Honorary Founding Members

Kay Kelley Arnold

Served as Vice President, Public Affairs for Entergy Services, Inc.

Kathleen D. Alexander

Served as Senior Vice President & General Counsel, Center Point Energy Resources

Arkansas Women In Power Founders

Founded by a small group of dedicated Arkansas energy professionals, Arkansas Women In Power’s formation would not have been possible without the efforts of the following people, for whom Arkansas Women In Power is grateful. These ten (10) women are Arkansas Women In Power’s Founding Members.

Lori L. Burrows

Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation | Little Rock, Arkansas

Lori L. Burrows is Vice President & General Counsel for Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC), where she has worked since June of 2012. Before joining AECC, Lori served as a Legal Advisor to the Arkansas Public Service Commissioners and was an Assistant AG in the Consumer Division of the Arkansas Attorney General’s office. In 2017, Lori completed Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program (AMP193) and she holds a Juris Doctor, with honors, from the UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law. Immediately before law school, Lori served as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer working in non-profit development in the Pacific island country of the Federated States of Micronesia. In addition to being a Founding Member and the Inaugural President of Arkansas Women In Power, Lori is President of the Historic Arkansas Museum's Foundation Board, Vice President of the Friends of KLRE/KUAR Board and the immediate pas President of AWIP. Lori is a graduate of LeadAR (Class 18), and Leadership Greater Little Rock (Class XXX), was an honoree in Arkansas Business' 40 under 40 class and was featured by AY Magazine as the 2016 Powerful Woman in Law.  Lori's public service work has been featured in Vanguard Law Magazine as well as Soiree Magazine and she was named to Arkansas Business' 2018, 2019 and 2020 "Arkansas 250" Lists.


Sandra Byrd

Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation | Little Rock, Arkansas

Since August 2007, Sandra Byrd has served as Vice President of Strategic Affairs and, most recently, Vice President of Public Affairs & Member Services for Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC). Sandy has nearly 35 years’ experience in the electric and natural gas industries providing utility management, regulation, and energy policy development, at both the state and federal levels. While serving as the first female Chairman of the Arkansas Public Service Commission, Sandy was Chair of the Critical Infrastructure Committee of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners; President of the Mid-America Regulatory Conference; Advisory Board and Research Advisory Committee member of the Electric Power Research Institute; Steering Committee Member of the National Council on Electricity Policy; and Advisory Council Chairman of the New Mexico State University Center for Public Utilities. She also helped incorporate and structure the design of Southwest Power Pool’s Regional State Committee, which occurred concurrent with the FERC approval of the regional transmission organization.  It is still a unique entity to this day. During Sandy’s years as a utility regulator, she testified before both the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee and the House Energy & Commerce Committee on transmission expansion and market design, and lobbied Congress on various utility regulatory issues. In her current position, Sandra serves as a member of the Harvard Electricity Policy Group, the Aspen Institute Energy Policy Forum; and the DOE-EPA-State Energy Efficiency Action Executive Committee.  Sandy has authored industry articles in both the Public Utilities Fortnightly Magazine and Energy Central/Energy Pulse Magazine.  She earned a Juris Doctorate degree from Washington University in St. Louis and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.   



Donna Campbell

Black Hills Energy Arkansas | Fayetteville, Arkansas

Donna Campbell recently retired as the Regulatory Manager for Black Hills Energy Arkansas.  Donna graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from the University of Memphis (formerly Memphis State University).  She began her work in the utility industry in 1978, when she was hired as a Rate Analyst with the Arkansas Public Service Commission.  Donna worked as a regulator for more than 15 years, after which time she accepted a position with Arkansas Western Gas, that became SourceGas Arkansas and is now Black Hills Energy Arkansas. Donna lives in Springdale where she enjoys spending time with her family, including her two grandsons and one granddaughter.  

