Vol73-6 June 2023
Member newsletter for Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative
Member-owned cooperatives are a unique type of organization created to solve a common problem with united action. In 1937, the common problem was a lack of distributed electricity in Southern Maryland, and the combined efforts of a group in the community succeeded in establishing the cooperative that would later become SMECO. With more than 146,000 members, SMECO has come a long way since the original 468 subscribers signed applications, paid membership fees, and prepared to receive power.
SMECO has a longstanding tradition of operating sustainably and championing progress in the communities we serve. In 2022, the cooperative released its inaugural Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) report to build awareness of and provide additional transparency in our efforts to build a more sustainable future for our employees, community, and the planet.
From the beginning, SMECO has put its members first because, as an electric cooperative, we are owned by our customers and shaped by the communities we serve.
The electric utility industry is changing rapidly and faces impact from three key trends—decarbonization, decentralization, and digitalization. With these trends in mind, SMECO’s executive team and Board of Directors spent 18 months developing an updated vision and strategy for the cooperative. In 2022, following Board approval, SMECO’s 2023–2027 Strategic Plan was introduced to the employees. The plan establishes a framework and action plan to address five pillars:
- Transform the member experience
- Build a smarter, more resilient grid
- Lead sustainably in the community
- Innovate and grow
- Engage, equip, and empower employees
Over the next five years, your cooperative will implement components of the plan in a phased effort to meet the goals set for the cooperative and its members. Through it all, we are guided by our mission—to put members first by delivering safe, reliable, affordable, and sustainable electricity and related services that exceed expectations.
Scott White, Chairman of the Board of Directors, and Sonja M. Cox, President and CEO.
This report is dedicated in honor & loving memory of:
William Hill, SMECO lineman and construction supervisor
October 1971–January 2022
Featured at the top of the page: SMECO crew members gather at the newly built substation in Chaptico. Each member worked closely on the substation project with William Hill, a former SMECO employee who passed away in January 2022.
Above, from left: Robby Abell, chief lineman; Jason Danielson, chief lineman; Bruce Pleger, construction supervisor; Hugh Voehl, transmission engineering and construction director; Ryan Schlotterbeck, distribution contractor operations director.