Former State Rep. Bill Gossage, who served on Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s staff since 2016, was named Monday (Aug. 8) as vice president of governmental affairs for the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas. He replaces Kirkley Thomas, who retired on Aug. 1 after more than 24 years of service with the cooperatives.
“After an extensive search involving many great candidates, Bill Gossage has been named vice president of governmental affairs for the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas,” said Vernon “Buddy” Hasten, president and CEO for the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas. “Bill’s knowledge of Arkansas and dedication of service to improve the quality of life for Arkansans will be greatly valued as he assumes his role with the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas.”
“Bill has been an extraordinary asset to my administration as well as a longtime friend who has helped me shape my vision for the future of our state,” Hutchinson said. “He contains a gentle kindness that anyone who meets him can immediately feel, and it will be a hard task to find someone as dedicated to the state of Arkansas as him.”
Gossage was elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives representing District 82 in 2012. He resigned from his office in August 2016 to become Hutchinson’s deputy chief of staff of external affairs. Gossage is a retired assistant superintendent for the Ozark School District with 34 years of experience as an educator.
“It is a privilege to represent the interests of the 1.2 million electric cooperative members throughout Arkansas,” Gossage said. “My career in education along with my service as an elected and appointed state official has provided me with opportunities to assist our great citizens. My new role with the cooperatives will enable me to continue this service while advancing the cooperatives’ mission of ensuring a safe, affordable, reliable and balanced power supply for members.”
The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas comprise 17 electric distribution cooperatives; Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI), a Little Rock-based cooperative that provides services to the distribution cooperatives; and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. (AECC), a generation and transmission cooperative.