MECHANICSVILLE, Md. – Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) conducted its 85th Annual Meeting on August 24, 2023, at the Mechanicsville Volunteer Fire Department Social Hall. The event featured the announcement of newly elected board members and a review of the company’s 2022 performance amid other topics of interest to its stakeholders.

Board Members Elected for Three-Year Terms

Nancy W. Zinn from Calvert County, Charles B. Bowling, Jr. from Charles County, Daniel W. Dyer from Prince George’s County, and Joseph Douglas Frederick and Joseph Gilbert Murphy from St. Mary’s County were elected to serve three-year terms on SMECO’s Board of Directors. More than 8,500 members participated in the election, with the results unveiled at the annual meeting.

Voting Details

The election took place through mail and online voting, giving members multiple avenues for casting their ballots. The mail-in ballots were sent to members on July 17, with a submission deadline of August 17. Of the total ballots received, 72% were returned by mail, and 28% were cast online. Participants in the election also had the chance to win one of 30 electric bill credits of $50 each.

Meeting Highlights

Scott White, Chairman of the SMECO Board of Directors, officially initiated the meeting. SMECO’s President and CEO, Sonja Cox, presented a video recap of the cooperative’s achievements in 2022. Despite facing supply chain challenges, SMECO accomplished several milestones, including the completion of the second phase of the new Chaptico substation, the replacement of two new substation transformers, and the ongoing construction of a 69-kilovolt transmission line that connects the Chaptico and Ryceville substations.

Cox said, “In 2022, we were able to move forward with many strategic upgrades and improvements for our members. From construction projects for improved reliability to more robust customer self-service options, we invested in improving service for our members.”

Audience Q&A

The meeting also included a Q&A session where Sonja Cox addressed questions concerning SMECO’s energy sources and potential federal funding opportunities. “We look forward to continuing to innovate, grow, and transform for our members,” said Cox. “Your satisfaction is our number one goal. It’s why we were formed and will continue working to meet your needs as they evolve.”

Voting Results by County

  • Calvert County: Nancy W. Zinn received 7,075 votes.
  • Charles County: Charles B. Bowling, Jr. won with 3,130 votes, beating competitors Deriece Harrington, Edward Jones, and William L. Purnell.
  • Prince George’s County: Daniel W. Dyer secured 6,836 votes.
  • St. Mary’s County: Joseph Douglas Frederick and Joseph Gilbert Murphy were elected with 5,222 and 5,033 votes, respectively.

This year’s annual meeting proved significant for SMECO as it continues to adapt to the challenges and opportunities of the electric utility industry. SMECO members can look forward to a year of innovation and improvements to meet their evolving needs.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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