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AEP Announces National Merit Scholar Award Winners

AEP has partnered with the National Merit Scholarship Corp. to provide four Merit Scholar® awards this year to children of AEP employees. Recipients of the National Merit AEP Scholarships for 2017 are:

William Ma, son of Steve Ma and Anita Zhang. Steve is an IT systems administration specialist senior in Columbus, Ohio. William is a graduate of Dublin (Ohio) Jerome High School and will be studying biomedicine at The Ohio State University.

Corey Simmerer, son of Brad and Julia Simmerer. Brad is an IT network analyst senior in Gahanna, Ohio. Corey is a graduate of Olentangy Orange High School in Lewis Center, Ohio, and will be studying biomedical engineering at Duke University.

Robert Webster, son of Jon and Rumiela Webster. Jon is environmental and lab supervisor at the John Amos Plant in Winfield, W.Va. Robert is a graduate of Hurricane (W.Va.) High School and will be studying engineering at West Virginia University.

Benjamin Yoss, son of Jeff and Marilyn Yoss. Jeff is a retired senior engineer, Indiana Michigan Power Distribution in Fort Wayne, Ind. Benjamin is a graduate of Northrop High School in Fort Wayne and will be studying engineering and playing baseball at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

Each scholarship winner will receive a $1,000 college undergraduate stipend payable annually for up to four years. Up to five graduating high school students are awarded scholarships each year.

To be eligible for the scholarships, a high school senior must attain Finalist standing in the National Merit Scholarship Program and be a child of an employee of AEP or one of its subsidiaries.

To enter the National Merit Scholarship Program, high school juniors (11th grade/third year students) must take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).

Some 16,000 students annually are designated National Merit Program Semifinalists, representing the highest scores in every state.

To advance to Finalist status, Semifinalists must:

  • Have an academic record of very high performance;
  • Be endorsed and recommended by the high school;
  • Take a second examination (SAT) to confirm earlier test performance; and
  • Submit a scholarship application including extracurricular accomplishments, interests, goals and information on parent employment with AEP.

 

Specific information regarding participation is published in the Official Student Guide to the PSAT/NMSQT®, which is updated annually and distributed to students through their high schools.

Winners of 2018 National Merit AEP Scholarships will be selected by the National Merit Scholarship Corp. beginning in the spring of 2018 and announced publicly in April of that year. There is no separate AEP application process for these scholarships; awardees are chosen by the National Merit Scholarship Corp. based on its criteria.

The National Merit AEP scholarship program is separate from the AEP Educational Trust Scholarship Program that annually provides scholarships to 44 children of AEP employees on a competitive basis.

See additional information about the National Merit Scholarship Program.

 

AEP Announces 2017 AEP Educational Trust Scholarship Winners

Forty-four sons and daughters of employees throughout the AEP System have been named recipients of 2017 AEP Educational Trust Scholarships.

Each of the winning scholars will receive $8,000 over a three-year period: $3,000 for the freshman year in college, $2,500 for the sophomore year and $2,500 for the junior year.

A total of 238 students throughout the AEP System applied for the 44 available scholarships, which were open to employees’ children who are seniors in high school and plan to enter college this fall.

Winners were selected by two independent scholastic judges based on each student’s class rank, grade point average, test scores, recommendations, autobiographical presentation, special qualities or talents, leadership abilities, extracurricular activities and citizenship.

AEP has given 1,953 educational awards totaling $8.85 million since the program began in 1955 with a single $500 award. If a student receives a full scholarship to the institution of choice, he or she will give up the AEP award and an alternate will be selected.

This year’s winners are:

Matthew Allen, son of Wayne and Teresa Allen. Wayne is a regulatory accounting case manager at AEP Headquarters in Columbus Ohio. Matthew is a home school high school senior in Reynoldsburg, Ohio.

Abby Bailey, daughter of Rob and Lisa Bailey. Rob is an economic forecast analyst located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Abby is a senior at Stroud High School in Stroud, Oklahoma.

Daniel Busch, son of Brent and Lisa Busch. Brent is a customer services engineer principal for Appalachian Power Company in Huntington, West Virginia. Dan is a senior at Paul G. Blazer High School in Ashland, Kentucky.

Amanda Cooper, daughter of Bonnie Richardson and Curt Cooper. Curt is director of employee benefits at AEP Headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. Amanda is a senior at Olentangy Liberty High School in Powell, Ohio.

Krista Eldridge, daughter of Mark and Linda Eldridge. Linda is a principle project coordinator for Transmission’s Project Management Group in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Hunter Enama, son of Gary and Diane Enama. Gary is an energy efficiency coordinator for AEP Ohio in New Philadelphia, Ohio. Hunter is a senior at New Philadelphia High School in New Philadelphia, Ohio.

Rachel Farmer, daughter of Dave and Tina Farmer. Dave is the plant environmental coordinator senior at the Rockport Plant in Rockport, Indiana. Rachel is a senior at Daviess County High School in Owensboro, Kentucky.

