12/12/2018
McCellon-Allen honored as Arkansas energy industry Trail Blazer

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Dec. 12, 2018 – Arkansas Women in Power (AWIP) today named Venita McCellon-Allen as an Arkansas energy industry Trail Blazer. McCellon-Allen retired earlier this year as president and chief operating officer of Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO).

“Venita’s accomplishments and the level of respect she achieved in the energy industry are exceptional,” said Lori L. Burrows, an AWIP founder and its first president. “She continues to inspire women to pursue positions in the energy industry.”

McCellon-Allen, an AWIP founder, spent more than 30 years managing distribution operations and a wide-range of customer and regulatory relationships at SWEPCO, its parent company American Electric Power (AEP), and Central and South West (CSW).

“Venita is known for many successes throughout her career, including construction of one of our nation’s cleanest, most efficient coal plants, which was built in Hempstead County, Ark.,” said Malcolm Smoak, SWEPCO president and chief operating officer.

“Throughout her career, she was among the first female executives,” Smoak said. “She’s also well regarded by colleagues for her dedication to formally and informally mentoring women and men wishing to expand their contributions to SWEPCO and AEP. On behalf of SWEPCO, congratulations on being named an AWIP Trail Blazer.”

McCellon-Allen was previously Executive Vice President – AEP Utilities West as well as AEP Senior Vice President – Shared Services, responsible for human resources, information technology and telecommunications, procurement and supply chain services, corporate services and enterprise security. Throughout her career, McCellon-Allen held leadership roles at SWEPCO and CSW and also was Senior Vice President for Human Resources for Baylor Health Care System in Dallas, Texas. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Texas A&M University. She resides in Shreveport, La., with her husband.

About Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO)
SWEPCO, an American Electric Power (AEP: NYSE) company, serves 535,000 customers in western Arkansas, northwest and central Louisiana, northeast Texas and the Texas Panhandle. SWEPCO’s headquarters are in Shreveport, La. News releases and other information about SWEPCO can be found at SWEPCO.com.

About American Electric Power (AEP)
American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions to our customers. AEP’s more than 17,000 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 224,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe, reliable power to nearly 5.4 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 33,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including 4,200 megawatts of renewable energy. AEP’s family of companies includes utilities 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 also owns AEP Energy, AEP Energy Partners, AEP OnSite Partners and AEP Renewables, which provide innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide.

SWEPCO Corporate Communications
Peter Main (479) 973-2526