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Celebrating my Top 5 A

s it happens every month, Oklahoma Living’s deadline is knocking at my door again. It seems as if I just sent one edition off to the press, and here I am once more, working on these pages with hopes they will be meaningful to you. Even though I have become well accustomed to the monthly cycle, this deadline is a special one. One year ago – on December 6, 2010, to be more exact – I became Managing Editor of Oklahoma Living Maga- zine and had to scramble to get my fi rst edition to you ready in a week and half. Yes, it was a marathon. Now, as I wrap up my 12th edition of Oklahoma Liv- ing, I couldn’t help but share with you the highlights of my fi rst year.

One beautiful fall day in November, my boss, Sid Sperry and I were driving through northeast Okla- homa to attend a focus group meeting at Northeast Oklahoma Electric Cooperative. During the drive, Sid asked me what my top fi ve moments during my fi rst year at Oklahoma Living were. Little did he know, his question allowed me to “write” in my mind a draft of this column to you, our valued reader. So, to sum up one of the craziest, yet most rewarding years of my life, here we go: Anna’s Top 5. 1) The fi rst day of my job I was told Oklahoma Liv-

ing was changing printers in a matter of 90 days. Yes, no pressure! After being printed by Webb Commu- nications in Williamsport, Pa. for nearly 20 years, I had arrived just in time to make the transition to QuadGraphics and bring Oklahoma Living’s print- ing back to Oklahoma. Webb Communications printed the fi rst three editions of the year. I quickly realized the two printers were worlds apart with their pre-press guidelines and processes. I worked hard during those fi rst months to make sure the transition would be as smooth as possible. With a

lot of help from our wonderful staff, Oklahoma Liv- ing’s April 2011 edition was successfully printed by QuadGraphics in Stillwater, Okla. I breathed a sign of relief and joy. One down, many more to go. 2) My next goal was to go digital. QuadGraphics had offered a digital package opportunity for Okla- homa Living to be available through an interactive digital edition for both desktop and mobile devices. My work was cut out for me. There were months of testing the digital edition to ensure everything was working properly before introducing it to our readers. There were months of paperwork and test- ing to allow Apple to create Oklahoma Living’s free downloadable App. There were months of planning, brainstorming and designing Oklahoma Living’s re- vamped website to become more user-friendly to our readers. In addition, Oklahoma Living landed its social media debut with a Facebook page. All these digital enhancements went live on August 1, 2011. Two down, many more to go. 3) May 10, 2011 opened a new chapter in my

career. As you may be aware, Oklahoma Living is published by the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives (OAEC). OAEC is a service-oriented organization with a mission to support Oklahoma’s electric cooperatives, which are comprised of two Generation and Transmission and 28 Distribution cooperatives. I had heard and read about Oklaho- ma’s electric co-ops, but it was not until that sum- mer day that I made my fi rst visit to a co-op in Black- well, Okla. Visiting Kay Electric Cooperative enabled me to better grasp the service co-ops provide to rural areas in Oklahoma. Through that visit and the ones that came later, I became more familiar with the dy- namics between an electric cooperative and their members. I’m still making my round of visits (al-

ready had the privi- lege of visiting 16 of them), but I’m eager to visit each one and meet the people who are the driving force behind each co-op. 4) Through the last year, I was able to quickly learn that

Anna Politano Managing Editor, Oklahoma Living

being part of the electric co-op industry is so much more than a career, but an entry into a big family. I have made so many new friends who are part of the electric cooperative family both in Oklahoma and nationwide. These friends bring me much joy! I’m blessed to say I don’t feel I come to work every day; instead, I leave my house each morning to do what I love.

5) So, as the saying goes, I saved the best for last. Although the accomplishments listed above were important to me, nothing compares to knowing that Oklahoma Living is valuable to its readers. In a recent round of focus group our staff has conducted with some of the electric cooperatives, the words “trustworthy,” “local,” “anticipated,” “valuable,” have been spoken by our readers to us. Undoubt- edly, the biggest fulfi llment is knowing that some- how, some way, this publication makes a difference to someone’s life. One of our readers recently said they enjoy Oklahoma Living because it is “Oklahoma” to them. Now, let me throw that back at you — if Oklahoma Living showcases the beauty of our state and its people and the values of rural electric coop- eratives, then YOU make Oklahoma Living what it is! Thank you for a wonderful fi rst year! Now, let me get back to that deadline! OL

Wishing you and your family many blessings this Christmas and New Year!

- Oklahoma Living staff Holiday Energy Tip

During the holiday season, consider using ENERGY STAR-qualifi ed lights and strands to decorate. They use 70 percent less energy than regular lights and last up to 10 times as long. They also give off less heat, reducing the risk of fi re. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (ENERGY STAR)


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