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Bulman brings board experience to Chesapeake post

Posted on Tuesday, August 17, 2004


Richard Bulman may be new to the Chesapeake College Board of Trustees, but he is no stranger to serving on governing boards.

Bulman, appointed by Governor Robert J. Ehrlich, Jr., to the Talbot County seat previously held by Kathleen Francis, recently completed nine years of service on the Board of Directors for the Foundation for Rural Education and Development (FRED). The retired utilities executive also served on the Virgin Islands Telephone Company (Vitelco) board, and was board president with the Rural America Fund.

"The idea of how to work to a consensus is important," said Bulman of the key lessons he learned from his board experiences. "Boards need to be able to collect information, come up with a collective position, and pass it along for implementation."

Bulman moved to Talbot County after retiring as chief executive officer of MAPPCOR, a position he held from 1998 to 2001. Minnesota-based MAPPCOR is the corporate entity that performs shared functions for the electric utilities in the Mid-continent Area Power Pool (MAPP), a regional reliability council and power pool operating in nine states and portions of Canada.

"I’ve been on both sides of the table – the responsibility for carrying out the policies and directives as a CEO, and the responsibility for formulating them as part of a board, " said Bulman, who, collectively with the other nine trustees, now supervises Chesapeake’s CEO, President Stuart M. Bounds.

"The challenge there (as a CEO) is to be sure that you are providing the appropriate direction and guidance to the board to develop their policies," said Bulman. "You want to stay above any kind of parochial interests and look to the betterment of the whole organization."

Bulman also served as interim CEO for Brazos Electric Power Cooperative in 1997, assisting the board and membership of that generation and transmission cooperative in assessing the organization’s future. He previously held senior positions with electric utilities and a multi-billion-dollar utility finance corporation. Bulman was also deputy administrator for Southwestern Power Administration, overseeing day-to-day operation of this federally owned utility with 1,600 miles of transmission lines.

Since moving to Talbot County, Bulman has thrown himself into local volunteer activities. He volunteers with Talbot Mentors and Saints Peter and Paul Church Religious Education, and is Deputy Grand Knight with the Knights of Columbus in Easton. Bulman also serves on the Talbot County Council Gateway Zoning Task Force.

Bulman’s instincts for volunteer work led to his appointment to the Chesapeake College Board of Trustees.

"One of our first homes was in Bowie, where I was on the city council and got involved in local government," said Bulman. "I’m not a novice to Maryland or volunteerism.

"I told (Delegate) Jeannie Haddaway I was relatively new to the area, retired, and looking for ways to pay back the community for things I had received over the years," added Bulman. "She said this was something for which I was qualified and asked if I was interested in serving on the Chesapeake board."

Bulman, a licensed electrical engineer, earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Merrimack (Mass.) College. He also holds a Master’s of Business Administration, Executive MBA, from George Mason (Va.) University, where he was earned membership in the Beta Gamma Sigma National Honor Society.

Bulman lives in Easton with his wife, Judy. They have three grown children, two who live in the Washington, D.C., suburbs and one who lives outside of Philadelphia.


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