Former Public Service Commission boss joins Entergy Arkansas as public affairs director

by Talk Business & Politics staff ( 415 views 

John Bethel, former executive director of the Arkansas Public Service Commission, has been named director of public affairs for Entergy Arkansas Inc. On Monday (May 14), the utility company announced the selection of Bethel, who retired from the commission in April.

Bethel replaces Paul Means, who retired at the end of April after 37 years with Entergy Arkansas. Like Means, Bethel’s primary responsibility will be at the state Capitol.

“We are pleased for John to bring his years of experience to the team at Entergy Arkansas,” said Tom Kennedy, vice president of regulatory and public affairs. “Our industry is coming into a time of enormous change. We believe he will lend a unique perspective now and going forward into that new landscape.”

While at the public service commission, Bethel oversaw the commission staff, which provides oversight for rates and services of natural gas, electric, water, sewer and telecommunications utilities in Arkansas. He oversaw issues including rates, financials, quality of service, energy efficiency and accounting. He was involved in the commission’s community outreach and education for elected officials, community business and customer groups in Arkansas.

“I am excited to begin the next chapter in my career with Entergy,” Bethel said. “I will be able to continue working in the electric utility industry and with elected officials and other leaders to address electric utility issues and to develop policies that are good for Arkansas and that help ensure that Entergy’s employees are able to provide its customers safe and reliable electric service at reasonable rates.”

He joined the commission staff in 1988, and before that, he worked for a commercial bank in Little Rock as a financial analyst in the commercial lending division. In 1986, he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Arkansas, and in 1993, he received a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.