Malcolm Smoak was promoted to president and chief operating officer of Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO). On Monday (May 14), the Columbus, Ohio-based American Electric Power (AEP), the parent company of SWEPCO, appointed Smoak to the position effective Monday. Smoak was interim president and COO for SWEPCO and replaced Venita McCellon-Allen, who retired as president and COO on May 4.
Smoak, who is 60, will be responsible for all aspects of electric service for SWEPCO’s more than 532,000 customers. Smoak will report to Paul Chodak, executive vice president of AEP Utilities.
Before the interim position, Smoak was vice president of distribution region operations for SWEPCO and was responsible for the electric distribution system, engineering, operations, construction and maintenance for SWEPCO customers in Louisiana, Arkansas, northeast Texas and the Texas panhandle. Soon, SWEPCO plans to name a new vice president of distribution region operations.
“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.”
In 1984, Smoak joined SWEPCO as a distribution engineer in Shreveport, La. He’s worked in several positions including metering, operations and engineering in his career with SWEPCO. He also co-led inspections and remediation of underground distribution networks for six AEP utility companies.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Louisiana Tech University. He completed executive management programs at Louisiana State University and The Ohio State University. He’s a registered professional engineer in Louisiana, a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and past president of the Shreveport Chapter. He was a member of the Louisiana Tech Engineering and Science Foundation and serves as a member of the Louisiana Tech Electrical Engineering Advisory Board.
Since 2005, Smoak was a principal member of the National Electrical Safety Code, Subcommittee 8, representing the National Society of Professional Engineers. He also is a board member of Shreveport Green, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the city’s environment. SWEPCO’s headquarters are in Shreveport.