Little Rock, Ark. — Sept. 6, 2012 — Maria Smedley has been promoted to vice president of human resources for Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC) and Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI). She joined the cooperatives in November 2010 as director of human resources.

“Maria has proven to be a great asset for our organization,” said Duane Highley, president and chief executive officer for AECC/AECI. “Her educational background and extensive human resources experience have enabled the cooperatives to expand and improve efforts to recruit, train and retain talented employees. She has also coordinated the improvement of internal employee benefits processes.”

Prior to joining AECC/AECI, Smedley was employed by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) as the director of employee relations and benefits. She has more than 19 years of human resources experience in a variety of sectors.

Smedley is a graduate of George Mason University, School of Law, holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and earned a bachelor’s of science degree in business administration from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.

In her new position, she will continue to act as a resource for the state’s 17 electric distribution cooperatives upon request.

The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas comprise 17 electric distribution cooperatives; Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI), a Little Rock-based cooperative that provides various services to the distribution cooperatives; and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. (AECC), a generation and transmission cooperative. The distribution cooperatives provide electricity to approximately 500,000 members, or customers, in Arkansas and surrounding states.

For additional information, contact:

Rob Roedel, Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, 501.570.2296 or