Notice of 2023 Annual Meeting

Every year, SMECO conducts its members’ meeting for the purpose of electing directors and voting on bylaw changes. As a member, you have the right to vote.

About SMECO’s Annual Meeting

An electric cooperative is shaped by the communities it serves.

SMECO has 15 directors, and every year five directors are elected to three-year terms. SMECO members—that’s you—elect the men and women who serve on the Board of Directors.

The annual meeting ballot also includes proposed amendments to SMECO’s bylaws. Bylaws govern the way an electric cooperative

SMECO directors are part of the community.

SMECO’s Board of Directors meets every month to oversee the operations of the cooperative.

Directors are SMECO members like you, and they come from all walks of life.

Directors attend training sessions provided by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), which serves about 900 electric cooperatives nationwide. Through NRECA, electric cooperatives across the country have built a strong network of like-minded organizations that put their members first.

Election of Directors

Pursuant to Article IV, Section 4.03 of the bylaws, the Nominating Committee has nominated the following candidates, unless otherwise noted, for election to the Board of Directors for a three-year term.

Along with biographical information, each candidate’s response to the following is included:

“Please explain why you want to serve on the SMECO Board and what knowledge, expertise, or skills you would bring to the Board.”

Charles County (One seat open)

Charles B. Bowling, Jr.

Charles B. Bowling, Jr., Newburg
  • President and owner, Bowling Agri-Services Inc., since 2000
  • Manager and co-owner, Bunker Hill Farm LLC
  • Vice Chair, U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance; Chairman, U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, 2018–2020
  • Member, Charles County Farm Bureau, 2008 to present
  • Former President, National Corn Growers Association, 2014–2016
  • President, Maryland Grain Producers, 2009–2011
  • Former member, Charles County, Maryland Rural Development Committee
  • Former Director, Charles County, Maryland Chamber of Commerce
  • Recipient of the Governor’s Agriculture Hall of Fame, 2017
  • La Plata High School, 1981

As a lifelong resident of Charles County, who has always been involved in the community, serving on the SMECO Board of Directors would be a welcomed extension of that commitment. I have a vested interest in understanding the current and future sources of our power—not only for my community—but for my family and business. The experience and skillset that I would bring to SMECO’s board is broad. I have led national organizations with 400,000 members and represented 80 different companies, testified and lobbied before Congress several times, and have worked directly with cabinet members and legislative staff in the last four presidential administrations. I know how to lead and to compromise to get the job done.

Deriece Harrington

Deriece Harrington, Waldorf
  • Director, Government Affairs and Corporate Citizenship, PepsiCo, 2017 to present
  • Former Deputy Executive Director, National Black Caucus of State Legislators, 2016–2017; Former Vice President of Government Affairs, Maryland Chamber of Commerce, 2012–2016; Former Executive Director, Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland; Former Vice President and Board member, Pearl Elegance Foundation
  • Patient Advocate; Board member, A Wider Circle; Board member, The Missing Pink Breast Cancer Alliance; General member, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
  • The Daily Record’s Very Important Professionals under 40, 2021
  • Rising Star, Living Classroom of the Capital Region, 2018
  • Master of Public Administration, Bowie State University; Bachelor of Science, Political Science, Morgan State University

I am interested in serving on the SMECO board to deepen my service in the community in the area essential to southern Maryland’s livelihood. As the county, state, and country continue to seek ways to increase the electrification of our society, I believe that the cooperative and its board should be reflective of its diverse membership. To create a space for all members to be seen, heard, and indeed a part of the SMECO community and family. I also would like to work with the leadership and staff of SMECO to increase their community outreach in the service area.

Edward Jones

Edward Jones, Waldorf
  • SAIC/Government contractor support to U.S. Army, November 2022 to present
  • Substitute teacher, Charles County Public Schools (CCPS), La Plata, MD, March 2021–November 2022
  • Civil service employee, Department of Defense (retired), November 1985–December 2020; Civilian Deputy Commander, 2nd Theater Signal Brigade, Wiesbaden, GM, May–November 2015
  • United States Air Force (Honorable Discharge), August 1981–September 1987
  • Master of Science, Government Information Leadership, National Defense University, 2014; Master of Science, Administration, Central Michigan University, December 2003; Bachelor of Science, Information Management Systems, University of Maryland Global Campus, 2001; Associate of Applied Science, Community College of the Air Force, 1987
  • Member, St Columba Masonic Lodge, La Plata

