Duane D. Highley
Duane Highley is President and CEO for Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. and Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. He is a registered professional engineer with degrees from the Missouri University of Science and Technology and has completed the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program. Duane serves on the Board of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), on the Southwest Power Pool Members Committee, and is co-chair of the Electric Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC), working with cabinet-level administration officials on electric system reliability, security and resiliency. Duane has appeared in testimony before committees of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. He is passionate about advancing the cooperative business model to provide essential services in developing countries around the world.
You can follow Duane at http://facebook.com/DuaneHighleyAECC.
Michael W. Henderson
Michael W. Henderson is executive vice president and chief financial officer of Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. (AECC) and Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc., (AECI). Previously, he served as manager of treasury for AECC. He has been employed by AECC since 1984. Before joining AECC, he worked for Associated Natural Gas Co. and the Arkansas Public Service Commission. He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Arkansas State University in 1981. He is a certified public accountant.
Robert H. McClanahan
Robert H. McClanahan is vice president of information technology and chief technology officer for Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. (AECC) and Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc., (AECI). Prior to his promotion, McClanahan was manager of technical information systems for AECC. He has been employed by AECC since 1981. He has a bachelor’s degree in physics and computer science from Henderson State University.
Sandra Byrd joined Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. (AECC) in August 2007. She serves as vice president of public affairs and member services for AECC and AECI. Sandra has 30 years of experience in the field of utility regulation, having previously served as Chairman, Commissioner and Executive Director of the Arkansas Public Service Commission for eight and a half years. Prior to that, Sandra worked as assistant general counsel for Centerpoint Energy for 12 years and also as an associate with the Mitchell Law Firm. She earned her Juris Doctorate from Washington University in 1985 and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas in 1982.
Jonathan Oliver is vice president of utility sales and services for Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI). Oliver, a resident of Little Rock, joined AECC in 1995 and served in a variety of engineering and construction roles prior to being named vice president in the fall of 2008. Oliver has a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is a professional engineer, master electrician, project management professional and active member of many industry associations.
Maria Bunting Smedley is the vice president of human resources and corporate strategy for Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation and Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. She is licensed to practice law in Arkansas and Virginia with degrees from George Mason School of Law, the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga (MBA) and Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville (BSBA). She also holds several HR certifications. In 2018, Maria was recognized as a Chief Human Resource Officer Leader of Distinction at the North American HRO Today Forum and as a top Chief Human Resources Officer in HR Today’s Magazine. She has also received a Sensational Business Leadership Award. Maria is one of the founders of Arkansas Women in Power, the president of the National Generation and Transmission HR Professionals Association and serves on the boards of the National Industry Liaison Group, the Arkansas Foodbank and the School of Business Advisory Board of Philander Smith College. Maria has held previous HR leadership roles with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, World Wide Automotive a Delco Remy Company, Solectron Technology, a Flex LTD subsidiary and Duracell, a Birkshire Hathaway subsidiary. Maria is a strategic change agent committed to positively navigating the transformation of the electric utility industry.
Kirkley Thomas is vice president of governmental affairs for Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI). Thomas began his career with the cooperatives in January of 1998 as manager of community and economic development. Before joining AECI he worked for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and as a professional staff member in the United States Senate. He received a bachelor’s degree in journalism/public relations from Arkansas State University and is also a graduate of the Economic Development Institute of the University of Oklahoma.
Andrew Lachowsky is vice president of planning and market operations for Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC). He joined AECC as assistant planning engineer in 1990 and held several related positions prior to his present role. A resident of Little Rock, he holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Lori L. Burrows
Lori L. Burrows is vice president and general counsel for Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC) and Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. Burrows joined AECC as senior staff attorney in 2012. She has more than 10 years of public utility legal and regulatory experience at the state, regional and federal levels. Prior to joining AECC/AECI, she served as commission legal advisor for the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC). She is a 2004 honors graduate of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. Burrows earned a bachelor of arts degree in speech communication from the University of Central Arkansas in 1997.
Steve Metcalf is AECC’s vice president of power production and delivery. He is a 35-year veteran with AECC and has most recently served as senior director of power production. In his role, Steve is responsible for the maintenance and operations of AECC’s wholly-owned generation fleet as well as oversight of the cooperatives’ co-owned plants. He has a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from the University of Arkansas and is a registered professional engineer in Arkansas