Akins is a seasoned energy executive with vast experience in all aspects of the business from system planning and operations and mergers and acquisitions to running a regional utility and overseeing regulatory relationships. Akins was president and chief operating officer for Southwestern Electric Power Company, serving approximately 439,000 customers in Louisiana, Arkansas and northeast Texas. Named to the position in 2004, he had authority for distribution operations and a wide range of customer and regulatory relationships.
Prior to this, Akins served as vice president – Energy Marketing Services, where he was responsible for directing the activities of Market Development, including the transmission marketing and services functions, Energy Delivery External Affairs including community affairs, economic development, advocacy for regulatory and legislative positions within Energy Delivery. Additional responsibilities included the development and implementation of strategies for energy delivery related to AEP’s entry into regional transmission organizations.
Akins was also vice president – Industry Restructuring for AEP responsible for enterprise-wide program management for restructuring initiatives in preparation for customer choice in AEP’s various jurisdictions.
Before CSW’s merger with AEP, Akins held various director and manager roles with responsibility for mergers and acquisitions, industry restructuring, fuels, system dispatch operations and system planning.
A native of Louisiana, Akins received his bachelor’s degree in 1982 in electric engineering from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston and a master’s degree in electrical engineering in 1986 from Louisiana Tech. Additional training includes 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 professional registered engineer in Texas.
Akins currently serves as vice chairman of the board of the Electric Power Research Institute. He is a member of the boards of the National Association of Manufacturers, the Mid-Ohio Food Bank, the Greater Columbus Arts Council and the Wexner Center for the Arts. He also serves on several subsidiary boards of AEP.
Akins and his wife, Donna, live in Dublin, Ohio. They have two adult sons, Matthew and Christopher.