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May 04, 2020
AEP Names Risch Senior Vice President And Chief Information & Technology Officer
COLUMBUS, Ohio, May 4, 2020 – American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) has named Therace Risch, to a new position as senior vice president and chief information & technology officer effective May 11.
Risch will lead technology initiatives across AEP including information technology, innovation, digital initiatives, and telecommunications. She will report directly to Nicholas K. Akins, chairman, president and chief executive officer. AEP’s Information Technology, Innovation & Technology, Telecommunications, and Charge (AEP’s digital innovation hub) teams will report directly to Risch. AEP’s Cybersecurity team will continue to report to AEP’s Security organization but will work closely with Risch.
“Therace has extensive information and technology expertise in fast-moving, customer focused industries, including retail, insurance and financial services. As we focus on delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions for our customers and introducing new ways to work, her success in driving change and using technology to evolve legacy business models will be incredibly valuable,” Akins said.
Risch, 47, was most recently executive vice president and chief information officer for J.C. Penney Co. (JCPenney) where she was responsible for the overall vision, strategic direction, and tactical execution of all of the company’s information technology systems and teams. She was a key leader in the company’s stabilization and turn around by providing new solutions to help the company compete in the rapidly evolving online business environment.
Before joining JCPenney, Risch served as executive vice president and chief information officer at COUNTRY Financial, an insurance and investment services provider, where she led the strategy, planning, security and support of technology capabilities serving over one million households and businesses.
Risch also spent 10 years at Target Corp. in various technology roles of increasing responsibility, including her last position as vice president of technology delivery services, where she was responsible for the end-to-end execution of technology programs for stores, merchandising, supply chain, and other business functions. She began her career with West Publishing, owned by Thomson Reuters Corp., and held several positions with the St. Paul Companies prior to joining Target.
A native of St. Paul Minnesota, Risch earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics from Ripon College in Ripon, Wisconsin. She also completed a pre-MBA education program at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, and attended the U.S. Army War College’s Commandant’s National Security Program as a civilian participant. She is a member of Southern Methodist University’s Information and Operations Management Advisory Board.
American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions to our customers. AEP’s approximately 17,400 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 221,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe, reliable power to nearly 5.5 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 31,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including more than 5,200 megawatts of renewable energy. AEP’s family of companies includes utilities 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, east Texas and the Texas Panhandle). AEP also owns AEP Energy, AEP Energy Partners, AEP OnSite Partners, and AEP Renewables, which provide innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide. For more information, visit aep.com.