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Epperson retires from SWEPCO after 52-plus years of service

by on July 12, 2012
                                      Tom Epperson

(Story by Scott McCloud)

SHREVEPORT — Thomas J. Epperson has retired as general manager for Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) in Natchitoches, La., effective June 29, after more than 52 years of service in the electric utility business with SWEPCO and Valley Electric (VEMCO). He had been serving as the general manager of SWEPCO’s Valley District since October 2010, responsible for the company’s electric delivery and customer service work for over 30,000 customers in eight parishes in central Louisiana.

At his retirement, Epperson is listed at the very top of active AEP employees with the longest tenure of service, with 52 years, four months and 28 days. The next longest tenure is more than 45 years of service.

Epperson has over half a century of utility experience, starting his career with SWEPCO as a distribution engineer in Fayetteville in 1960. He also served as the manager of distribution engineering and operations for SWEPCO, and was manager of the Work 2000 work management project for Central and Southwest Corporation (SWEPCO’s parent company prior to 2000) in Dallas. Epperson was named director of administrative services in Shreveport in 1994 and director of business ventures in 1998 for Southwestern. Following the merger of AEP and SWEPCO in 2000, Epperson went on to further his career as the president of VEMCO in Natchitoches.

“Tom’s experience will be missed by many of us who have learned a great deal from him,” said Venita McCellon-Allen, president and chief operating officer of SWEPCO. “He has worked as an advocate for customers and lower rates for more than 50 years. We should all be grateful for that work, and we as SWEPCO employees join together in wishing him well in retirement.”

“Tom worked hard at his job, and was always accessible to me and to my office to help people. I appreciate his many years of service,” said Foster Campbell, Louisiana Public Service Commissioner.

A native of Mansfield, Ark., Epperson earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Arkansas in 1958, and attended the University of Michigan School of Business in Public Utility Management in 1973. Epperson also graduated from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Kansas and the U.S. Air Force Air War College in Alabama. He is a registered professional engineer in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas. He served in the U.S. Army Infantry (Colonel) and U.S. Army Reserve from 1958-1992.

Epperson has been active in professional organizations, including the Arkansas Academy of Electrical Engineers, serving as chairman of Fayetteville and Shreveport chapters; past president of the Shreveport Chapter of the Power Engineering Society; and was a research director in the Electric Power Research Institute. He served 20 years on the Louisiana Tech University Electrical Engineering/Technology Industrial Advisory Board from 1987-2008.

Epperson was president of the Shreveport Downtown Development Association from 1995-2000. He is past president of the Louisiana state Reserve Officers Association, and served as commander of the 4013th U.S. Army Garrison and Louisiana Area Command in Bossier City; and commander of 3rd Battalion, 4th Brigade, 95th Infantry Division, Monroe, La.

Epperson was a long-time board member of the Association of Louisiana Electric Cooperatives, where he served as president of the Louisiana Cooperative Managers Association. He was selected as a charter member of the Arkansas Electrical Engineer’s Academy in 1970 and the Mansfield, Ark. Wall of Fame in 2000.

Epperson is married to the former Evelyne Eikrodt of Karltenbrun, Germany, and they have four adult children. He attends First Methodist Church of Shreveport and enjoys gardening, fishing, sports and traveling.

From → Retirements

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