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Rural Maryland Council Elects 2024 Leadership

The Rural Maryland Council (RMC) and its membership convened at the Crowne Plaza in
Annapolis on Monday, November 13, 2023, at 6:00 p.m. for its Executive Board Meeting and Rural Impact
Awards Ceremony.

Executive Board elections for the 2024 calendar year were held and the following Officers were elected:

  • Chair: Ms. Susan O’Neill
  • First Vice Chair: Greg Padgham
  • Second Vice Chair: Dr. Heidi Anderson
  • Immediate Past Chair: John Hartline

Ms. Susan O’Neill currently serves as the Executive Director for the Upper Shore Regional Council (USRC),
a cooperative planning and development agency for Cecil, Kent, and Queen Anne’s counties. USRC plans
and implements programs to improve the quality of life in the Upper Shore Region of Maryland. Ms. O’Neill
is serving her second year as Board Chair.

Mr. Greg Padgham serves as the Executive Director of the Tri-County Council for the Lower Eastern Shore
of Maryland, the purpose which is to facilitate regional planning and development in Somerset, Wicomico,
and Worcester counties. Mr. Padgham is serving his second year as First Vice Chair.

Dr. Heidi M. Anderson was named the 16 th  president of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore on
September 1, 2018. President Anderson, herself a first-generation college student, leads a campus focused on
excellence in teaching, research, and community outreach. A collaborative servant leader, President Anderson
is dedicated to student success with an emphasis on educational access and attainability. This is Dr.
Anderson’s first time serving as an Officer.

Mr. John Hartline serves as the Executive Director for the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland, a
cooperative planning and development agency that fosters social and economic development in Southern
Maryland, composed of Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s Counties. Mr. Hartline currently serves as immediate
past chair and will serve as the Chair of the Joint Planning and Development Committee.

New Board Members include the following:

  •  Chris Abell, Representing the Nonprofits Sector.
  •  D’Shaen Doughty, Representing the For profits Sector.
  •  Machelle Dwyer, Representing District 1 – Garrett, Allegany and Washington Counties.
  •  Grayson Middleton, Representing Delmarva Chicken Association.
  •  Dan Schneckenberger, Representing District 4 – Cecil, Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties.

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.