I believe to serve and to be of service is one of the greatest honors that we can achieve within the time allotted to us. It has been a great honor to have been able to serve my country and community–over the past 40 years as a military and civil servant within DoD. During that time words such as self-service, duty, honor, respect, and integrity became more than just words, but a way of life. As I transitioned – I found that they served me well outside of the military environment as well. These are the standards and beliefs that I bring to SMECO and the community–with an extensive background in Information Technology Management, which includes: IT Operations, Network Management and Security as well as IT resource management on a global scale. It would be my honor to serve the Southern Maryland communities that welcomed me and my family to this great state.

William Purnell

William L. Purnell, Hughesville
  • SMECO Board member since 2017; NRECA Credentialed Cooperative Director and Board Leadership Certified, Director Gold Certified; SMECO Board Committees: member, Board Risk Oversight Committee; member, Personnel and Benefits Committee; former member, Policy, Audit and Budget Committee
  • Over two decades as a federal civil servant, including assignments at the National Security Agency, Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Defense; Military Veteran, U.S. Air Force
  • Former member, Charles County Ethics Commission
  • Master of Business Administration in Energy, Oklahoma University; Master of Science in Human Resource Management, University of Maryland, University College; Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, American Military University

SMECO members deserve access to clean, safe, reliable, affordable electrical power and I will continue to advocate for modernization to ensure our members have access to that resource. I value evidence-based decision making to inspire confidence that recommendations will have a high probability of producing the targeted outcomes that our members desire. COVID presented SMECO with unprecedented challenges, it is critical Directors understand their roles and responsibilities to lead effectively. In my tenure I have participated in major milestones such as the executive search and selection of our current CEO.

It has been a pleasure to serve the membership on the SMECO board for the past six years, and I hope to continue serving its members.

St. Mary’s County (Two seats open)

Joseph Douglas Frederick

Joseph Douglas Frederick, Loveville
  • SMECO Board member since 2007; NRECA Credentialed Cooperative Director, Board Leadership and Director Gold Certified; SMECO Board committees: member, Capital Projects Committee; Chairman, Public Relations Committee
  • Board member, Southern Maryland Tri-County Community Action Committee, Inc.; past Board Chairman; past Chairman, Bylaws Committee
  • Retired from St. Mary’s County Schools, 37 years of service
  • Board Member, Feed St. Mary’s; member, Knights of Columbus
  • Member, Unified Committee for Afro-American Contributions; member, NAACP
  • Graduate, Chopticon High School

As a SMECO Director, I am Chairman of the Public Relations Committee and member of the Capital Projects Committee. We, as directors, are tasked with maintaining the highest level of reliability at the lowest possible prices and the highest level of safety for the SMECO employees. With today’s challenges, it’s critical that you have experienced, trained board members whose decisions support short- and long-range strategies for SMECO, while putting its members first.


I hope to continue to look out for the best interest of SMECO and our members. I ask for your vote to continue to serve you as a SMECO Director!

Joseph Gilbert Murphy

Joseph Gilbert Murphy, Abell
  • SMECO Board member since 2020; NRECA Credentialed Cooperative Director and Board Leadership Certified, June 2023; SMECO Board Committees: member, Board Risk Oversight Committee; member, Personnel and Benefits Committee; Lifelong resident, St. Mary’s County
  • Owned and operated Murphy’s Town & Country, Inc., 1979–2020
  • Commissioner and former Vice Chairman, St. Mary’s County Metropolitan Commission Water and Sewer, September 1998–December 2006
  • Appointed Member-at-Large, Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland
  • President and Board member, Friends of Holy Angels Sacred Heart School,1997–present; Vice President, 1995–2004
  • Past Board member, Family Council for St. Mary’s Nursing Center, 2006–2009
  • Life Member and Treasurer, Seventh District Volunteer Rescue Squad, 1983–present, served as President and Chief; member, Seventh District Optimist Club, 1981–present, served as Board member, Secretary, and Treasurer; member, Holy Angels Catholic Church, serving on Finance Council, 1994–present
  • Graduated St. Mary’s Ryken High School

I love serving my community and feel honored to serve the members of SMECO. In today’s Energy Environment it’s important to have experienced, well trained Board Members whose task is supporting Senior Staff by making short and long term decisions that provide members of SMECO with a safe reliable power source at a reasonable cost.

