John Hutchinson leaves legacy at Gulf Power

John L. Hutchinson, Gulf Power’s director of Community and Economic Development is retiring on Nov. 21 after 24 years of service for the local utility and a total of 32 years working for the utility industry.


In his current role, he is responsible for the company's job creation, community building and charitable and civic programs as well as ensuring the company maintains strategic and credible relationships with key community stakeholders.


Before taking over economic development, John served as the face of Gulf Power as director of Corporate Communications for 22 years. He was the utility’s spokesperson during some of the company’s most challenging storm events, including Hurricane Ivan. 


John has worked extensively with local, regional and state economic development organizations and has helped Gulf Power build strong community relationships and manage important public policy issues. 


“John has helped Gulf Power become the company it is today,” said Stan Connally, Gulf Power president and CEO. “He has worked hard over the years to not only help ensure Gulf Power is providing our customers with what they need, but also has continued to invest personal time and energy into moving Northwest Florida forward as a region. His creativity, passion and guidance has made him a well-respected leader and friend to many at our company and across Northwest Florida and he will be missed.”


In recent years, John participated in several economic development trade missions with Enterprise Florida and Florida’s Great Northwest and worked closely with local economic development organizations across Northwest Florida to help attract new businesses and to help existing businesses expand. 


An active member of the community, he also represented Gulf Power in many different venues, from making frequent public presentations to serving on community and civic boards and task forces. He is currently serving as Community Economic Development Association president, University of West Florida Foundation chairman, and is on the executive committee for Florida’s Great Northwest.


He has been named both Community Leader of the Year (2002) and Volunteer of the Year (1997) by the Pensacola Area Chamber of Commerce. He also was named Communicator of the Year in 2009 by the Florida Public Relations Association. 


A graduate of Louisiana State University, John held various positions with Gulf Power, Mississippi Power and Southern Company Services during his 32 years in the electric utility business.


Gulf Power Company 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.”