 


Stephanie Hammons                         

CenterPoint Energy | Little Rock, Arkansas

Stephanie Hammons is Assistant General Counsel for CenterPoint Energy.  Stephanie received a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Central Arkansas and received her law degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Bowen School of Law.  Stephanie began her career as a Staff Attorney at Arkansas Oklahoma Gas Corporation in Fort Smith, Arkansas.  She also briefly worked for SourceGas Arkansas before coming to work as an Assistant General Counsel for CenterPoint Energy, where she has participated in leadership programs such as Leadership Greater Little Rock and CenterPoint Energy’s award-winning Leadership Academy program.  Stephanie lives in Little Rock, Arkansas with her husband, son and three step-children.  



Laura R. Landreaux                                      

Entergy Arkansas, Inc.  | Little Rock, Arkansas

Laura R. Landreaux is President and CEO for Entergy Arkansas, Inc. Laura joined Entergy in 2007, as Senior Counsel, practicing regulatory law.  Prior to joining Entergy, Laura was an attorney for Salt River Project, and electric utility in Phoenix, Arizona, for 5 years.  She joined Salt River Project after spending 4 years in private practice at Quarles & Brady, LLP in Phoenix, Arizona, representing merchant generators and landowners in siting and permitting issues before state administrative agencies.  She received her Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas School of Law, where she was on the Arkansas Law Review, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Arkansas.  Laura serves on the Board of Directors for the Arkansas Repertory Theatre and is a member of the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Women’s Auxiliary.  She has also served on the Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s Capital Campaign Committee and was a Recorder for the 82nd Arizona Town Hall in 2003.  Laura has authored several articles and served as speaker and facilitator at various continuing legal education seminars.  She is married with three children and lives in Little Rock.  


Kim Riley Linam

Summit Utilities | Fort Smith, Arkansas

Kim Riley Linam is Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of Summit Utilities, Inc. and a Certified Public Accountant registered in Arkansas.  Kim has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Business, with an Emphasis in Accounting, from Hendrix College.  Kim has worked in the areas of Finance and Accounting for more than 30 years, including experience in public accounting and the regulated industries of banking, public utilities and health care.  Kim’s career in the natural gas industry began with Arkansas Oklahoma Gas Corporation (“AOG”) in April 2004 and was named to AOG’s Board of Directors in 2008. Kim was promoted to President of AOG in July 2014.  In March 2017, Summit Utilities, Inc. (“Summit”) acquired AOG, and Kim became Summit’s CAO.  Kim is an advisory board member of BancorpSouth and has served on the Executive Board of the Fort Smith Chamber of Commerce since 2016.  Kim will be Chairperson of the Fort Smith Chamber Board in 2019.  Kim is married to Mark Linam and has two children, a daughter who teaches in the Fayetteville public school system and a son at Washington University in St. Louis.  She enjoys volunteering her time with her church and is a fair-weather golfer.    


Venita McCellon-Allen

AZZ Galvanizing | Shreveport, Louisiana

In 2018, Venita McCellon-Allen retired as President and Chief Operating Officer of Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) where she spent 30 years managing distribution operations and a wide range of customer and regulatory relationships. Venita was previously Executive Vice President – AEP Utilities West as well as Senior Vice President - Shared Services; responsible for human resources, information technology and telecommunications, procurement and supply chain services, corporate services and enterprise security. Throughout her career, Venita has held leadership roles with SWEPCO as well as CSW and she has also been Senior Vice President for Human Resources for Baylor Health Care System in Dallas, Texas. A 17-year veteran of Central and South West Corp., Venita was a leader on the Transition Management Team for the AEP-CSW merger, helping to drive the process of seeking savings, cultural change, staff selection and functional realignment. Venita earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Texas A&M University. She is also a graduate of the University of Chicago’s Executive Development Program and the Young Managers Program at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business.  As an early representative of women on utility executive teams, Venita served as both a formal and informal mentor for women. As a member of AEP's Talent Board, McCellon-Allen mentored men and women wishing to expand their contributions to AEP. She now serves on AZZ's Board of Directors and was honored in 2018 as one of AWIP's Trailblazers.


