SMECO held its 84th Annual Meeting on August 25, 2022, at the Mechanicsville Volunteer Fire Department Social Hall in Mechanicsville, Md. The Board of Directors’ election was conducted online and by mail prior to the meeting.
The following SMECO members were elected to serve on SMECO’s Board for three years: W. Michael Phipps of Calvert County; George Heinze and Richard A. Winkler of Charles County; James A. Richards of Prince George’s County; and Scott White of St. Mary’s County.
More than 8,600 members voted in the SMECO election and the results were announced at the meeting. SMECO’s election was conducted by mail and members could also vote electronically by casting their ballots online. Ballots were mailed to members on July 18. The deadline for submitting ballots by mail or electronically was August 18. Seventy-six percent of the ballots were returned by mail and 24 percent were cast online. Members who returned their ballots or voted online were eligible to win one of 30 electric bill credits of $50 each.
Scott White, Chairman of the SMECO Board of Directors, welcomed SMECO’s members to the event and called the meeting to order. SMECO’s president and CEO, Sonja Cox, introduced the video version of the cooperative’s 2021 annual report (available below). Personnel featured in the video explained how SMECO enhanced its infrastructure with transmission system upgrades and two new substations, as well as upgrading transformers at several other substations. The video also highlighted how SMECO and its employees navigated through challenges.
“We saw a lot of major changes in 2021—we had changes in our political climate, challenges with bringing people back into the workforce after the pandemic, and increasing energy prices,” Cox said. “Trying to deal with these changes has been a major challenge.”
Cox also answered questions from the audience and addressed topics such as clean energy and the impact of supply chain issues on the cooperative. In addition, the audience applauded when one member thanked SMECO’s linemen for doing a good job.
“I think the future looks bright for SMECO and the industry in general,” Cox said. “SMECO’s members—its owners—are the core of the cooperative. Their satisfaction drives the cooperative’s decision-making and advancements. SMECO puts members first.”