For 80 years, Illinois Country Living (ICL) has served Illinois’ electric cooperatives and their members, delivering important energy news and co-op information. Within ICL’s pages, readers travel across the state to discover people and places making history. Throughout the years, many faces have come and gone, but the mission remains the same. With the retirement of former editor Valerie Cheatham came several changes for the magazine.
Colten Bradford was promoted to become ICL’s 10th editor. He first became familiar with co-ops in high school when he represented Spoon River Electric Cooperative at Youth Day in Springfield. He later earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in communications from the University of Illinois Springfield.
Bradford joined ICL in 2017 as the assistant editor after working for Safe Electricity – a public awareness program. During his time with ICL, Bradford assisted electric co-ops with local content, wrote feature stories, helped edit, and discovered his love of cooking and baking by helping with the Finest Cooking pages.
Lisa Cherry was promoted to ICL’s assistant editor. She joined the magazine in 2018 as the creative services assistant manager for Energized Graphics – the team responsible for the magazine’s design. She will continue to write and edit and will assist electric co-ops with their local pages in the center of the magazine.
Prior to joining ICL, Cherry worked for The Daily Press and as communications director for International Cooperating Ministries, both headquartered in Virginia. She is a graduate of Lincoln Land Community College and Southern Illinois University at Carbondale with a bachelor’s in English.
Kayla Adkins joins ICL as the creative services coordinator for Energized Graphics. She earned a bachelor’s in mass communications from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and a master’s in communications from Southern New Hampshire University. She previously worked for Christian Retreats Network in Carlinville as its content marketing coordinator. With ICL, she will provide design work as well as writing and editing.
ICL is the rural electric co-op magazine produced by the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives, and is distributed to more than 192,000 households and businesses each month.