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story.lead_photo.caption Dion Cooper

Dion Cooper has been selected as the new president and CEO of Southwest Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation effective Jan. 1.

The Cooperative's Board of Trustees selected Cooper for the post with the upcoming retirement of longtime president and CEO Wayne Whitaker.

Cooper manages the 10-member Information Technology team at SWAECC and is also responsible for billing, communications, cooperative services, dispatching, purchasing and safety.

He has 14 years of electric cooperative experience combined with 14 years of experience in manufacturing and engineering services.

Cooper's previous management experience has been in the fields of engineering, projects and information technology.

Presently, he is chairman of National Rural Electric Cooperative Association's Analytics, Resiliency and Reliability Member Advisory Group. He is also a member of the NRECA Strategic Technology Advisory Council.

In addition, he serves on the National Information Solutions Cooperative's Customer Care and Billing Member Advisory Group and participates in various activities with the Arkansas Electric Statewide organizations and other national organizations like the Electric Power Research Institute.

He is an active member of the Arkansas Member Services Association.

Cooper holds a Master of Business Administration degree, a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology, an Associate of Applied Sciences Degree-Mechanical Engineering and an Associate of Applied Sciences degree-CAD/CAM Technology.

He has successfully completed the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation's Certified Financial Professional Certificate Program and will complete the NRECA Management Internship Program in the near future.

Cooper lives with his wife, Sandy, and two daughters, Kadie and Sierra, in Texarkana.

Whitaker will serve as an advisor to Cooper and the Board of Directors for a few months in 2021. Whitaker served 11 years at South Plains Electric Cooperative in Lubbock, Texas, and 35 years at Southwest Arkansas Electric Cooperative.

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