Faith Ferguson, daughter of Steve and Angie Ferguson. Steve is the vice president of Regulatory and Finance for Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power. Faith is a senior at Winfield High School in Winfield, West Virginia.

Erin Ferry, daughter of Julie and Jeff Ferry. Jeff is a senior engineering technician from the Huntington District of Appalachian Power Company. Erin is a senior at Spring Valley High School in Huntington, West Virginia.

Connor Finneran, son of Mike and Bonnie Finneran. Mike is a mechanical engineer principal at AEP Headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. Connor is a senior at Olentangy Liberty High School in Powell, Ohio.

Madeleine Gagné, daughter of John and Kendra Gagné. John is an IT software developer lead at AEP Headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. Madeleine is a senior at Dublin Coffman High School in Dublin, Ohio.

Connor Gray, son of Rick and Lisa Gray. Rick is a principal analyst in Treasury Operations at AEP Headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. Connor is a senior at Dublin Scioto High School in Dublin, Ohio.

Erica Heathcote, daughter of Bob and Kam Heathcote and Deborah Calley. Bob is a nuclear specialist at Cook Nuclear Plant in Bridgman, Michigan. Erica is a senior at St. Joseph High School in St. Joseph, Michigan.

Gracie Hoffman, daughter of Dave and Kathie Hoffman. Dave is the managing director of Field and Support Services in Columbus, Ohio. Gracie is a senior at Meigs High School in Pomeroy, Ohio.

Ryan Hudson, son of Loyd Hudson. Loyd is the Integrated Disability Manager at AEP Headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. Ryan is a senior at Granville High School in Granville, Ohio.

Julia Kubath, daughter of Thomas and Michelle Kubath. Tom is an auxiliary equipment operator at the Cook Nuclear Plant in Bridgman, Michigan. Julia is a senior at Michigan Lutheran High School in St. Joseph, Michigan.

Morgan Lawrence, daughter of Tollison and Sherri Lawrence. Tollison is a field procurement specialist in Conesville, Ohio. Morgan is a senior at River View High School and attends classes at The Ohio State University in Newark, Ohio, as part of the College Credit Plus program.

William Ma, son of Anita Zhang and Steve Ma. Steve is a system administrator at AEP Headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. William is a senior at Dublin Jerome High School in Dublin, Ohio.

Emma McSpadden, daughter of James and Pamela McSpadden. James is the material handling superintendent at the Oklaunion Power Station in Vernon, Texas. Emma is a senior at Vernon High School in Vernon.

Julia Minter, daughter of Stan and Terri Minter. Stan is the maintenance superintendent at Welsh Power Plant in Pittsburg, Texas. Julia is a senior at Mount Vernon High School in Mount Vernon, Texas.

Kovid Misicka, son of Vini and Matt Misicka. Vini is the IT corporate demand director at AEP Headquarters in Columbus, Ohio.  Kovid is a senior at Hilliard Bradley High School in Hilliard, Ohio.

Aditya Mistry, son of Pradip and Rupali Mistry. Pradip is an IT business systems analyst specialist in Gahanna, Ohio. Aditya is a senior at New Albany High School in New Albany, Ohio.

Corey Morgan, son of Reid and Jill Morgan. Reid is an engineering technician principal for American Electric Power in Corpus Christi, Texas. Corey is a senior at Flour Bluff High School in Corpus Christi.

K. Bryce Morrison, son of Kenny and Eugenia Morrison. Kenny is a maintenance supervisor for Appalachian Power Company in Sandy Level, Virginia. Bryce is a senior at Franklin County High School in Rocky Mount, Virginia, as well as the Roanoke Valley Governor’s School for Science and Technology in Roanoke, Virginia.

Shannon Peck, daughter of David and Julie Peck. David is a SCADA support specialist for Commercial Operations at AEP Headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. Shannon is a senior at Bishop Watterson High School in Columbus, Ohio.

Allison Pennybaker, daughter of Robert and Lu Ann Pennybaker. Robert is director of the System Interconnections group and Lu Ann is a senior software developer in IT Business Applications-Customer & Distribution. Allison is a senior at Eagle Point Christian Academy in Sapulpa, Oklahoma.

Ashlyn Pugh, daughter of Archie and Carrie Pugh. Archie is the managing director of Transmission Field Services East based out of Roanoke, Virginia. Ashlyn is a senior at Salem High School in Salem, Virginia.

Jenna Rao, daughter of Frank Rao and Jing Wang. Frank is a cybersecurity lead at AEP Headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. Jenna is a senior at Thomas Worthington High School in Worthington, Ohio.

Jimmy Rao, son of Frank Rao and Jing Wang. Frank is a cybersecurity lead at AEP Headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. Jimmy is a senior at Thomas Worthington High School in Worthington, Ohio.

Brock Reynolds, son of Earlyne and Tom Reynolds. Earlyne is a regulatory consultant for the AEP Service Corporation in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Brock is a senior at Jenks High School in Jenks, Oklahoma.

