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Rural Maryland Council honors rural community advocates

Annapolis, MD – The Rural Maryland Council and its membership convened Thursday, November 29, 2018 for its Annual and Executive Board Meeting at the Yellowfin Steak and Fish House in Edgewater, MD. In addition to providing an overview of upcoming events and activities for 2019, the Rural Maryland Council also held its annual Rural Impact Awards Ceremony to honor advocates for rural Maryland communities.


This year, three awards were presented for the 2018 Rural Impact Award Ceremony:

  • Outstanding Rural Volunteer Award was received by Mrs. Cathy and Mr. Rick Schwab, nominated by the Town of Ridgely, for leadership, dedication, and noteworthy volunteer achievement beyond the call of one’s professional duties to help improve their community.
  • Outstanding Rural Community Development Award was received by For All Seasons for a program, project or organization that substantially improves the quality of life in multiple rural communities.
  • Rural Champion Award was received by Dr. Joseph Ciotola, Jr. for outstanding leadership and public service in advocating for policy solutions to greatly benefit rural communities.


Senator Thomas Middleton presented with the Rural Legacy Award by RMC Board Members Lindsay Thompson, Matt Teffeau and RMC Chair Josh Hastings.

In addition, three additional special recognition awards were presented:

  • Rural Friend award was presented to Susan Lawrence for her extraordinary efforts in supporting our state’s rural areas.
  • Rural Dedication Award was presented to Mike Pennington for his leadership and dedication while serving 15 years on the Rural Maryland Council Executive Board.
  • Rural Legacy Award was presented to Senator Thomas Middleton for his extraordinary efforts to support agriculture, infrastructure, and to vastly improve rural quality of life.

The Rural Maryland Council operates under the direction of a 40-member executive board in a nonpartisan and nondiscriminatory manner. It serves as the state’s federally designated rural development council and functions as a voice for rural Maryland, advocating for and helping rural communities and businesses across the state to flourish and to gain equity to its suburban and urban counterparts. The vision for RMC is the ultimate realization that residents in rural communities are achieving success in education and employment, have access to affordable, quality health care and other vital public services, and live in an environment where natural and cultural resources are being sustained for future generations.