N.F. LEIFER MEMORIAL JOURNALISM AWARD

Every edition of Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News contains each electric co-op's own, personalized pages. Found on pages 15-18, the local news is developed by personnel at each co-op. Local pages have been a part of the magazine since May 1950. 
 
In the spirit of friendly competition and as a way to encourage local editors and reward their efforts, each year since 1966, WECA has presented awards to individual co-ops for excellence in presenting their local news. Annually we present an award for overall excellence--the N. F. Leifer Memorial Journalism Award, named for "Lefty" Leifer, former manager of Vernon Electric. Lefty was instrumental in the founding of the REA News back in the spring of 1940, making the statewide electric co-op publication the first of its type in the nation.

The Leifer Award winner is determined by an outside communications professional, who evaluates three chosen selections of each co-op’s local pages and determines which co-op was most successful in presenting local news.


Seen here in 1953, Lefty Leifer works on one of the first pieces of load-management gear installed at his co-op—it was called the Norwec Level-Load. The N. F. Leifer Memorial Journalism Award was named for the former manager of Vernon Electric. Lefty was instrumental in the founding of the REA News back in the spring of 1940, making the statewide electric co-op publication the first of its type in the nation.







Past Leifer Award Winners

1966    Crawford Electric Cooperative
Local Editor: Pearl Swiggum

1967    Crawford Electric Cooperative
Local Editor: Pearl Swiggum

1968    Crawford Electric Cooperative
Local Editor: Pearl Swiggum

1969    Richland Electric Cooperative

1970    Crawford Electric Cooperative
Local Editor: Pearl Swiggum

1971    Columbus Rural Electric Cooperative

1972    Barron Electric Cooperative
Local Editor: Donna Stokke

1973    Crawford Electric Cooperative
Local Editor: Pearl Swiggum

1974    Rock County Electric Cooperative Association
Editor:  Helen Carroll

1975    Eau Claire Electric Cooperative

1976    Barron Electric Cooperative

1977    St. Croix County Electric Cooperative

1978    Crawford Electric Cooperative

1979    Buffalo Electric Cooperative
Local Editor: LaCroix Johnson

1980    Vernon Electric Cooperative
Local Editor: Lyle Lund

1981    Buffalo Electric Cooperative
Local Editor: LaCroix Johnson

1982    Grant Electric Cooperative

1983    Head of the Lakes Electric Cooperative
Local Editor: Don Foucault

1984    Oakdale Electric Cooperative

1985    Barron Electric Cooperative
Local Editor: Wayne King

1986    Jackson Electric Cooperative
Local Editor: Toddy Porath

1987    Barron Electric Cooperative
Local Editor: Wayne King

1988    Barron Electric Cooperative
Local Editor: Wayne King

1989    Grant Electric Cooperative

1990    Vernon Electric Cooperative
Local Editor: Gary Ekern

1991    Adams-Columbia Electric Cooperative
Local Editor: Keith Wohlfert

1992    Oakdale Electric Cooperative
Local Editor: Bonnie Peterson

1993    Oakdale Electric Cooperative
Local Editor: Bonnie Peterson

1994    Grant-Lafayette Electric Cooperative
Local Editor: Cal Lambert

1995    St. Croix Electric Cooperative
Local Editor: Ada Adams

1996    Oakdale Electric Cooperative
Local Editor: Bonnie Peterson

1997    Grant-Lafayette Electric Cooperative
Local Editor: Cal Lambert

1998    Eau Claire Electric Cooperative
Local Editor: JoAnne O’Donohoe

1999    Vernon Electric Cooperative
Local Editor: Dave Maxwell

2000    Oconto Electric Cooperative
Local Editor: Pam Langlay

2001    Adam-Columbia Electric Cooperative
Local Editor:  Keith Wohlfert

2002    Adams-Columbia Electric Cooperative
Local Editor:  Keith Wohlfert

2003    Adams-Columbia Electric Cooperative
Local Editor:  Keith Wohlfert

2004    Vernon Electric Cooperative
Local Editor:  Dave Maxwell

2005    Dunn Energy Cooperative
Local Editor:  Jesse Singerhouse

2006    Adams-Columbia Electric Cooperative
Local Editor:  Keith Wohlfert

2007    Richland Electric Cooperative
Local Editor:  Ed Lund

2008    Richland Electric Cooperative
Local Editor:  Ed Lund

2009    Adams-Columbia Electric Cooperative
Local Editor:  Keith Wohlfert

2010    Adams-Columbia Electric Cooperative
Local Editor:  Keith Wohlfert

2011    Richland Electric Cooperative
Local Editor:  Ed Lund

2012    Rock Energy Cooperative
Local Editor:  Barb Uebelacker

2013    Clark Electric Cooperative
Local Editors: Tim Stewart (CEO/Manager)
and Tracy Nelson (Administrative Assistant)

2014    Eau Claire Energy Cooperative
Local Editor:  Mary Kay Brevig

2015    Jackson Electric Cooperative
Local Editor:  Carol Blaken

2016    Eau Claire Energy Cooperative
Local Editor:  Mary Kay Brevig

2017    Eau Claire Energy Cooperative
Local Editor:  Mary Kay Brevig

2018    Eau Claire Energy Cooperative
Local Editor:  Mary Kay Brevig

2019    Eau Claire Energy Cooperative
Local Editor:  Mary Kay Brevig

2020    Eau Claire Energy Cooperative
Local Editor:  Mary Kay Brevig

2021    Oakdale Electric Cooperative
Local Editor:  Deana Protz

2022    Vernon Electric Cooperative
Local Editor:  Dave Maxwell

2023    Pierce Pepin Cooperative Services
Local Editor:  Liz Gunderson


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Associate membership in the Wisconsin Electric Cooperative Association provides a continuing opportunity for providers of goods, services, materials, and equipment to build and maintain networking contacts with Wisconsin's electric co-ops and others with interests and needs related to all aspects of the electric power industry.

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