service area, several severe weather events, the acquisition of United Communications, the merger with the Murfreesboro Electric Department, the continued impacts of COVID-19 and a complete brand refresh.
His nomination was given a perfect score by one of the three judges who helped select this year’s winner and another mentioned his “notable” use of a strategic plan to communicate the organization’s mission and goals with both employees and members.