Shanila Reza, daughter of Hasan and Sharmin Reza. Hasan is an engineer principal in Generation Structural Engineering Services at AEP Headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. Shanila is a senior at Dublin Jerome High School in Dublin, Ohio.

Meredith Roach, daughter of Ellen and Pete Boriin. Ellen is an IT business systems analyst specialist at AEP Headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. Meredith is a senior at Thomas Worthington High School in Worthington, Ohio.

Ashley Samuelson, daughter of Ivan and Monica Samuelson. Ivan is a software developer lead at AEP Headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. Ashley is a senior at Bishop Watterson High School in Columbus, Ohio.

Corey Simmerer, son of Brad and Julia Simmerer. Brad is an IT network analyst senior in Gahanna, Ohio. Corey is a graduate of Olentangy Orange High School in Lewis Center, Ohio.

Aubree Smith, daughter of Chris and Kelie Smith. Chris is a distribution dispatcher at the Distribution Dispatch Center in Roanoke, Virginia. Aubree is a senior at William Byrd High School in Roanoke.

Michael Solomon, son of Stuart and Dana Solomon. Stuart is the president and chief operating officer for Public Service Company of Oklahoma in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Michael is a senior at Bishop Kelley High School in Tulsa.

Ellen Spitznogle, daughter of Gary and Lynette Spitznogle. Gary is the managing director of CCR management for fossil and hydro generation in Columbus, Ohio. Ellen is a senior at Worthington Kilbourne High School in Worthington, Ohio.

Elizabeth Stolte, daughter of Arthur and Deborah Stolte. Arthur is a nuclear planner at the Donald C. Cook Nuclear Plant in Bridgman Michigan. Elizabeth is a senior at Lake Michigan Catholic High School in St. Joseph Michigan.

Madyson Stricker, daughter of Jim and Beth Stricker. Jim is a customer design technician for Indiana Michigan Power Company in Decatur, Indiana. Madyson is a senior at Columbia City High School in Columbia City, Indiana.

Rishi Verma, son of Sam and Vishakha Verma. Sam is a procurement engineering supervisor at the Cook Nuclear Plant in Bridgman, Michigan. Rishi is a senior at Michigan City High School in Michigan City, Indiana.

Robert Webster, son of Jon and Rumiela Webster. Jon is the environmental and lab supervisor at the John Amos Power Plant in Winfield, West Virginia. Robert is a senior at Hurricane High School in Hurricane, West Virginia.

Alexander Witt, son of Jill Parker-Witt and Dr. Steve Witt. Jill is an environmental engineer principle for AEP’s Environmental Services Land Environment & T&D Compliance Group in Shreveport, Louisiana. Alex is a senior at Caddo Parish Magnet High School in Shreveport, La.

Michael Zelina, son of Tom and Karen Zelina. Tom is a regulatory case manager for the Regulatory Services group at AEP Headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. Michael is a senior at Saint Francis DeSales High School in Columbus, Ohio.

Celia Zhang, daughter of Kevin Zhang and Kathy He. Kevin is a staff engineer at AEP Transmission Operations Center in New Albany, Ohio. Kathy is an IT system analyst-specialist at AEP Headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. Celia is a senior at Olentangy Liberty High School in Powell, Ohio.

Obituaries

AEP River Transportation Division

Loretta Evans, 81, River Transportation Division, died April 9.

Dixie Maynard, 83, retired, River Transportation Division, died April 6.

AEP Service Corporation

R.W. Reeves, 91, retired, AEP Headquarters, died April 13.

Appalachian Power Company

Gerald Barbour, 89, retired, Roanoke Main Office, died April 15.

Ronald Bellamy, 76, retired, Kingsport Service Center, died March 20.

John Bostian, 89, retired, John W. Vaughan Center, died March 21.

Robert Hysell, 67, Sporn Plant, died April 15.

Charles Moore, 77, retired, North Charleston Service Center, died April 11.

Rich Thompson, 76, retired, Central Machine Shop, died April 7.

Fred Thornhill, 80, retired, Lynchburg Service Center, died March 30.

Columbus Southern Power Company

Jerry Bebout, 72, Conesville Plant, died April 9.

Bennie Colquitt, 75, retired, 850 Tech Center, died April 19.

Gary Gaines, 74, retired, Columbus Northeast Service Center, died April 16.

Paul Hough, 93, retired, Chillicothe Office, died March 21.

Otis Miller, 89, retired, 850 Tech Center, died April 13.

Lula Shumate, 90, retired, 850 Tech Center, died April 5.

Gene Walters, 73, retired, Conesville Plant, died April 6.

Stephen Wiseman, 79, retired, Conesville Plant, died April 18.

Indiana Michigan Power Company

James Bradshaw, 60, Cook Nuclear Plant, died April 4.

Claude Carter, 91, retired, Muncie Service Center, died April 16.

Herman Hanlin, 91, retired, Spy Run Service Center, died March 31.

Daniel Keeney, 76, retired, Muncie Service Center, died April 11.

Mitchell Kopacz, 70, retired, South Bend Service Center, died April 19.

