Gulf Power announces new Community Relations manager
Verdell Hawkins

Verdell Hawkins has been named Community Relations manager for Gulf Power.

Hawkins will be responsible for overseeing the strategy regarding the company’s charitable activities and community engagement. In this role, Hawkins also will serve as executive director for the Gulf Power Foundation. He is replacing Sandy Sims, who has assumed a new role as Gulf Power’s Eastern District general manager.

Hawkins most recently served as a district manager for Mississippi Power, one of Gulf Power’s sister companies, where he oversaw community relations, government relations and customer service in central Mississippi.

While at Mississippi Power, he also held the role of Community Affairs manager for the Kemper County energy facility and managed all aspects of external relations, charitable giving and establishment of a community foundation. Prior to this position, Hawkins served as the company spokesman and led economic development recruitment and project-management efforts.

“Verdell’s range of experience in community relations and the passion with which he serves will build upon the great legacy of service to the community here in Northwest Florida,” said Vice President of Customer Service & Sales Bentina Terry.

Hawkins has a rich history of outreach and involvement. He recently served on the boards of several organizations, including the Boys and Girls Club of East Mississippi, the Boy Scouts of East Mississippi, the Partners for Kemper Community Foundation, the Clarke County Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club of Clarke County, the Gulf Coast Alliance for Economic Development and the Mississippi Economic Development Council.

“I look forward to becoming a member of the Gulf Power family and serving the people of Northwest Florida,” Hawkins said. “I believe in the tradition of outreach established at Gulf Power and aim to continue those efforts to the benefit of our company, customers and communities.”

Hawkins earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Southern Mississippi and a master’s in Public Administration with specialization in planning and economic development from Georgia State University.

Gulf Power is an investor-owned electric utility with all of its common stock owned by Atlanta-based Southern Company. Gulf Power serves more than 436,000 customers in eight counties throughout Northwest Florida. The company’s mission is to safely provide exceptional customer value by delivering reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible electricity while strengthening our communities. Visit online at or on the company’s Facebook page, “Gulf Power Company.” News information can be found at