Smoak Is Named Swepco President and COO

Longtime engineer and executive Malcolm Smoak has been appointed president and chief operating officer of Southwestern Electric Power Co. in Shreveport, Louisiana, effective immediately.

Swepco, which provides electric power for about 117,000 customers in western Arkansas, as well as hundreds of thousands of others in Texas and Louisiana, is a subsidiary of American Electric Power of Columbus, Ohio.

Smoak, who joined the company in 1984 as a distribution engineer in Shreveport, replaces Venita McCellon-Allen, who recently retired after 30 years at AEP and its affiliated companies. Smoak, who is 60, will report to Paul Chodak, executive vice president, AEP Utilities. Smoak previously was vice president of distribution region operations, overseeing the electric distribution system, engineering, operations, construction and maintenance for customers in Louisiana, Arkansas, northeast Texas and the Texas Panhandle.

"Malcolm's operational experience and deep understanding of our business will be extremely beneficial as we focus on making infrastructure investments on behalf of our customers to enhance service and also to diversify Swepco's energy mix with more renewable resources, like the Wind Catcher project," Chodak said, referring to a $4.5 billion wind farm and transmission line AEP is building in Oklahoma. That project gained regulatory approval in Arkansas just a week ago. Chodak said Smoak has "demonstrated a strong commitment to Swepco customers, and I'm confident that his leadership will enable Swepco to continue providing the innovative, high-quality services our customers desire."

Smoak has shared leadership posts overseeing inspections and remediation of underground distribution networks for six different AEP utility companies. He has a bachelor's in electrical engineering from Louisiana Tech University and completed executive management programs at Louisiana State University and Ohio State.

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