Kenneth Norris, 57, One Summit Square, died April 1.

Darrell Stiner, 72, Buchanan Nuclear Office, died April 4.

Kentucky Power Company

Russell Coburn, 85, retired, Ashland Office, died April 17.

Ohio Power Company

Robert Brooks, 70, Gavin Plant, died March 16.

Russell Burriss, 42, Pomeroy Service Center, died April 15.

Michael Calinger, 64, Mitchell Plant, died April 2.

Alfred Corbin, 91, retired, Lancaster Office Building, died March 29.

Clarence Crist, 89, retired, Lancaster Office Building, died March 20.

Clyde Dulaney, 76, Muskingum River Plant, died April 4.

Louis Ellis, 86, retired, Southern Ohio Coal Company, died April 21.

Frances Gault, 97, retired, Zanesville Office, died March 22.

Kenneth Grizzle, 90, retired, Portsmouth Service Center, died April 7.

Charles Neff, 88, retired, Zanesville Office, died April 8.

Charles Paynter, 99, retired, Zanesville Office, died April 15.

Roland Rice, 72, retired, East Liverpool Service Building, died April 11.

James Robbins, 83, retired, Steubenville Service Center, died April 11.

John Rodgers, 90, retired, Gallipolis Service Center, died April 12.

Public Service Company of Oklahoma

Virgil Beatty, 79, retired, Tulsa General Office, died April 3.

David Boggs, 61, Northeastern Station 3&4, died April 4.

W.D. Sherwin, 85, retired, Tulsa General Office, died March 27.

Henry Sunday, 90, retired, Tulsa General Office, died March 25.

Southwestern Electric Power Company

Nelda Click, 71, Shreveport General Office, died March 22.

Aaron Cooper, 80, retired, Shreveport General Office, died April 9.

Richard Moon, 74, Coleto Creek Power Station, died March 9.

John Pearson, 88, retired, Shreveport General Office, died April 21.

Andrew Rambin Jr., 73, Shreveport General Office, died April 5.

James Samuel, 88, retired, Shreveport General Office, died April 29.

Texas Central

Severo Cano, 90, retired, Corpus Christi Office, died April 23.

Robert Tiner, 83, retired, Corpus Christi Office, died March 11.

Rene Venecia, 77, retired, Corpus Christi Office, died March 26.

Conrado Ybarra, 85, retired, Corpus Christi Office, died March 2.

April Retirements

AEP Ohio

Rebecca Campbell, Portsmouth Service Center, retired April 29 after 27 years of service.

Kenneth Dooley, Mound Street Service Center, retired April 14 after 30 years of service.

Larry Flowers, Columbus Southwest Service Center, retired April 22 after 38 years of service.

Freddie Francis, Canton Eastern Regional Office, retired April 29 after 22 years of service.

Debra Harman-Howe, 850 Tech Center, retired April 22 after 36 years of service.

Raymond Haynes, Canton Eastern Regional Office, retired April 29 after 40 years of service.

Timothy Humphreys, Canton Eastern Regional Office, retired April 1 after 37 years of service.

Judy Ison, Chillicothe Service Center, retired April 1 after 31 years of service.

Samuel Ketz, 850 Tech Center, retired April 29 after 37 years of service.

James Messer Jr., Central Operations Center, retired April 28 after 38 years of service.

James Monnot, Canton Eastern Regional Office, retired April 29 after 35 years of service.

David Seel, Newark Service Building, retired April 5 after 38 years of service.

AEP River Transportation Division

Michael Kerr, River Transportation Division, retired April 9 after 31 years of service.

AEP Service Corporation

Fred Cashner, AEP Headquarters, retired April 28 after 30 years of service.

James Corey, AEP Headquarters, retired April 28 after 40 years of service.

Paul Davis, AEP Headquarters, retired April 22 after 33 years of service.

Patricia Nasal, AEP Headquarters, retired April 1 after 32 years of service.

Bernhard Rasmussen, AEP Headquarters, retired April 22 after 32 years of service.

Theresa Roese, Arena Building, retired April 29 after 32 years of service.

Brady Todd, John E. Dolan Lab, retired April 22 after 41 years of service.

William Wyant, AEP Headquarters, retired April 1 after 37 years of service.

AEP Texas

Armando Arredondo, Ozona Office, retired April 1 after 35 years of service.

James Bennett Jr., Aransas Pass Service Center, retired April 1 after 40 years of service.

Jesse Buentello, Corpus Christi Office, retired April 1 after 44 years of service.

Bernard Elrod, Uvalde Service Center, retired April 1 after 39 years of service.

Keith Ewing, Lon Hill Service Center, retired April 8 after 31 years of service.

Arturo Garcia Jr., Pharr North Service Center, retired April 27 after 33 years of service.

Juan Vasquez, Victoria Service Center, retired April 1 after 34 years of service.

Appalachian Power Company

Kenneth Brant II, Roanoke Main Office, retired April 1 after 32 years of service.