Kenneth Ritter

Kenneth Ritter, Lexington Park
  • Honorably served in the U.S. Navy, 1972–1979
  • Retired after 34 years at the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), Patuxent River, MD
  • Volunteer, Senior Rides driver for the St. Mary’s County Department of Aging and Human Services
  • Member, Board of Directors, Christmas in April St Mary’s County. Currently serve as a House Captain (30 years) and serve on the House Selection Committee; member, Board of Directors, Hospice of St. Mary’s County
  • Past member, St. Mary’s Little League Board of Directors (10 years); managed a Major Little League Team (12 years) as well as the Board Treasurer (10 years)
  • St. Mary’s County foster parent for 15 years and 25 foster children, two of which we adopted; married, 49 years; three children and four grandchildren
  • Member, Lexington Park United Methodist Church; member of the church choir, Sunday morning Liturgist, and serve with the United Methodist Men’s group
  • Bachelor of Science, Business, University of Maryland
  • SMECO member and St. Mary’s County resident since 1974

I believe that with my involvement with the community and the base I know what is involved living in the local area. My contacts with the local trades, media, and defense communities makes me highly qualified to represent St. Mary’s County on the Board of Directors of SMECO.

Calvert/Anne Arundel Counties (One seat open)

Nancy W. Zinn

Nancy W. Zinn, St. Leonard
  • SMECO Board member since January 2006; Secretary-Treasurer, SMECO Board of Directors; NRECA Credentialed Cooperative Director and Board Leadership Certified, Director Gold Certified; SMECO Board Committees: member, Capital Projects Committee, responsible for completion of the SOMD Reliability Project and grid modernization programs, managing an over $200 million investment in the co-op; member, Policy, Audit and Budget Committee; lifelong resident of Calvert County
  • Purchasing Supervisor, Calvert County Public Schools, retired
  • Past member, Calvert County BOE; past member, Calvert Planning Commission
  • Treasurer, Calvert 4-H All Stars, Miss Tranquility and Lord Calvert Contest, Friends of the One Room School #7; Board member, Treasurer, and Spirit Comm. Chair, St. Leonard Vision Group; Corres. Sec. and assoc. member, Calvert Fair Board
  • Senior Warden and member of Christ Church, Port Republic
  • Associate of Arts, College of Southern Maryland, Management Development

SMECO is the 11th largest co-op in the nation, which I am proud to have served as your Director since 2006. The energy business is complex. It is not just keeping the lights on. The grid, cyber security, electric vehicles, and battery storage are just a few that keep changing and our top priority is safe and reliable power. The Directors represent the members’ interests and supporting employees. As SMECO’s Board Secretary-Treasurer, I feel I am qualified to look out for the best interests of our members and respectfully ask for your vote.

Prince George’s County (One seat open)

Daniel Dyer

Daniel Dyer, Accokeek
  • SMECO Board member since 1981; SMECO Board Chairman 2003–2008; former National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Director—Maryland 2010–2020; NRECA Credentialed Cooperative Director and Board Leadership Certified; SMECO Board committees: member, Capital Projects Committee; member, Personnel & Benefits Committee member; member, Committee on Strategy and Innovation; lifelong resident, Accokeek, Prince George’s County
  • Past Secretary, Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee; former member, Citizen’s Advisory Committee for U.S. 301, the Accokeek Development Review District Commission, Prince George’s County Housing Authority.
  • Former Chief of Staff/Legislative Assistant to the Chairman of Prince George’s County Council and County Executive
  • Director of Condominium Office for Maryland Secretary of State
  • Retired Appraiser, Maryland Department of Assessments
  • Graduate, Gwynn Park High School; Pursued higher education at Prince George’s Community and the University of Maryland

I believe my many years of experience with local government, my knowledge of the area and my Board experience make me uniquely qualified to continue as your SMECO Director.

Proposed Bylaw Revisions

Read the Proposed Revisions

Red text (e.g., the Board may) means proposed additions.


Section 7.02 Patronage Capital in Connection with Furnishing Electric Distribution Service.

