Minutes of the 2022 Annual Meeting

The minutes below were approved at the 2023 Annual Members’ Meeting.


The 84th Annual Members’ Meeting of Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SMECO) was held on Thursday, August 25, 2022, at the Mechanicsville Volunteer Fire Department, 28165 Hills Club Road, Mechanicsville, Maryland, 20659, at 6:00 P.M.

Call to Order – P. Scott White, Chairman of the Board of Directors, welcomed attendees to the Mechanicsville Volunteer Fire Department for the 84th Annual Members’ Meeting. Chairman White called the Annual Meeting to order at 6:04 P.M.

Credentials and Election Committee – Chairman White reported that in accordance with Article III, Section 3.05 of the SMECO Bylaws, the Board of Directors appointed a Credentials and Election Committee to resolve all questions that may arise with respect to the ballots cast and to monitor the election process. The following 2022 Credentials and Election Committee members were in attendance at SMECO’s 2022 Annual Members’ Meeting:

Calvert County

  • Larry Lamson
  • Jack Sigler

Charles County

  • John D. Anderson
  • George Hawley
  • Joyce Hilwig
  • Jerome Short

Prince George’s County

  • Gary Tarbox, Jr.
  • Mark Xander

St. Mary’s County

  • Bryant Joseph
  • Ernest C. Williams

Notice of Annual Members’ Meeting – Nancy W. Zinn, Secretary-Treasurer of the Board of Directors, was called upon to verify the mailing of the annual meeting notices and ballots of the 2022 Annual Members’ Meeting. Secretary-Treasurer Zinn reported that she duly certifies that the United States Post Office in St. Paul, Minnesota, mailed 145,496 notices of SMECO’s 2022 Annual Meeting of Members along with mail-in ballots and log-in credentials for voting online.

According to SMECO’s bylaws, 500 members, at least 50 of whom must attend this meeting in person, are necessary to constitute an official quorum. The quorum requirements were met to conduct official business for this year’s meeting.

Introduction of Board Candidates – In accordance with SMECO’s bylaws, candidates may be nominated by petition or by the Nominating Committee, which met on May 11, 2022 at SMECO’s Headquarters Auditorium, Hughesville, Maryland. Chairman White introduced the following Board candidates:

Calvert and Anne Arundel Counties:

  • Richard M. Alu
  • Michael Phipps

Charles County:

  • John T. Colein
  • George Heinze
  • Richard A. Winkler

Prince George’s County:

  • James A. Richards

St. Mary’s County:

  • James P. Dell
  • Scott White

Chairman White thanked all nominees for their interest and participation in the SMECO Board election process.

Reading of Minutes – A motion was made, seconded, and carried to dispense with the reading of the minutes of the 2021 Annual Members’ Meeting and the minutes were approved as written.

Introduction of President & CEO – Chairman White introduced Sonja M. Cox, SMECO President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

President’s Remarks – CEO Cox welcomed members attending the 84th Annual Members’ Meeting since SMECO’s founding in 1937. CEO Cox recognized Former Delegate John F. Wood, Jr. who attended. A short video was shown that highlighted SMECO’s accomplishments and challenges over the past year.

Questions – Chairman White advised there was no unfinished business from the last annual meeting. Chairman White then called for questions.

Bennett Rushkoff noted appreciation for the Rider G option that SMECO offers. Mr. Rushkoff asked why SMECO does not advertise the option more broadly. CEO Cox responded that Retail Choice in Maryland limits the ways a “default energy provider” can advertise rates. Vice President of Distributed Energy and Sustainability Jeff Shaw was provided Mr. Rushkoff’s contact information.

Floria Mathis stated she received a mailer from another energy provider that was made to look as if it was a SMECO mailer. Chairman White noted that this was a concern the Board has attempted to address legally. Managing Director of Corporate Communications Terry Ressler was tasked with following up with Ms. Mathis concerning the mailer. Ms. Mathis also requested a designated beneficiary form be printed and mailed to her. Staff Accountant Shannon Roecker was tasked with providing the form.

Francis Holmes asked that more clear directions, and perhaps a diagram or map, be provided to members unfamiliar with the Annual Meeting location in Mechanicsville. Chairman White noted that this would be considered for next year’s meeting.

Mr. Holmes also thanked the lineman for their hard work. He requested an additional pole be installed in Accokeek near his residence. Senior Regional Engineering Supervisor Steve McGee was tasked with following up with the member.

A member asked if SMECO is experiencing supply chain issues. CEO Cox confirmed that SMECO is experiencing supply chain issues including 12-month delays on transformers and a shortage of “elbows” for pad mount transformers. CEO Cox did note that SMECO always keeps a reserve of supplies in the event of a storm or a widespread outage.

Linda Merica reported that her sister, who lives in Brandywine, needs someone to look at a tree that is too close to an electric pole. Vegetation Management Manager Scott Bacon was provided the address and tasked with following up with the member.

New Business – Chairman White called for any new business. There was no new business.

Report of Election Results – Chairman White introduced Jerome Short, Chairman of the Credentials and Election Committee, to report on the results of this year’s election.

Election of Directors Report – Committee Chairman Short, on behalf of the Credentials and Election Committee, certified and announced that 8,661 ballots were cast in SMECO’s 2022 election. Committee Chairman Short announced the names of the candidates who were elected and the number of votes cast for each candidate:

In Calvert and Anne Arundel counties, W. Michael Phipps was elected with 5,529 votes. Richard M. Alu received 2,164 votes.

In Charles County, Richard A. Winkler was elected with 6,083 votes and George Heinze was elected with 5,695 votes. John T. Colein received 2,629 votes.

In Prince George’s County, James A. Richards was elected with 7,029 votes.

In St. Mary’s County, Scott White was elected with 5,046 votes. James P. Dell received 2,635 votes.

Adjournment – Chairman White thanked everyone for attending SMECO’s 84th Annual Members’ Meeting. There being no further business, the 2022 Annual Members’ Meeting was adjourned at 6:35 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,
Nancy W. Zinn