Robert Davis, Huntington Service Center, retired April 8 after 37 years of service.

David Frantz, John W. Vaughan Center, retired April 1 after 22 years of service.

Stephen Harvey, Wytheville Service Center, retired April 29 after 27 years of service.

Stephen Hoylman, Central Machine Shop, retired April 1 after 34 years of service.

Linda Lowery, Hurricane Call Center, retired April 2 after 11 years of service.

Wanda Payne, Kingsport Service Center, retired April 29 after 39 years of service.

David Stone, Logan Service Center, retired April 29 after 40 years of service.

Judy Taylor, North Charleston Service Center, retired April 8 after 26 years of service.

Dreama Turkett, Hurricane Call Center, retired April 29 after 18 years of service.

Generation

Frank Destefano, Amos Plant, retired April 1 after 30 years of service.

Joseph Grunert, Cook Nuclear Plant, retired April 29 after 33 years of service.

Michael Hunter, Mitchell Plant, retired April 5 after 39 years of service.

Jeffrey Jackfert, Cardinal Plant, retired April 29 after 35 years of service.

Michael Jacob, Rockport Plant, retired April 29 after 33 years of service.

Nancy Keeling, Amos Plant, retired April 1 after 36 years of service.

John Kirtley, Amos Plant, retired April 22 after 42 years of service.

Gerald Peterson, Cook Nuclear Plant, retired April 29 after 30 years of service.

Denise Powell, Mitchell Plant, retired April 29 after 28 years of service.

George Shamblin Jr., Mountaineer Plant, retired April 18 after 43 years of service.

Robert Summers, Amos Plant, retired April 1 after 36 years of service.

James Woolley, Wilkes Plant, retired April 3 after 35 years of service.

Kevin Turnbull, Cardinal Plant, retired April 29 after 40 years of service.

Indiana Michigan Power Company

Kim Luginbuhl, Cook Material Center, retired April 1 after 35 years of service.

Dennis McEvoy, Marion Service Center, retired April 1 after 32 years of service.

David Streich, Buchanan Service Center, retired April 1 after 36 years of service.

Kentucky Power Company

Wynetta Bevins, Pikeville Service Center, retired April 1 after 24 years of service.

Frederick Ingles, Robert E. Matthews Service Center, retired April 1 after 34 years of service.

David Scarberry, Kentucky State Office, retired April 15 after 29 years of service.

Public Service Company of Oklahoma

Bill Ohlig, Energy Control Center, retired April 20 after 45 years of service.

Southwestern Electric Power Company

Sandra Bennett, Shreveport General Office, retired April 12 after 32 years of service.

Robert Fleming, Greenwood Service Center, retired April 1 after 29 years of service.

Jerry Huckabee, Texarkana Operations, retired April 1 after 37 years of service.

Transmission

Timothy Hostetler, Transmission Operations Center, retired April 18 after 36 years of service.

Darrell Hylton, North Charleston Transmission Service Center, retired April 29 after 37 years of service.

Archie Phlegar Jr., Huntington Service Center, retired April 18 after 41 years of service.

Marvin Polasek, Tulsa General Office, retired April 1 after 37 years of service.

Charles Rinker, Minerva Annex, retired April 27 after 43 years of service.

Steve Rutherford, Tulsa Transmission Service Center, retired April 1 after 33 years of service.

Thomas Strzyzykowski, St. Joseph Service Center, retired April 29 after 40 years of service.

AEP Ohio Helps Northwest Ohio Land New Jobs

AEP Ohio President and Chief Operating Officer Julie Sloat (fourth from left) breaks ground on Lima’s new de-manufacturing plant alongside Recleim and Allen County leaders.

(Story by Karen Salajko)

The landscape of Lima’s business community is growing, with AEP Ohio helping to bring more than a hundred new jobs and new hope to a city welcoming its first new manufacturing plant in several years.

In the spirit of recycling, a 94,000-square-foot warehouse will be converted to the new home of Recleim, an appliance de-manufacturing plant.

AEP Ohio’s Economic & Business Development team spent the last year working on the move with the Atlanta-based company, Allen County Economic Development Group, the Regional Growth Partnership, JobsOhio and the city of Lima.

“There was an existing building, and a willing developer to develop a new building if needed. We were working to help Recleim identify an AEP Ohio location, and it all pointed toward Lima,” said Tim Wells, AEP Ohio’s Economic & Business Development Manager.

The arrival of Recleim will bring 150 jobs and a company investment of $15 million for machinery and upgrades to the facility.

“First, transportation infrastructure, rail and highway access, Recleim found all of that beneficial. Second, the commitment that AEP Ohio made to them for the opportunity to process the appliances out of homes and businesses through its programs was also highly instrumental in getting them to locate here,” said Lima Mayor David Berger.

“And of course, we are a community of manufacturers, and the skillset is here and the opportunity is here to provide the human resources,” Berger added.

In a county where the unemployment rate stood at 5.1 percent in March, this is rewarding work for all of the community partners involved in landing the deal.

