SMECO's newly appointed vice presidents, from left, Rose Pickeral-Brown, Eugene Bradford, and William Lawman.
HUGHESVILLE, Md. (Jan. 25, 2014)—The Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) Board of Directors recognized three employees recently by appointing them as vice presidents. William Lawman, Rose Pickeral-Brown, and Eugene Bradford received the appointments based on their expertise, accomplishments, and dedication to the cooperative and its mission.
According to Austin J. Slater, Jr., SMECO President and CEO, "These three employees have collectively given 88 years of service to SMECO. They have been valuable members of our management team, and they have guided the employees under their direction through significant changes as our co-op has evolved."
Bill Lawman, Vice President of Electric Operations and Construction, started working in SMECO's Charles-Prince George's region in 1973 as a groundman apprentice, when the population of the area was growing at an incredible rate, and the number of customers nearly doubled by 1988. Lawman has met with his fair share of storms during his tenure. According to Slater, "His knowledge of our electric system, our crews' work practices, and our capabilities is unsurpassed. During widespread outages, Bill plays a major role in directing our crews and our operations, so we can restore power quickly and safely."
Lawman studied industrial electricity and graduated from the Charles County vocational technology program before attending Charles County Community College (now the College of Southern Maryland). He progressed through SMECO's lineman's training program and was promoted to assistant district manager of the Charles-Prince George's region in 1993. He became the district manager in 2002 and in 2010 was chosen to head SMECO's electric operations and construction.
For most of her career, Rose Pickeral-Brown has been on the front line of customer service. She started at SMECO in 1982 as a stenographer-clerk and has managed the co-op's contact center since 2004. In nine years, SMECO's contact center has grown from 23 employees handling 15,300 calls per month to 44 employees handling 32,000 calls per month. For the past six years, a national polling firm has rated SMECO's customer service at the top of its category. According to Slater, "Rose helps our contact center team maintain a delicate balance between helping our members when they need assistance and serving as many customers as possible, as quickly as possible. She remains calm under pressure and treats each customer respectfully. One of Rose's great gifts is her ability to bring out the best in the people she works with."
Pickeral-Brown, SMECO's Vice President of Customer Care, graduated from Morgan State University. In 2001 she was promoted to District Services Supervisor, a position she held at each of SMECO's three regional offices.
Eugene Bradford became SMECO's Rates and Economic Studies Director in 1996. At the time, SMECO purchased all of its power from Pepco Energy Services. "We have come a long way since the days when we had one contract with one power supplier. Eugene helped our co-op to forge a path into the world of power supplier diversity," Slater said. "Purchasing power on the open market and developing a portfolio of suppliers and contracts gives us flexibility and control, and Eugene manages that process. Based on load forecasts and financial forecasts that he develops, Eugene also establishes customer rates for energy and distribution."
Bradford, Vice President of Rates and Energy Procurement, has a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering, and he received a master's degree in business administration from the University of Texas where he concentrated in finance and statistics. He worked six years as a financial analyst and rates analyst at the Public Utility Commission of Texas, followed by six years as a rates engineer at Eastern Utilities Associates in Massachusetts.