Nick Akins elected EEI chairman; Fanning, Crane, Vincent-Collawn, Abel are vice chairs

Nicholas K. “Nick” Akins, chairman, president and CEO of Columbus, Ohio-based American Electric Power (AEP), recently was elected chairman of the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), the national association of investor-owned electric companies, international affiliates and industry associates worldwide.

The announcement was made during EEI’s annual meeting in New Orleans. The Institute’s chairmanship rotates annually.

Also elected were four vice chairmen: Thomas A. “Tom” Fanning, chairman, president and CEO of Atlanta-based Southern Co.; Christopher M. “Chris” Crane, president and CEO of Chicago-based Exelon Corp.; Patricia “Pat” Vincent-Collawn, chairman, president and CEO of Albuquerque, New Mexico-based PNM Resources; and Gregory E. “Greg” Abel, chairman, president and CEO of Des Moines, Iowa-based Berkshire Hathaway Energy.

“I would like to extend our sincere gratitude and thanks to outgoing EEI Chairman Ted Craver for his leadership, vision and contributions during this transformational time for our industry,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “Today we are excited to welcome Nick Akins as EEI chairman. Nick has been an invaluable member of our leadership team, and his wealth of experience and strong leadership will be of tremendous benefit to the industry during this exciting time of change.”

Kuhn also praised the vice chairs who will be supporting Akins as part of EEI’s leadership team, calling Fanning, Crane, Vincent-Collawn, and Abel an “exceptional team of executives and industry leaders with a strong passion and commitment to the electric power industry.”

Akins is chairman, president and CEO of AEP and is a member of AEP’s board of directors. Akins became president of AEP in December 2010, was named CEO in November 2011 and was named chairman in January 2014. He served as executive vice president of generation for AEP from 2006 until 2010 and was president and chief operating officer (COO) for Southwestern Electric Power Co. from 2004 until 2006. Prior to this, Akins served as vice president of energy marketing services and vice president of industry restructuring for AEP. Akins began his tenure with the company in 1982.

Akins is former chairman and a current board member of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). In addition, he is a board member of the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI); Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership; the Wexner Center for the Arts; the Columbus Partnership; the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation; the Business Roundtable; Nuclear Electric Insurance Limited; Fifth Third Bancorp; OhioHealth; and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Louisiana Tech University and completed executive management programs at Louisiana State University, the University of Idaho and the Reactor Technology Course for Utility Executives at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a registered professional engineer in Texas.

Fanning became president of Southern Co. in August 2010 and assumed the additional responsibilities of CEO and chairman in December 2010. Fanning has worked for Southern Co. more than 30 years and has held 15 positions in eight business units. Previously, Fanning served as COO and chief financial officer of Southern Co. Prior to this, Fanning was president and CEO of Gulf Power.

Fanning serves as chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and is on the Georgia Tech College of Management advisory board, the board of trustees for the Georgia Tech Foundation, the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations board of directors and the World Association of Nuclear Operators – Atlanta Centre governing board. He serves on the board of directors for Vulcan Materials Co. and is a member of the Business Roundtable. Fanning also is a chairman of the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council and a member of the international advisory board of the Atlantic Council, which promotes constructive leadership and engagement in international affairs.

Fanning earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in industrial management and was awarded an honorary doctor of philosophy degree from Georgia Tech. His executive education includes programs at the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland, the Harvard University School of Business and the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business.

Crane is president and CEO of Exelon Corp., which includes one of the nation’s largest, cleanest and lowest-cost power generation fleets; a leading competitive retail supplier to 2.5 million homes and businesses; and three utilities that deliver electricity and natural gas to 7.8 million customers. Crane previously served as Exelon president and COO. In that role, he oversaw its portfolio of electric generating capacity and directed a broad range of business, including major acquisitions, transmission strategy, cost management initiatives, oversight of major capital programs, generation asset optimization and generation development.

Crane joined Exelon, which was then ComEd, in 1998 and was named chief nuclear officer in 2004. He worked in the nuclear industry for more than 30 years, playing a key part in the turnaround of ComEd’s nuclear performance and the development of Exelon’s proprietary Nuclear Management Model: a codification of industry-leading operational, safety, management, regulatory, work force and financial practices. Crane assumed responsibility for Exelon’s fossil, hydro and renewables facilities, in addition to the nuclear fleet, in 2007. He oversaw a wide range of generation and business development initiatives and was instrumental in establishing corporate citizenship and public outreach as a plant priority. He was named president of Exelon Generation in 2008, with added responsibility for Exelon’s wholesale power trading and competitive retail organization. Prior to joining Exelon, Crane served as Browns Ferry Site vice president for Tennessee Valley Authority and worked in new plant start-up at the Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant in Texas and Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station in Arizona.

Crane is the chairman of NEI, where he has also served as chairman of the New Plant Oversight Committee and as a member of the Nuclear Strategic Issues Advisory Committee, the Nuclear Fuel Supply Committee and the Materials Initiative Group. He serves as vice chairman of the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, which is the global industry organization promoting the highest levels of safety in nuclear plant operation, and is a member of the Board of Governors of the World Association of Nuclear Operators. Crane is also on the board of directors of AEGIS Insurance Services. Crane studied at New Hampshire Technical College and attended Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program. He previously held a senior reactor operator certification.

Vincent-Collawn is chairman, president and CEO of PNM Resources, the parent company for utilities PNM in New Mexico and TNMP in Texas. Vincent-Collawn joined PNM Resources in 2007, serving as utilities president with responsibility for overseeing the daily operation of PNM and TNMP. In 2008, she was named president and COO and in March 2010 became president and CEO of PNM Resources. The board elected her chairwoman in January 2012. While at PNM Resources, she has led the company from a partially deregulated entity to a pure-play electric utility with a focus on customer satisfaction, reliability, safety and sustainability.

Prior to PNM Resources, Vincent-Collawn served eight years at Xcel Energy, where she was president and CEO of Public Service Co. of Colorado. Previous to that, as Xcel’s president of Customer and Field Operations, she oversaw transmission and distribution operations as well as customer service across 10 states. Vincent-Collawn also held management positions with Arizona Public Service and outside the energy industry with Price Waterhouse and Quaker Oats.

Vincent-Collawn serves on the board of EPRI where she is vice-chairwoman. She also serves on the board of CTS Corp., where she chairs the compensation committee. In the community, Vincent-Collawn is chair of the Kirtland Partnership Committee. She is past chair of the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce and United Way of Central New Mexico. Vincent-Collawn is also a member of the Economic Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Drake University and an MBA from the Harvard University School of Business.

Greg Abel is chairman, president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Energy. Abel became chairman in 2011 and has served as CEO since 2008. Abel also serves as chairman, CEO and director of PacifiCorp; as chairman and director of NV Energy, Northern Powergrid and Northern Natural Gas; and as a director of AltaLink and HomeServices.

Abel serves on the board and executive committee of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. He also serves on the boards of the H.J. Heinz Co., AEGIS Insurance Services Inc., Nuclear Electric Insurance Limited, Kum & Go LLC, and the American Football Coaches Foundation. He is a member of the executive board of the Mid-Iowa Council Boy Scouts of America and a past member of the Drake University board of trustees.

Abel holds a bachelor’s degree in commerce from the University of Alberta.


  • The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at

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