When Curt Durnil joined Hoosier Energy in November 2020 as its communications coordinator, media and public relations, he brought with him a solid public service background — just in a different field. For the past 26 years, he was the Indiana State Police’s public information officer. Indiana Connection sat down with Durnil to learn more about his interest in public relations, his background, and his new role helping electric cooperatives.
Welcome to the cooperative family. How has your career change gone so far?
Things have gone smoothly. I would like to say a very sincere thank you to members and member-consumers for allowing me to serve you and your family! It has been an absolute pleasure starting a career with Hoosier Energy and with each passing day, I see first-hand the cooperative principles taking place and how electric co-ops are serving their members.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a Hoosier native, born in Bloomington and have a deep passion for the area served by member co-ops. As a former small college basketball player, I am a sports enthusiast and a graduate of Indiana University. My wife, Lori, and I have seven children after 26 years of marriage. Our kids range in age from 24 to 5! I previously served 26 years with the Indiana State Police and now love working for Hoosier Energy.
What attracted you to the field of public relations?
I have always been very comfortable speaking to individuals that I may not necessarily know. Communicating with those who I may not share the same background, career field or upbringing with is something I have done for many years. When the ISP public information officer (PIO) position opened, I did not hesitate to apply. This position required me to address the public through media interviews, radio shows and teaching – all aspects I wanted to do professionally.
In what ways has your experience with the Indiana State Police prepared you for your role at Hoosier Energy?
My 13 years as PIO gave me experience writing news releases, serving as a primary media contact, continuing and preserving media relationships, and strengthening a social media presence. I give a lot of credit to those with the Indiana State Police who gave me the opportunity to serve as their public information officer.
How have you engaged with co-ops during the pandemic?
Although the pandemic has mostly kept us from meeting face to face, I have taken advantage of several virtual conferences where I have met many cooperative leaders and professional communicators. I am always available to help them with media and member requests and look forward to being part of the cooperative team!