In the furnishing of electric distribution service, the Cooperative’s operations shall be so conducted that all patrons, members and non-members alike, will through their patronage furnish capital for the Cooperative. In order to induce patronage and to assure that the Cooperative will operate on a non-profit basis, the Cooperative is obligated to account on a patronage basis to all its patrons, members and non-members alike, for all amounts received and receivable from the furnishing of electric distribution service in excess of operating costs and expenses properly chargeable against the furnishing of electric distribution service. All such amounts in excess of operating costs and expenses at the moment of receipt by the Cooperative are received with the understanding that they are furnished by the patrons, members and non-members alike, as capital. The Cooperative is obligated to pay by credits to a capital account for each patron all such amounts in excess of operating costs and expenses. The books and records of the Cooperative shall be set up and kept in such a manner that at the end of each fiscal year the amount of capital, if any, so furnished by each patron is clearly reflected and credited in an appropriate record to the capital account of each patron, and the Cooperative shall within a reasonable time after the close of the fiscal year, give a general notice sufficient to enable each patron to compute his own amount of capital so credited to his account. All such amounts credited to the capital account of any patron shall have the same status as though they had been paid to the patron in cash in pursuance of a legal obligation to do so and the patron had then furnished the Cooperative corresponding amounts for capital. All other amounts received by the Cooperative from its operation in excess of costs and expenses shall, insofar as permitted by law, be (a) used to offset any losses incurred during the current or any prior fiscal year and (b) to the extent not needed for that purpose, allocated to its patrons on a patronage basis and any amount so allocated shall be included as a part of the capital credited to the accounts of patrons, as herein provided. Notwithstanding any of the foregoing, however, the Cooperative shall retain any nonoperating margins as permanent equity, without allocation.

In the event of dissolution or liquidation of the Cooperative, after all outstanding indebtedness of the Cooperative shall have been paid, outstanding Capital Credits shall be retired without priority on a prorata basis before any payments are made on account of property rights of members. If, at any time prior to dissolution or liquidation, the Board of Directors shall determine that the financial condition of the Cooperative will not be impaired thereby, the capital then credited to patrons’ accounts may be retired in full or in part. The Board of Directors shall determine the method, basis, priority and order of retirement. Effective with refunds made after 1992, if on retirement of capital, any refund is a de minimis amount as determined by the Board of Directors, it will be donated by the patrons to the permanent capital of the Cooperative.

Notwithstanding any other provision of these bylaws, the Board of Directors, at its discretion, shall have the power to retire capital credited to a patron who is no longer a member of the Cooperative immediately upon such terms and conditions as the Board of Directors shall agree upon, provided, however, that the financial condition of the Cooperative will not be impaired thereby.

Capital credited to the account of each patron shall be assignable only on the books of the Cooperative pursuant to written instruction from the assignor and only to successors in interest or successors in occupancy in all or part of such patron’s premises served by the Cooperative unless the Board of Directors, acting under policies of general application, shall determine otherwise.

Notwithstanding any other provision of these bylaws, the Board of Directors, at its discretion, shall have the power at any time upon the death of any patron, who was a natural person or upon the termination or legal dissolution of a patron that was a business, if the legal representative of the patron or the patron’s estate shall request in writing that the capital credited to any such patron be retired prior to the time such capital would otherwise be retired under the provisions of these bylaws, to retire capital credited to any such patron immediately upon such terms and conditions as the Board of Directors, acting under the policies of general application and the legal representatives of such patron’s estate shall agree upon, provided, however, that the financial condition of the Cooperative will not be impaired thereby.

The patrons of the Cooperative, by dealing with the Cooperative, acknowledge that the terms and provisions of the Articles of Conversion and bylaws shall constitute and be a contract between the Cooperative and each patron, and both the Cooperative and the patrons are bound by such contract, as fully as though each patron had individually signed a separate instrument containing such terms and provisions. Patrons whose membership has terminated with the Cooperative and who have retained an interest in Capital Credits shall continue to be subject to the provisions regarding retirement as enumerated in this section.

What Does the Bylaw Change Mean?

The proposed change to SMECO’s bylaws would allow SMECO’s Board of Directors to refund capital credits to former members of the cooperative earlier than the existing policy allows. The Board would be able to set the terms and conditions of the early refund (such as, for instance, discounting to present value the amount to be paid). Adopting the proposed bylaw change means that SMECO would no longer have to carry on its books of account the liability for refunding these capital credits, would save administrative costs each year, and would get the money owed to former members faster than currently possible. The bylaw change would ensure that the Board could only take such action if the early refund would not impair the financial condition of SMECO.