“Communities today don’t want to rely on one big employer. While large employers are terrific, it’s important to diversify so that one day, if a major employer decides to downsize or relocate, there are strong alternative employment opportunities for the residents of the community,” said Wells.

AEP Ohio’s economic development effort doesn’t end with bringing this project to fruition. AEP Ohio’s grant programs also help offer support to improve new businesses. Recleim is applying for a $20,000 Rate Stabilization Plan (RSP) Grant that would help with the necessary electrical infrastructure upgrades to the facility. The RSP Grant programs have been in place since 2006, investing nearly $8 million in Ohio employers, creating more than 5,000 jobs and helping to retain over 10,000 jobs.

“AEP Ohio is pleased to serve many outstanding Ohio communities and partners with local units of government and economic development organizations to encourage job growth and investment,” said Julie Sloat, AEP Ohio president and chief operating officer.

While the Recleim announcement means economic growth for Lima, it also means money in the pockets of AEP Ohio customers. In partnership with Recleim, customers of AEP Ohio are being offered a $35 incentive for recycling their old, working refrigerators or freezers, and pick up of the appliance is free. Removing an old working refrigerator or freezer could save customers up to $150 a year in energy costs.

Recleim terms itself a “de-manufacturer,” recovering approximately 95 percent of commodity components in the old appliances it recycles while disposing of hazardous chemicals and minimizing waste. Most recyclers only recover about 60 percent of a product, according to Douglas Huffer, president and general manager of Recleim.

“Where a recycling manufacturer will take small things, and make big things, we take big things, like refrigerators, and make small things. We take it back into the individual steel and copper, right back to the raw material state for sale,” explained Huffer.

While the Recleim plant is under construction, the appliances collected are being shipped to the company’s flagship plant in Graniteville, South Carolina, or stored in a separate warehouse in Lima. Recleim plans to have employees in place at the new Lima location in September.

For Mayor Berger, the new employment opportunities are a testament to economic revival not only in Lima, but across northwest Ohio. “All of our manufacturers are doing very well, the vitality of our local industries is very high,” Berger said. “Recleim’s entry into our community into and northwest Ohio is an indication of manufacturing’s growth.”

For AEP Ohio customers interested in the appliance recycling program, visit https://www.aepohio.com/save/residential/programs/ApplianceRecycling.aspx.

For more information on Recleim’s next generation recycling process, visit http://www.recleim.com.

 

AEP Honored For National Key Accounts Customer Service

Representatives from Walmart Stores present AEP’s National Accounts team with the 2017 Awards for Outstanding National Key Accounts Customer Service. From left to right:  Steve Chriss (Walmart Stores), Barry Mosser (AEP), Darren Kelsey (AEP), Scott Mann (AEP), and Bob Valair (Staples). (not pictured: Bud Clark)

(Story by Shanelle Hinkle-Moore)

Edison Electric Institute (EEI) recently recognized AEP and two AEP National Accounts executives for exceptional customer service at the 2017 Awards for Outstanding National Key Accounts Customer Service.

AEP won the National Key Accounts Executive Award for Sustained Excellence in Outstanding Customer Service.

In the National Key Accounts Executive Award Category:

  • Barry Mosser, Manager of National Accounts won the National Key Accounts Executive Award for Sustained Excellence in Customer Service.
  • Darren Kelsey, National Account Executive based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, won the award for Outstanding Customer Service.

 

“These awards would not be possible without the support and vision from our operating companies and executive management,” said Mosser. “Together we support this group of key customers.”

“Customers today want more customized and integrated energy solutions than ever before,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “This year’s winning companies and executives serve as vital partners, providing national key account customers with education and resources to meet their changing needs and expectations.”

Why this matters
This is an example of AEP’s Strategic Goals in Customer Experience to improve customer satisfaction.

“During the conference, many customers personally told me AEP’s National Accounts team is the best. This team does an exceptional job customizing the customer experience to meet multi-site customer needs,” said [Bruce Evans], senior vice president and chief customer officer.

While presenting AEP with the Sustained Excellence award, Walmart Director, Energy and Strategy Analysis Steve Chriss said, “Every customer in the room can personally attest to AEP National Accounts team’s performance. They continually set the industry benchmark for excellence in customer service.”

More about EEI’s awards & voting process
EEI member companies and National Account executives who demonstrate superior service to customers are awarded in two categories: the National Key Accounts Program Award and the National Key Accounts Executive Award. Each category also has an award for sustained excellence.

EEI National Key Accounts customers, from a wide variety of industries, including national brands such as Costco, HealthSouth, Marriot Hotels, Microsoft, Staples, TJX Companies, and Walmart, casted the votes.

Other Award Recipients

  • Duke Energy, Florida Power & Light Company, Southern Company also received awards for customer service.
  • Individuals from PSEG Long Island, Xcel Energy, Puget Sound Energy and Southern Company joined Kelsey to win awards for outstanding customer service. Southern Company and Xcel Energy had individuals honored for sustained excellence with Mosser.

