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Government Affairs Manager
Choptank Electric Cooperative

teaffeau-matthew-mf-6921Despite a shorter legislative session brought on by the COVID-19 virus, Matthew Teffeau helped usher in a key bill designed to bring better internet access to folks living on the Eastern Shore.

The bill is called the Rural Broadband for the Eastern Shore Act of 2020 and Teffeau worked in a bi-partisan spirit with Del. Sherrie Sample-Hughes, D-Dorchester and Wicomico and state Sen. Steve Hershey, R-Caroline, Cecil, Kent and Queen Anne’s to get it across the finish line.

The act will allow the Choptank Electric Cooperative, where Teffeau, 32, works as the Government Affairs Manager, to provide high-speed internet to folks who don’t have it at all. The role has him advocating for 56,000 rural electric cooperative members on the Eastern Shore at the federal, state and local levels.

“I helped build a broad coalition of over 40 associations and organizations, including local governments, to come to Annapolis and support the bill,” he said.

The bill is just the latest example of Teffeau’s efforts to advocate for rural and agricultural communities in the state. He prides himself on bringing legislators on farm tours he organizes, or, on the other hand, bringing folks from rural areas to Annapolis to work with their elected officials. Teffeau became the first vice president on the Rural Maryland Council and has served on the executive board since 2015.

“In my profession, your word and character is what defines you and can make you the stronger advocate,” he said.

Teffeau is also actively involved in giving back to his community. In the last five years, he’s worked with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society on the Eastern Shore, raising more than $10,000 on his own and $100,000 as part of a team in 2018.

He’s also volunteering with the Maryland Farm to Table program through the Maryland Food Bank. Each year, he strives to work about 20 hours, gleaning produce for the effort. Recently, he’s helped with numerous food drives to help those in need get through the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is a winner profile from The Daily Record's 2020 VIP List awards. Information for this profile was sourced from the honoree's application for the award.