Catherine Poppe, Fayette Electric Cooperative’s well known and highly respected Director of Marketing and Communication, is retiring on August 31, 2021, with 25 years of service.
“Catherine has faithfully represented FEC in the communities that we serve and has held leadership positions representing this cooperative in industry organizations at the state and national levels,” says FEC General Manager Gary Don Nietsche. “She joined Fayette EC as an executive assistant in 1996 and, by adopting cooperative principles, and the cooperative way, she took the lead in developing and implementing various successful external and internal communication strategies. Her strong work ethic and dedication to our members, board and employees will be greatly missed.”
As the cooperative’s spokesperson, Catherine developed strong relationships and credibility with the media in Fayette EC’s market area. She wrote press releases and responded to routine inquiries, as well as during crisis events. She oversaw the revamp of the cooperative’s website and the adoption of social media to enhance member communications.
Catherine wrote and edited Fayette EC’s local pages in Texas Co-op Power magazine, award-winning employee newsletter and annual report. She also conducted in-house training and employee orientations. In addition, she coordinated Fayette EC’s district, annual and board meetings and managed board member communications.
Students of all ages have benefited from Catherine’s leadership of FEC-supported electric safety initiatives, the Government-in-Action Youth Tour to Washington, D.C. and rural scholarship programs, as well as special events such as career days.
Her contributions to industry organizations include working with Texas Electric Cooperatives, Rural Friends/ACRE, the a non-partisan political action committee that represents the interests of Texas’ 66 member-owned electric distribution cooperatives and nine generation and transmission cooperatives, and the Texas Public Power Association. Locally, she has served on the board of the La Grange Area Chamber of Commerce where she chaired several initiatives for a number of years.
At the 2019 Texas Electric Cooperatives’ Member Services & Communication Conference, Catherine was honored with a lifetime achievement award.
Now looking forward to devoting more time to family and friends, and her personal interests, Catherine, says, “I’ve embraced my FEC career with enthusiasm every step of the way, and it has been tremendously fulfilling. Working with and for our over 10,000 members has been a rewarding experience. I will say goodbye to a group of people that I know loves the cooperative as much as I do, and I feel certain they will continue to embrace the cooperative principles. I’m leaving with many wonderful memories, and friendships made over the last 25 years that I will cherish.”