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Central Electric Power Cooperative Board of Directors names Christopher M. “Chris” Turner as its next CEO

The Central Electric Power Cooperative (CEPC) Board of Directors has named Christopher M. “Chris” Turner as its next CEO.  He begins his new duties in July, 2015 upon the retirement of Donald Shaw, CEPC’s long serving CEO.  Mr. Shaw has faithfully served CEPC for 42 dedicated years, the last 23 as its CEO.  At the request of the Board of Directors, Mr. Mark Newbold of the CEPC senior management team has graciously agreed to serve as Interim CEO until Mr. Turner begins his duties in July. 

Mr. Turner currently serves as the CEO/Administrator of the Southwestern Power Administration (SWPA) in Tulsa, OK.  SWPA’s markets power to 102 preference customers in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas.  His customers are composed of 21 cooperatives, 3 federal facilities, and 79 municipalities.  Most of the cooperatives they serve have a similar business model to CEPC and are owned by their distribution member systems.  SWPA has approximately 200 full time employees and 50 contractors in 4 locations.

In his role as CEO of Central Electric Power Cooperative, he will also serve as a voting member on the Associated Electric (AECI) Board of Directors representing CEPC’s 8 member distribution systems.  AECI in Springfield, MO provides wholesale power to Central and its 8 distribution cooperative members.  

Darren Eckhoff, President of the Board of Directors stated, “On behalf of myself and the entire Board, we are very excited to have someone with Chris’ knowledge, experience and strong educational background serve Central as our next CEO.  The board selected Mr. Turner following a nationwide search conducted over many months.  The board takes it fiduciary responsibility seriously and interviewed numerous highly qualified individuals – ultimately selecting Mr. Turner.  I am very proud of the entire board in doing its due diligence on behalf of the membership and we look to the future with confidence,” said Eckhoff.

Mr. Turner brings 32 years of experience in the electric utility industry, including various leadership positions involving transmission and distribution construction, energy trading, bulk power operations, resource planning, and compliance with NERC standards.


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