SMECO Elects Chairman

Gilbert O. Bowling of Charles County is the new chairman of the board of Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO). He succeeds the late Lewie Aldridge Sr., who served from 1980 until he resigned shortly before his death July 30.

Bowling, a tobacco farmer and owner and operator of the Hughesville Tobacco Warehouse and the Bargain Barn, was elected by the SMECO board earlier this summer.

He is past president of the Charles County Farm Bureau and former chairman of the Charles County Zoning Appeals Board.

Bowling was first elected to the SMECO board in 1970 and became vice chairman in 1980.

SMECO also announced that Walter Rayner Blair III of St. Mary's County has been named to fill Aldridge's seat on the board. He will be sworn in at this month's board meeting.

Blair, who lives in Lexington Park, owns Blair's Jewelry and Gifts in California and Blair's Video, a chain of nine video rental and sale outlets in Calvert, Charles, St. Mary's and Prince George's counties. He is also president of Blair Family Limited Partnership, a local real estate development company.

Engineering Firms Merge

D.H. Steffens Company, a civil engineering firm based in La Plata with offices also in Lexington Park, has named Patrick H. Mudd Jr. vice president for engineering.

The move merges Mudd Engineering Inc. of St. Mary's County into D.H. Steffens. The merger expands the D.H. Steffens staff to 44, including five professional engineers.

Mudd, who has served as chairman of both the Building Officials and Code Administrators Appeals Board, and the Steering Committee for the Development Review Forum in St. Mary's County, has worked on several Southern Maryland projects. They include the First Colony planned development and Wildewood, both in California near Patuxent River Naval Air Station.

D.H. Steffens has been in operation since 1923.

Charles Business Expo

The fifth annual Charles County Business to Business Expo is set for Oct. 6 at the Greater Waldorf Jaycees Community Center.

The event, sponsored by the county Chamber of Commerce, will run from 1 to 7 p.m. It is designed to give local businesses an opportunity to showcase their products and services to other business operators.

Each year the event concludes with a reception featuring a special guest. This year's guest will be announced in the coming weeks.

For more information, call the chamber office at 301-932-6500 or 301-870-3089, or visit the office in La Plata at 6360 Crain Hwy. Information also is available at the chamber's Web site,

Nurse Rises to Head Civista

Christine M. Stefanides has been named the new president and chief executive officer of Civista Health Inc.

The move earlier this summer by the health care firm's board awarded Stefanides, who joined the hospital as a staff nurse in 1979 when it was known as Physicians Memorial, the top positions she has held on an interim basis since January.

She succeeds Susan L. Hunsaker, who resigned to enter private consulting.

Stefanides was assigned to her first management position at the hospital in 1980 and became vice president for nursing in 1985. She holds a master's degree in nursing administration from the University of Maryland and took her nursing training at West Virginia University.

She and her husband, Gary, live in Hughesville. He is an administrator at Thomas Stone High School in Waldorf. Their daughter, Christa, also is a nurse.

Seafood Festival Is Back

The 33rd annual Maryland Seafood Festival will be Sept. 10 to 12 at Sandy Point State Park, at the Bay Bridge in Annapolis.

The festival will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day. The Maryland Crab Soup Cook-off will be from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday. The annual "Save the Bay Day" events are scheduled for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Additional information is available from the Annapolis Chamber of Commerce on the Web at or by phone at 410-268-7682.