American Electric Power (AEP) has named Malcolm Smoak president and chief operating officer of its Southwestern Electric Power Co. utility company, effective immediately.
Smoak has been serving as interim president and chief operating officer for SWEPCO.
Smoak, 60, will have responsibility for all aspects of electric service for SWEPCO’s more than 532,000 customers. He will report to Paul Chodak, executive vice president, AEP Utilities. Smoak replaces Venita McCellon-Allen, who retired from the company.
Smoak previously was vice president, Distribution Region Operations for SWEPCO with responsibility for the electric distribution system, engineering, operations, construction and maintenance for SWEPCO customers in Louisiana, Arkansas, northeast Texas and the Texas Panhandle. SWEPCO expects to name a new vice president of Distribution Region Operations soon.
“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. “Malcolm 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 joined SWEPCO in 1984 as a distribution engineer in Shreveport, La. He has served in a variety of roles in metering, operations and engineering at SWEPCO. He also co-led inspections and remediation of underground distribution networks for six AEP utility companies.
Smoak earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Louisiana Tech University. He also completed executive management programs at Louisiana State University and The Ohio State University.
Smoak is a registered professional engineer in Louisiana. He is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and past president of the Shreveport Chapter. He also is a past member of the Louisiana Tech Engineering and Science Foundation and currently is serving as a member of the Louisiana Tech Electrical Engineering Advisory Board. Since 2005, Smoak has been a principal member of the National Electrical Safety Code, Subcommittee 8, representing the National Society of Professional Engineers. Smoak also is a board member of Shreveport Green, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the city's environment.