Paul Chodak named SWEPCO president and chief operating officer

SHREVEPORT, La., June 11, 2008 – Paul Chodak III has been named president and chief operating officer of Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO). Chodak replaces Venita McCellon-Allen, who was promoted to executive vice president – AEP West Utilities by American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), SWEPCO’s parent company.
In her new position, McCellon-Allen will be responsible for AEP’s utilities operating in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas.

Chodak and McCellon-Allen will assume their new positions on July 1. McCellon-Allen has been president and chief operating officer of SWEPCO since 2006.

"Paul comes to this position with a rich and distinguished history of excellent management in our generation group, after an impressive record with the U.S. Navy and Los Alamos National Laboratories," said Michael G. Morris, AEP’s chairman, president and chief executive officer.  "Paul´s proven leadership skills will be instrumental in helping to ensure the successful construction of new generation and transmission capacity for SWEPCO."

Chodak is currently director – new plant development projects for AEP, a position he has held since 2007. He joined AEP in 2001 as a project manager and has served as managing director – corporate technology development, director – engineering and environmental services and director – environmental programs. Chodak earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute before accepting a commission in the U.S. Navy, where he earned both chief engineer and submarine officer qualifications and served seven years as a submarine officer. While in the Navy, Chodak earned a master’s in civil engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute. He accepted a Department of Energy Fellowship to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned a doctorate in nuclear engineering. Prior to joining AEP, Chodak was with Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Chodak is a member of the American Nuclear Society and The Sigma Xi Research Society. He is a past officer and current member of the Elks. Chodak and his wife, Tami, have three daughters. 

McCellon-Allen served as senior vice president - shared services for AEP prior to being named president of SWEPCO in 2006. She began her career with SWEPCO in 1983, holding leadership positions in the areas of customer relations, distribution operations and communications. She served as an officer for CSW beginning in 1995, with executive leadership roles in human resources, customer relations and corporate development. In 2000, she joined Baylor Health Care System in Dallas as senior vice president for human resources. She rejoined AEP in 2004 as senior vice president - shared services.

McCellon-Allen replaces Thomas M. Hagan, who is retiring.

SWEPCO serves more than 467,000 customers in three states. SWEPCO´s headquarters are in Shreveport, La. News releases and other information about SWEPCO can be found at www.swepco.com.

SWEPCO Corporate Communications
Scott McCloud, 318-673-3532