AEP to increase focus on economic development, job creation in company's 11-state service area, names Mark J. James VP of economic and business development

COLUMBUS, Ohio , November 22, 2011 (press release) – Mark J. James joins company as vice president of economic and business development

American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) will increase its focus on economic development activities throughout the company's 11-state service area and has hired Mark J. James, who previously led AEP's economic development efforts, as vice president of economic and business development, effective today.

"In today's economy, it is more important than ever that we support local, state and regional economic development efforts to attract new business, help companies expand their operations in our service territory, and create jobs," said Robert P. Powers, AEP executive vice president and chief operating officer. "Mark's leadership experience, as well as his expertise in developing and implementing economic development programs for AEP and other companies, will help us more aggressively pursue new business opportunities and coordinate our economic development efforts across the company."

James is responsible for the strategic expansion of AEP's economic development program, identifying and pursuing opportunities to increase retail load. As part of this effort, AEP will assist companies in all aspects of business development, including research, work force analysis, site and building selection, identification of financing programs, and coordination with other business contacts and public officials. James reports to Craig Rhoades, vice president of Customer Services, Marketing and Distribution Services.

Since 2002, James has served as founder, president and chief executive officer of ED Solutions, Inc., a consulting firm providing economic development tools, training and project management services. He previously spent 17 years with AEP, most recently as director of economic development a position he held from 1992 to 2002. He served as economic development consultant for AEP in West Virginia from 1985 to 1992. Prior to that, James was director of community development for the municipality of Bethel Park, Penn. and regional planner for the Bel-O-Mar Regional Council in Wheeling, W.Va.

He holds a bachelor's degree in geography and environmental sciences from Edinboro State University of Pennsylvania and a master's degree in economic geography from Oregon State University. James is a graduate of the University of Michigan's Ross Graduate School of Business Executive Management Program and is a certified economic developer (CEcD).

American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation's largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation's largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP's transmission system directly or indirectly serves about 10 percent of the electricity demand in the Eastern Interconnection, the interconnected transmission system that covers 38 eastern and central U.S. states and eastern Canada, and approximately 11 percent of the electricity demand in ERCOT, the transmission system that covers much of Texas. AEP's utility units operate as AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP's headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.

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