President & CEO

Vernon “Buddy” Hasten began his position as president and chief executive officer of Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation and Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. in October 2019.

Buddy was born and raised in Iowa. He enlisted in the United States Navy in 1986 as a submarine reactor operator and was selected for the Navy’s Nuclear Enlisted Commissioning Program (NECP). He attended Auburn University and completed his Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering. Buddy then completed the Naval Nuclear power training pipeline and was assigned to nuclear submarines and shore assignments over a 20-year career. His final naval assignment was at Naval Reactors in Washington, D.C., where he served as the technical assistant to the deputy director for all Los Angeles and Virginia Class fast-attack submarines. He retired as a Lieutenant Commander from the Naval Submarine Force in May 2007.

Upon completion of his military service, Buddy returned to Iowa, where he served as the regional director of generation for Iowa-based power plants within the Alliant Energy fleet, plant manager of Alliant Energy’s Burlington Generating Station and Prairie Creek Station in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Buddy joined Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc. of Jefferson City, MO. in 2011 as plant manager of the Thomas Hill Energy Center in Clifton Hill, MO. He was promoted to senior manager of plant operations and reliability in September 2012 and vice president of engineering and construction in January of 2018.