SWEPCO Announces Executive Leadership Change

American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) operating unit Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) will make an executive leadership change to support the company’s strategic goals and streamline operations, according to Michael G. Morris, AEP chairman, president and chief executive officer.
Venita McCellon-Allen, 50, has been named president and chief operating officer of SWEPCO. She previously served as executive vice president – AEP Utilities East. McCellon-Allen will succeed Paul Chodak, 46, who will move to Indiana Michigan Power as president and chief operating officer, replacing Helen Murray, who is retiring from AEP. McCellon-Allen is returning to SWEPCO, where she served as president and chief operating officer from 2006-2008. McCellon-Allen also will coordinate the operations of AEP Texas until a replacement is named in the near future, reporting to McCellon-Allen.
“Recent executive management decisions to retire and our overall initiative to reduce costs make this the right time to realign our reporting structure and eliminate a management layer between Bob Powers, president - AEP Utilities and our operating company presidents,” Morris said. “This change will give our operating company presidents increased responsibility and a more direct role in the planning and budgeting process for capital projects within each operating area.
"Venita and Paul have demonstrated skills in leading our utility companies, and I know their experience will serve us well as we continue to manage the impact of the struggling economy and maintain our commitment to providing reliable, reasonably priced electricity service to our customers," Morris said.
McCellon-Allen has been executive vice president – AEP Utilities East since October 2009, responsible for the distribution and customer service operations of AEP’s utility operating companies in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. She previously served as executive vice president – AEP Utilities West. She was senior vice president - Shared Services from 2004 to 2006, responsible for human resources, information technology and telecommunications, procurement and supply chain services, corporate services and enterprise security. Prior to that, she was senior vice president for human resources for Baylor Health Care System in Dallas. A 17-year veteran of Central and South West, McCellon-Allen held leadership roles at CSW in operations, customer service, strategic planning and human resources. McCellon-Allen earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Texas A&M University.
Chodak has been president and chief operating officer of SWEPCO since 2008. He began his career with AEP in 2001 as a senior project manager. From 2002 to 2007, he held leadership positions in Regional Engineering for Regulated Generation, Corporate Technology Development, Environmental Programs, and New Generation. Prior to joining AEP, he was a staff scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Chodak received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute prior to accepting a commission in the U.S. Navy, where he earned chief engineer and submarine officer qualifications. While in the Navy, he earned a master’s degree in civil engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute. He earned a doctorate degree in nuclear engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP’s transmission system directly or indirectly serves about 10 percent of the electricity demand in the Eastern Interconnection, the interconnected transmission system that covers 38 eastern and central U.S. states and eastern Canada, and approximately 11 percent of the electricity demand in ERCOT, the transmission system that covers much of Texas. AEP’s utility units operate as AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.

Scott McCloud
SWEPCO Corporate Communications