Southern Company continues Washington changes

America’s largest electricity producer and international industry leader, Southern Company continued re-staffing the company’s Washington office with the appointment of Jeanne Hicks Wolak as director, federal legislative affairs. The announcement, one in a series of new personnel appointments, was made by Steven R. Spencer, senior vice president for external affairs of Southern Company.

Wolak, 31, has been the Washington federal affairs representative for Central and South West Corp., a Dallas-based electric utility.

“Jeanne Wolak will be a great addition to Southern Company’s expanding initiatives in the national policy arena,” Spencer said. “As Southern addresses America’s critical energy, environmental and economic issues, Jeanne’s knowledge and experience on Capitol Hill is the combination we need to accomplish what is required of a true industry leader.”

Wolak spent eight years on Capitol Hill as an aide to Rep. Bob Kastenmeier (D-Wis.) and Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.), then served as the legislative director/appropriations staff associate to Rep. Jim Chapman (D-Texas).

“Southern Company’s growing role in shaping national public policy requires a more national approach to the Washington arena. Jeanne brings that national dimension and broad issue perspective to our Washington office,” Spencer said.

Wolak graduated in 1988 from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She and her husband, Jim, live in Arlington, Va.

Her appointment is the first major change Spencer has announced since he became Southern’s external affairs senior vice president in March.

While Southern’s operating companies (Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, Mississippi Power, Savannah Electric) will continue to have company representatives in Washington working with their local members of Congress, Spencer said he intends to establish a more long-term approach to dealing with policy issues for Southern Company.

Southern Company (NYSE: SO), the largest producer of electricity in the United States, is the parent firm of Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, Mississippi Power and Savannah Electric. Based in Atlanta, Southern Company, through its Southern Energy Inc. subsidiary, supplies electricity in 10 countries on four continents. Southern Company also provides energy-related marketing, trading and technical services and Southern LINC wireless telecommunications. Its common stock is one of the 20 most widely held corporate stocks in America.