Kelly M. McQueen

Little Rock, Arkansas

Kelly M. McQueen is now in private law practice after serving as Assistant General Counsel (for Environmental Matters) for Entergy Services, Inc., having joined Entergy from the Gill Ragon Owen law firm in Little Rock, Arkansas, and has extensive experience in environmental, energy and natural resource law, having practiced in both the public and private legal arenas.  In addition to her 13 years in private practice, she served as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Arkansas in the Utility and Environment Section.  Kelly received her Masters of Law in environmental and natural resources law from Northwestern School of Law at Lewis & Clark in 1997 having previously received her J.D. with honors from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, William H. Bowen School of Law in 1995 and a B.A. in Business and Economics from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee.  Her practice has had particular emphasis on power plant and industrial facility siting and compliance as well as Clean Air Act planning and permitting, including providing strategic legal advice to clients on such issues as Clean Air Act non-attainment designations, carbon dioxide regulation, operating permits, new source review, ozone and fine particle programs.  She regularly represented clients in dealing with state and federal administrative agencies, including the US Environmental Protection Agency, Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, and the US Army Corps of Engineers.  Those clients included multi-state power companies; merchant power companies; industrial parks; municipalities and local governments; petroleum marketers/distributors/bulk storage plants; chemical distributors/bulk storage plants; and UST owners/operators, among others. Kelly has been honored in Best Lawyers in America (environmental law) and Mid-South SuperLawyers (environmental litigation), and was named one of the Groundbreaking Lawyers in 2010 by Public Utilities Fortnightly.  She is the past-Co-Chair (Programs) of the Air Quality Committee for the American Bar Association, a past Chair of the Arkansas Bar Association Environmental Law Section, and the author of several articles and publications on environmental law.  


Maria Bunting Smedley, ESQ.

Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation | Little Rock, Arkansas

Maria serves as Vice President of Human Resources and Corporate Strategy for both Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC) and Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI). She is responsible for human resource policy, organizational design and development, talent management, employee relations and total rewards strategies and programs. She also leads corporate-wide strategy development and implementation. Maria's prior corporate experience includes serving as director of organizational performance & benefits for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, as director of human resources for World Wide Automotive a Delco Remy Company, as human resources manager for Solectron Technology, a Flex LTD subsidiary and as employee relations manager for Duracell, a Birkshire Hathaway subsidiary. In addition to being one of the founders of Arkansas Women in Power, Maria currently serves on the boards of directors of the Arkansas Foodbank, the National Industry Liaison Group (NILG), and also serves on the School of Business Advisory Board of Philander Smith College. Maria is a graduate of Leadership Greater Little Rock (Class XVIII), received the Sensational Business Leadership Award from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. South Central Regional Conference in 2016, was honored in 2017 as Member of the Year by the Calibr Global Leadership Network and was recognized in 2018 as a Chief Human Resource Officer Leader of Distinction at the North American HRO Today Forum and as a top Chief Human Resources Officer in HR Today’s Magazine.  Maria holds a Juris Doctor from George Mason University Law School and is licensed to practice law in Virginia and Arkansas.  She holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, Illinois.


Barbara Sugg

Southwest Power Pool | Little Rock, Arkansas

Barbara has 30 years of IT experience in the electric utility industry and joined Southwest Power Pool in 1997, as a senior IT specialist, focusing on application development and maintenance for computer systems that supported tariff administration, reliability coordination and regional energy scheduling. She has been a part of SPP's management team since 1999, and became vice president of information technology in 2010, and chief security officer in 2016. She earned a Bachelor of Science in computer science from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 1986 and completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School in 2013.

Sugg is staff secretary for Southwest Power Pool’s Strategic Planning Committee and helped facilitate the organization’s Value and Affordability Taskforce. In 2018, she founded the Leadership Foundation for Women, a Little Rock-based nonprofit focused on equipping women for success. Outside of her work at SPP, Barbara serves on the Boards of Directors at the Museum of Discovery and Arkansas Hospice, and is a member of the Founders Circle of the Arkansas State University Women’s Business Leadership Center. Barbara earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 1986. She completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School in 2013 and became a Certified Professional Coach, with a focus on executive leadership coaching, in 2018.