Distinguished Engineer Citations
B.S., Mechanical Engineering – 1989
At Time of Nomination in 2014
Wade Smith earned a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Texas Tech University in 1989, a Master of Business Administration from Abilene Christian University, and is a graduate of The Executive Program-Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.
Smith began his career with the Central and South West Corporation (CSW) in 1989 as an engineer at the Fort Phantom Power Station in Abilene, Texas. He later worked for several years at CSW’s Oklaunion Station and was plant manager at CSW’s Oak Creek facility.
He worked as the director of Florida operations for CSW Energy from 1995-2000 and managed the partnerships that owned two cogeneration facilities in central Florida. CSW merged with American Electric Power (AEP) in 2000. From 2000 to 2004, he was executive director of IPP and wind, and had responsibility for 12 independent power projects.
He then became director of gas turbine and joint venture - generation, where he was responsible for AEP's combustion turbine-based generation in the east, the company's wind generation facilities, and the jointly owned coal plants that were not operated by AEP.
Moving to AEP Transmission in February 2008, he worked as managing director of transmission, and then vice president of transmission engineering and project services. He was responsible for directing the capital service function in transmission, with responsibility for Transmission Asset Management, Transmission Projects Engineering, and the Project and Construction Management groups.
He also ensured positioning of the Transmission Engineering and Project Services organization to implement the organization's growing capital plans developed in alignment with the company's long-term transmission strategy, and aiding in developing vendor alliances in support of those capital plans.
Smith is currently president and chief operating officer for AEP Texas. As president, he oversees distribution operations serving more than 1 million AEP customers in south, central and north Texas as well as the operating unit’s safety, customer services, marketing, communications, community affairs, governmental affairs, and regulatory functions.
He is chairman of the board of directors for the United Way of the Coastal Bend, on the executive committee of the board of trustees for the Del Mar College Foundation, on the board of trustees of the Texas State Aquarium, a member of the board of trustees for Corpus Christi Medical Center, on the executive committee of the board for the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association, and he is past chairperson for the American Heart Association's Corpus Christi Heart Walk.