More than 300 people from member cooperatives, associate members and others attended the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives 79th Annual Meeting July 23-25 at Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg, Va.

Keynote speaker Devon Harris

The theme for this year’s annual meeting was “Generating Momentum”, which was inspired by everything the Association, our members and our industry has had to overcome the last few years and despite the obstacles continue to grow and build momentum. For VMDAEC, that has come from growth in all departments, increased participation at events and the addition of new services. The Association continues to generate momentum in its mission to serve its member cooperatives and bring the value services they have come to expect.

Highlights from the meeting include the unanimous decision during the business meeting to welcome Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative back into the VMDAEC co-op family as a member cooperative. The news was met with a room full of applause and cheers. (See updated VMDAEC Territory Map.)

“We are beyond excited to welcome back our friends at SMECO and to again serve all 16 electric cooperatives in our three-state region,” says VMDAEC President and CEO Brian Mosier. “The future is brighter than ever, and we look forward to providing the best service possible to our members.”

Outgoing VMDAEC Board Chair and NOVEC Director Wade House passed the gavel on to incoming Board Chair and BARC Electric Cooperative Director C. Michael Sandridge. We thank Mr. House for his distinguished service over the last year and look forward to working with Mr. Sandridge in the year ahead. 

The morning continued with a motivational presentation from Devon Harris, keynote speaker and Jamaican bobsled team member from the 1988 Olympic Games in Calgary, Canada. His message of “Keep pushing” resonated with his audience. Following Harris was a panel discussion about security, prompted by the December 2022 substation attacks in North Carolina.

Richard and Blair Johnstone

Two very worthy gentlemen were recognized during the awards luncheon. Retired VMDAEC President and CEO Richard Johnstone humbly accepted the 2022 Cooperative Leadership award, accompanied by his wife, Blair, and former Association colleagues, Janet Bailey and Debbie Swiderski.  Also recognized for his years of leadership was retired Central Virginia Electric Cooperative President and CEO Howard Scarboro, who was presented with the 2023 Cooperative Leadership Award.

A combination of silent auction bids, 50/50 raffle ticket sales, donations and proceeds from the golf tournament and culminating in the live

Howard Scarboro

auction for the traditional John Lee Hunting Trip, raised more than $60,000 for the VMDAEC Scholarship Foundation.  The Foundation has awarded more than 900 scholarships to deserving students and will top the $1 million dollar mark next year. Click here to make a donation.

Once again, we would like to thank our sponsors, exhibitors, Associate Members and our Cooperative family for another successful and memorable meeting. The 2024 Annual Meeting is scheduled for July 28-30 at the Marriott Virginia Beach Oceanfront hotel.

–Report by Jim Robertson, Manager of Member Services, VMDAEC.