DENTON — Choptank Electric Cooperative’s Olin Davis has been elected to the Board of Directors of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Recognized as one of the most effective lobbying organizations in Washington, D.C., NRECA represents more than 870 consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives across the United States.
As a new member of the national Board, Davis will share his insight from more than two decades of experience representing electric cooperative members on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
“Our rural members have a unique set of needs that are often overlooked in the halls of Congress,” said Mike Malandro, president and CEO of Choptank Electric Cooperative. “Olin will make sure our voices are heard whenever energy policies — and now broadband initiatives — are discussed in Washington.”
While Maryland falls into one of the largest metropolitan regions in the country, rural areas on the Eastern Shore and in southern Maryland are still served by member-owned electric cooperatives.
“Co-op members make up less than 10% of electric consumers in Maryland,” Davis said. “It’s important to have a voice at the national level to set us apart from the Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs) that serve the vast majority of Marylanders.”
NRECA was formed in 1942 after false claims that electric cooperatives were hoarding cooper wire during World War II brought cooperative leaders from different states together to defend themselves. Today, the Arlington, Va.-based national service organization oversees cooperative employee benefit plans; carries out federal government relations activities like lobbying; conducts management and director training; and spearheads communications, advocacy and public relations initiatives.
Davis has lived on Choptank Electric Co-op lines his whole life. He and his brother own and operate Rich Levels Grain Inc and Rich Levels Poultry LLC, growing grain and poultry on the family farm in Kent County. He holds a B.S. in Agriculture from the University of Maryland and has been certified in Board Leadership.
As a member of the NRECA Board, Davis represents both the Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative and Choptank Electric Cooperative. Because he is a fully trained and credentialed Choptank Electric Board member, Davis was eligible for the two-year, five-term seat shared by Maryland’s electric cooperatives. Choptank was last represented on the NRECA Board more than 10 years ago by Somerset County’s Carl Widdowson.
“I consider it a privilege to serve the members of Choptank Electric Cooperative on the local Board and now at the national level,” Davis said. “I will do my very best to guide Choptank and NRECA in the years ahead.”