Akins Discusses Earnings Report on ‘Mad Money with Jim Cramer’ Program

AEP CEO Nick Akins (right) appeared on CNBC’s “Mad Money with Jim Cramer” program April 27 to discuss a number of issues related to AEP and the energy industry.

Nick Akins, AEP chairman, president and chief executive officer, appeared on CNBC’s “Mad Money with Jim Cramer” program April 27 and discussed first quarter earnings results and the company’s strategy for the future.

View the video.

Cramer opened the interview by questioning those who are saying that business is weak in this country. He asked Akins what he is seeing in the energy industry.

“Even though load continues to be pretty much the same, when you look at the underlying fundamentals, you’re seeing oil and gas activity pick up, you’re seeing mining activity pick up and automotive activity is in there, as well,” Akins said. “Primary metals are picking up, as well, and it’s been awhile since we’ve seen that, so the underlying fundamentals are beginning to progress very positively and we’re watching them very closely.”

Turning to President Trump’s plan to put more Americans back to work, particularly in coal mining and other industries, Cramer asked what that might mean specifically for U.S. utility companies, which tend to be scrutinized for polluting the environment.

“I think you are going to see a work force issue where you are moving from one skill set to another,” Akins answered. “The effect of the Trump administration’s focus will be to continue the operation of fully-controlled coal units. I think you will continue to see those operate, but at the same time you are seeing a massive shift to a more balanced energy portfolio, so you are going to see natural gas continue to pick up — which emits about half the carbon as coal — as well as renewables and other types of applications on the grid that are related to big data analytics. And of course transmission, which is a key optimizer. So you’re going to see all those resources continue to branch out, and they will reduce carbon emissions significantly.”

Cramer also noted that AEP doesn’t base it’s key strategic investment decisions on which administration currently occupies the White House.

“You’re right, Jim,” Akins acknowledged. “We’re a long-term business, but really the context of those decisions today are made upon, ‘OK, what are those capital investments that need to be made relative to coal?’ And if they are large capital investments, you are evaluating that against other options, and those other options are cheaper at this point in time. So the movement is toward a re-balancing that is less coal and more of other types of resources.”

With a strong balance sheet and solid strategic plan, has AEP considered any types of merger or acquisition to further strengthen it’s position in the industry?

“I think we have a higher threshold, and our threshold is internally driven,” Akins replied. “We’re spending $6 billion in capital every year, and our next three-year plan is $17.3 billion, and $9 billion of that is on transmission. We have the largest transmission system in the country, so from an indigenous growth perspective, to invest at 11 percent ROE (return on equity) in transmission is much better than making an acquisition unless it’s truly strategic and really makes sense for our shareholders — without having to pay a premium and that kind of thing.

“That being said, we’re obviously very focused and continue to be engaged from an M&A (merger and acquisition) standpoint to understand what’s going on in the industry and how it maps to the strategy we have going forward,” he added, “and we’ll continue to look at those kinds of options.”

Kentucky Power Welcomes New Industrial Customer to Central Appalachia

Braidy Industries Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Craig Bouchard announces plans to locate a $1.3 billion aluminum rolling mill in eastern Kentucky. Photo by Allison Barker.

(Story by Allison Barker)

ASHLAND, Ky. – In 2012 when Brad Hall joined Kentucky Power as an external affairs manager to revitalize its economic development efforts, he knew selling eastern Kentucky would not be easy.

On Wednesday, he joined Kentucky Power President Matt Satterwhite, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, state and local leaders and many other supporters as Braidy Industries announced the location of a $1.3 billion aluminum rolling mill in the middle of Kentucky Power’s service territory. When the mill goes online in 2020, its electricity demand is expected to be 60 megawatts.

“Braidy Industries represents one of the many important partnerships Kentucky Power is forming to bring business and jobs to eastern Kentucky,” Satterwhite said. “Economic development is at the center of our long-term strategy. When Kentucky Power and other AEP companies invest in economic development, we can help attract large commercial and industrial customers, like Braidy Industries. And when we do, our customers gain jobs, government gains taxpayers and we gain new customers.”

Braidy’s 2.5 million-square-foot mill is expected to employ 550 workers with average salaries and benefits of $70,000, as well as another 1,000 construction workers during construction, which is set to begin in 2018.

Braidy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Craig Bouchard credited Kentucky Power and AEP in helping Braidy choose the Kentucky site for its mill.

“We have negotiated an efficient package with Kentucky Power and AEP because they wanted us in eastern Kentucky,” Bouchard said. “I believe we will have the lowest energy cost of any rolling mill producing aluminum in the United States. The competitive advantage of that is spectacular.”

Braidy seeks to become the nation’s low-cost producer of high quality auto body sheet aluminum, plate and ultra-high strength alloys for the aerospace industry. The mill will open with capacity of 370,000 tons per annum, producing series 5000, 6000, and 7000 aluminum sheet and plate products. The aluminum is used not only in automobiles, but also airplanes to make them lighter.

Satterwhite said the Braidy project is a game-changer and is the first in a long-term strategy to establish central Appalachia as a preferred region for the aerospace and automotive industry.

