Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives


The Touchstone Energy Cooperatives of Iowa are driven by our cooperative commitment to community. 

Our Shine the Light contest is an opportunity for the employees and member-consumers of Iowa’s locally owned electric cooperatives to nominate someone who's making a positive difference in their community. In 2022, three nominated volunteers will each receive $2,000 for their local charities.

2022 Contest Entries

Contest entries for Shine the Light will be accepted during the month of June at Starting June 1, you can nominate a deserving volunteer in your community by providing some basic contact information and answering this question in 500 words or less: How has your nominee made a positive difference in the community and why do they deserve to be recognized?

Member-consumers and employees of Iowa’s electric co-ops are eligible to nominate community volunteers. (If you receive electricity from an Iowa electric cooperative, you are a member-consumer and eligible to nominate.) The volunteer being nominated does not need to be a member-consumer of an electric cooperative. Minors may be nominated with permission/consent from their parents or legal guardians.

Click here to review the contest rules and eligibility requirements.

A judging panel will review all entries and select three winners who will each receive a $2,000 donation for their local charity or organization. Additionally, the winners will be featured in the September issue of Iowa Electric Cooperative Living magazine, which is mailed out monthly to over 55,000 co-op member-consumer households and businesses.

For additional information, please contact Erin Campbell, director of communications for the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives.

Our 2021 Contest Winners

When we launched the contest in June of 2021, we received 39 volunteer nominations from across the sate. Three winners were selected to receive a $1,500 donation for their charity or community organization. Additionally, the three winners were featured in the September issue of Living with Energy in Iowa magazine.

Suzanne Askelsen of Cambridge is a member of Consumers Energy and was nominated by Carol Gilbert, a Midland Power Cooperative member. Suzanne was recognized for her work with the Ballard Education Foundation. She was part of the new foundation’s steering committee and served as the first president for four years, identifying event sponsors and taking the lead on fundraising. A mother of six, she makes it a priority to serve in her community. Learn more about Suzanne and her work in this short video:

George North of Allison was nominated by Deb McWhirter, a Butler County Rural Electric Cooperative member, for his work with Wilder Park. Driven by his ethos to serve others, George is a retired dentist with a long record of community involvement, including several years as a scout leader. He was instrumental in developing Wilder Park to provide affordable outdoor recreational services in Butler County. Learn more about George and his work in this short video:

Marlene Walthart of Estherville was nominated by Dawn Eveleth, a member of Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative, for her work with the Emmet County Animal Shelter. Motivated by their love for animals, Marlene and her husband Larry have volunteered at the animal shelter for years and continue to serve the facility in various ways. Marlene and Larry also set up a can redemption center next door to raise money for the shelter. Learn more about Marlene and her work in this short video:

About Touchstone Energy

The largest utility network in the nation, the Touchstone Energy brand represents a nationwide alliance of over 750 local, consumer-owned electric cooperatives in 46 states. Championing the cause for lowest-cost, democratically governed energy, Touchstone Energy provides a unified face for hundreds of locally owned electric cooperatives across the country that power the lives of 32 million member-consumers.

Touchstone co-ops gain access to a wealth of advertising stock, education and training tools, member benefit programs and web development resources. By working jointly, the network of small cooperatives that make up Touchstone Energy generate services that would normally require the resources of a national corporation. Learn more at

Iowa's locally owned electric cooperatives are committed to providing safe, reliable, affordable & environmentally responsible power to 650,000 Iowans.

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