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Monday May 4th, 2015 6:12AM

Habersham EMC receives national award for community investment

By Staff
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) bestowed its Community Service Award for Community Investment on Habersham EMC recently.

The electric co-op was cited for the "Experience Northeast Georgia - John Kollock's Guide to 75 Special Places" audio travel guide set. Each year, NRECA recognizes and honors community service with the National Community Service Awards at their annual meeting, attended by some 8,000 representatives from over 900 cooperatives across the nation.

This award recognizes "investments of financial and other resources to improve the economic conditions and overall quality of life in the community." The emphasis of the award is on long-term, comprehensive approach, creative ventures, and partnerships with other entities. The visibility of the program within the community was considered heavily as part of the judging criteria.

As part of HEMC's 75th anniversary, President/CEO Todd Pealock wanted to do something to benefit the community.

"We asked John Kollock and Emory Jones to collaborate and highlight 75 'must see' locations in Northeast Georgia. The result exceeded our wildest expectations. It is not only entertaining and informative, but it also preserves an incredible amount of history." The guide's purpose was to not only benefit the retailers, but also many other sectors of the tourism industry by visitors spending money on lodging, food, fuel and shopping while in the area."

"Habersham EMC's audio travel guide shows the cooperative difference in action. Only an organization deeply connected to the community could conceive of and produce such a unique product. This project also shows how a strategic investment can boost the local economy in a tangible way," said NRECA CEO Jo Ann Emerson.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: John Kollock died Monday night, five days after the award was presented. See separate story.)
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