SWEPCO Names Managers at Flint Creek, Welsh, Knox Lee, Wilkes Power Plants

SWEPCO Names Managers at Flint Creek, Welsh, Knox Lee, Wilkes Power Plants


SHREVEPORT, La., Jan. 24, 2019 – Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO), an American Electric Power company (NYSE: AEP), has announced leadership changes at four power plants.


New plant managers are Sara Vestfals at Flint Creek Power Plant in Gentry, Ark.; Donnie Duffee at Welsh Power Plant in Pittsburg, Texas; Leah Kendrick at Knox Lee Power Plant in Longview, Texas; and Peter Civitarese at Wilkes Power Plant in Avinger, Texas. The appointments of Vestfals, Duffee and Kendrick were effective Jan. 13, and Civitarese is Feb. 10.


“Sara, Donnie, Leah and Peter have strong leadership skills and proven track records,” said Tommy Slater, vice president of SWEPCO Generating Assets. “We look forward to their leadership as they join the excellent generation teams at these four plants.”


Vestfals succeeds Flint Creek Plant Manager Carl Handley II, who will retire in April after 34 years of service to AEP.


Vestfals has been the plant manager at Wilkes Power Plant since 2016. She has served as maintenance supervisor and plant systems owner at Wilkes and plant systems engineer at Welsh. Vestfals joined SWEPCO in 2005. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas. She is a Professional Engineer.


Duffee succeeds former Welsh Plant Manager Drew Seidel, who in November 2018 was named SWEPCO vice president of Distribution Operations.


Duffee has served as plant manager of Knox Lee Power Plant since 2012. Previously, Duffee served as energy production superintendent, operations specialist and energy production supervisor at Pirkey Power Plant in Hallsville, Texas. He began his SWEPCO career in 1979 at Knox Lee. Duffee completed electrical engineering studies through the International Correspondence School.


Kendrick succeeds Duffee as plant manager at Knox Lee.


Kendrick has served as SWEPCO Generation Performance Improvement manager since 2016. At the Turk Power Plant in Fulton, Ark., she has served as process owner, Environmental Lab supervisor and process safety management coordinator. Kendrick joined SWEPCO in 2008 as a senior chemist at Arsenal Hill Power Plant in Shreveport, La. Kendrick earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry from Troy State University and a master’s degree in business administration from Southern Nazarene University.


Civitarese succeeds Vestfals as plant manager at Wilkes.


Civitarese is energy production superintendent at Oklaunion Power Plant in Vernon, Texas, for SWEPCO’s sister company, Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO). He began his career with AEP in 2006 in the Integrated Gasification and Combined Cycle (IGCC) program and then worked in the startup and commissioning team for SWEPCO’s Mattison Power Plant in Tontitown, Ark., and PSO’s Riverside Power Plant in Tulsa, Okla. He was energy production supervisor at AEP’s Picway Plant in Columbus, Ohio, before moving to Oklaunion.


Flint Creek is a 516-megawatt (MW) coal-fueled plant co-owned by SWEPCO and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. (AECC) and operated by SWEPCO. Welsh is a two-unit, 1,053 MW coal-fueled plant. Knox Lee is a four-unit, 475 MW, natural gas-fueled facility. Wilkes is a three-unit, 889 MW natural gas-fueled plant.  


About Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO)

SWEPCO, an American Electric Power (AEP: NYSE) company, serves 535,000 customers in western Arkansas, northwest and central Louisiana, northeast Texas and the Texas Panhandle. SWEPCO’s headquarters are in Shreveport, La. News releases and other information about SWEPCO can be found at SWEPCO.com.


About American Electric Power (AEP)

American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions to our customers. AEP’s more than 17,000 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 219,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe, reliable power to nearly 5.4 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 32,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including 4,300 megawatts of renewable energy. AEP’s family of companies includes utilities AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP also owns AEP Energy, AEP Energy Partners, AEP OnSite Partners and AEP Renewables, which provide innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide.

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