by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 44 views 

Editor’s note: Roby Brock, with our content partner Talk Business, wrote this report. He can be reached at [email protected]

Duane D. Highley will succeed the retiring Gary Voigt as the next president and CEO of the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas — only the fourth CEO in the organization’s history.

Highley, a 28-year veteran in the utility industry, will assume his new post Nov. 14 as chief executive of the Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC) and Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI). He was selected after a nationwide search.

Highley has served as director of power production at Associated Electric Cooperative in Springfield, Mo. He is a registered professional engineer with bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Missouri-Rolla and has completed the Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.

AECC, a power generation and transmission cooperative, provides wholesale electricity to 17 electric distribution cooperatives in Arkansas, serving about 500,000 customers. AECI, a service cooperative, provides a variety of utility services to cooperatives and utilities in a seven-state region.

The two companies combined employ nearly 620 workers.

Highley is likely to be a more visible CEO than the low-profile Voigt. He is on Twitter and Facebook and has an active blog, which you can read here. On his blog, he muses on personal matters, as well as writes about industry topics, such as the Japanese Fukushima Daiichi power plant crisis, and best management practices.

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