Soon after being named Kentucky Power president in 2016, Satterwhite devised a plan, now dubbed Appalachian Sky. The initiative’s purpose is to aggressively attract aerospace and aviation industry to AEP’s central Appalachia service region through economic development. Appalachian Sky was inspired by the intelligence and work ethic of the coal mining communities as captured in the movie “October Sky.”

The work that led to the creation of Appalachian Sky was sparked by the completion of a comprehensive regional work force analysis in AEP’s Kentucky territory. The research showed that coal miners, many of whom have lost their jobs when mines closed in recent years, have the metal-working skills that companies like Braidy Industries need. The study, which was funded in small part with Kentucky Power economic development grants, concluded that there were eight times the national average of skilled metal workers in the region.

Kentucky Power and AEP recognized an opportunity and commissioned a leading aerospace consultant to determine the viability of aerospace in Appalachia’s coal and steel country. The consultant produced a report certifying 17 counties as AeroReady in the Tri-State region of Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia, furthering the claim that aerospace can thrive in the area.

Dr. Michael E. Porter, professor at Harvard Business School and a global expert on competitiveness and economic development, serves as a Braidy Industries board member. Porter assisted the company in assessing Kentucky’s competitive advantage as a site. Both Porter and Bouchard cited Appalachian Sky as helping make the decision to locate in eastern Kentucky.

“Eastern Kentucky has significant competitive advantages, including its proximity to the leading automotive and aerospace customers, low energy costs and a skilled and available work force for heavy manufacturing,” Porter said. “The decision to locate in eastern Kentucky will provide an opportunity for Braidy Industries and the community to work together to transform the region’s business environment as well as attract related companies.”

That economic ripple effect is exactly what Kentucky Power is banking on to boost its dwindling customer base and load. Since 2012, the company invested nearly $2 million in economic development in eastern Kentucky, including water and sewer projects, broadband expansion, industrial site development and certification, work force research and other endeavors.

“Braidy’s CEO Craig Bouchard and Governor Matt Bevin both thanked Kentucky Power and gave a lot of credit to our leadership,” Satterwhite said. “I thank our employees for all their work and support for getting to this first victory. It is a new day in eastern Kentucky and Kentucky Power.”

Winchester Lineman Saves Father’s Life

Todd Gordon (right) was very appreciative that his son, Josh, knew CPR and took action when he suffered cardiac arrest during a basketball game.

(Story by Erica Putt)

On April 12, Winchester Line Mechanic Josh Gordon was playing basketball at the YMCA with his father. Josh’s father, Todd Gordon, also is an Indiana Michigan Power Company employee who works in the Muncie, Ind., telecom department.

While they were playing, Todd suffered sudden cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated.

“We played the whole first half and were starting the second half. I was running down the court, turned around and saw him fall down to the ground, so I didn’t know what was going on,” Josh said.

When Josh rushed to his father’s aide he says he was having trouble breathing.

“He quit breathing so I turned him over on his back and went ahead and started CPR,” Josh said.

He continued CPR until someone offered to take over so Josh could call his mother.  When asked where he learned CPR, Josh says he completed training at the Winchester Service Center.

“Zero Harm is important on and off the job. Without the safety culture and standard we have, and what we expect from our employees, this incident could have had a much more catastrophic outcome,” said Ed Roberts, Winchester distribution supervisor.

We are happy to report that Todd is doing well and will soon be able to resume normal activities.

Students Give Flint Creek Tree Farm a Spring Planting

Scott Carney (left) of Flint Creek Power Plant with Wendy Jackson, agriculture teacher at Gentry High School, at the power plant’s tree farm.

(Story by Peter Main)

The tree farm at Flint Creek Power Plant in Gentry, Ark., got a springtime burst of new growth when local high school students recently planted 1,000 trees into containers.

The trees are destined for transplant to riparian areas to stabilize stream banks, help retain nutrients and improve water quality. Flint Creek hosts the tree farm as part of the company’s support for the Illinois River Watershed Partnership. The watershed covers parts of Arkansas and Oklahoma. It includes Little Flint Creek and SWEPCO Lake, the plant’s cooling reservoir.

Scott Carney, Flint Creek Plant environmental coordinator, leads the tree farm effort and also serves on the IRWP board of directors.

Led by teacher Wendy Jackson, about 85 students from five agriculture classes at nearby Gentry High School helped renew the stock in the tree farm. They planted the seedlings and cuttings in tall, compact containers that are placed in metal racks built by Flint Creek employees.

Carney said the new containers take up less space and should grow better than larger round containers often seen at nurseries. The 1,000 seedlings fit in about the same space as 500 trees in the larger containers last year, which makes watering by the tree farm sprinkler system more effective.

Species planted April 15 included Chinkapin Oak, Persimmon, River Birch, Sycamore, PawPaw, Sandbar Willow cuttings, Smooth Sumac, Buttonbush , Roughleaf Dogwood, Witchhazel and Baldcypress.