COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- A. Wade Smith has been named senior vice president - Transmission Grid Development for American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), effective Aug. 3. He will report to Lisa M. Barton, AEP's executive vice president - Transmission, and will oversee transmission planning, engineering, project services and reliability compliance. Smith currently serves as president and chief operating officer of AEP Texas.
The move is part of a realignment of AEP's transmission business to manage growth and streamline operations. Scott N. Smith, currently senior vice president - Transmission Grid Development and Portfolio Services, will assume a new role as senior vice president - Transmission Controls and Field Services. He will continue to report to Barton, will provide support for the transmission projects in AEP's operating companies and will have responsibility for financial controls and transmission operations across the company's 11-state footprint.
"Wade and Scott's expertise and leadership experience, along with their focus on safety and operational excellence, will strengthen our efforts as we continue to grow the transmission business," Barton said. "These organizational changes will allow AEP to successfully manage more than 2,000 local and regional transmission projects that we have in progress, as we work to enhance the reliability of the electric grid to better serve customers and build new infrastructure that will support the country's changing generation mix and enable more integration of renewables."
Bruce Evans will succeed Wade Smith as president and chief operating officer of AEP Texas, a transmission and distribution utility serving nearly one million customers in south and west Texas. He will be responsible for operations, safety and a wide range of customer and regulatory relationships and will report to Venita McCellon-Allen, president and chief operating officer of Southwestern Electric Power Co. Evans is currently vice president - Distribution Operations for AEP Texas.
"Bruce should hit the ground running as AEP Texas president as he has served in many executive leadership positions throughout his career in the electric utility industry," McCellon-Allen said. "His customer focus and engaging leadership style will serve the company well going forward."
Wade Smith, 50, became president and chief operating officer of AEP Texas in 2010. Previously, he was vice president - Transmission Engineering & Project Services for AEP from 2008 to 2010. He served as director - Generation Gas Turbine & Joint Venture from 2004 to 2008 and executive director - Independent Power Projects & Wind from 2000 to 2004. Smith began his career with the former Central and South West Corp. (CSW) in 1989 and worked in engineering and management roles at several power plants prior to CSW's merger with AEP in 2000. He earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, and a master's of business administration from Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas. He is a graduate of The Executive Program-Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.
Scott Smith, 51, has served as senior vice president - Transmission Grid Development and Portfolio Services since 2011. Previously, he was vice president and assistant to the president of the Ohio Valley Electric Corporation (OVEC) from 2010 to 2011. From 2005 to 2010, Smith was vice president - Generation Business Services for AEP. He joined AEP in 2001 as chief risk officer. Prior to that, he served as vice president of risk management for Global Consumer Bank, a division of Citigroup, and for First Fidelity/First Union. Earlier, he was a national bank examiner for the U.S. Treasury Department. He served as a captain in the U.S. Army and worked as an engineer during his military service. Smith received a bachelor's degree in finance from Drexel University in Philadelphia and an associate's degree in business administration from Valley Forge Military College in Wayne, Pennsylvania.
Evans, 59, was named vice president - Distribution Operations for AEP Texas in 2012. Previously, he served as vice president of demand management for Nexant Inc. and held a number of leadership positions with major energy consulting firms, as well as Cirro Energy and CPS Energy. From 1979 to 2000, Evans served in a number of roles for AEP, the former CSW and its utility operating companies. Evans holds a bachelor's degree in finance from Hardin Simmons University in Abilene, Texas, and a master's degree in finance from Dallas Baptist University in Dallas. He also attended the advanced management program at Harvard University.
American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to nearly 5.4 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation's largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 32,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation's largest electricity transmission system, a more than 40,000-mile network that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP's transmission system directly or indirectly serves about 10 percent of the electricity demand in the Eastern Interconnection, the interconnected transmission system that covers 38 eastern and central U.S. states and eastern Canada, and approximately 11 percent of the electricity demand in ERCOT, the transmission system that covers much of Texas. AEP's utility units operate as AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginiaand West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company ofOklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP's headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.