Columbus Chapter History





The Columbus Ohio Chapter of AABE was organized, established by-laws, and elected officers in January of 2005.   National headquarters was petitioned for membership in February, and the membership was granted in March.  


During our first year in existence, the Chapter participated in various activities in an effort to introduce AABE to other organizations and the Columbus community. In May, the Chapter Founders, President (Jerry Johnson) and Vice President (Bill Johnson), participated as judges in a Youth Toastmaster’s contest, which was organized by the Chapter’s new Treasurer (Mary Gallion).   In June the President served as a Celebrity Chef in a program to benefit community youth.


The new chapter closed out its year with three excellent presentations on chapter growth and the new Federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005). In August, Sabrina Campbell, President of the Washington DC Chapter, spoke on “Getting a New Chapter Started”.   In October, Kevin Walker, AEP Ohio President and COO, spoke on “A Utilities Perspective on EPAct 2005; later that same year the Chapter hosted a presentation on the same topic which featured Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Commissioner [Emeritus] Clarence D. Rogers, Jr., and his perspective on the same topic. The year ended with a presentation by Raksha Krishna of the Edison Electric Institute on FERC-101, FERC’s role and EPAct 2005.





The Columbus Ohio Chapter used the first quarter of 2006 to plan and launch our breakout year.  In April 2006, the Chapter hosted our first Energy Forum at the King Arts Complex in Columbus, Ohio,  to discuss EPAct 2205 and its impact on the Columbus community.   This was immediately followed by the Chapter sending the second largest group of attendees to the national AABE Conference in Detroit, Michigan. 


In May the Chapter awarded its first scholarships to three excellent students.  We were able to support students who were beginning their journeys in higher education at both Case Western Reserve University and  Harvard University.   Jerry Johnson again participated as a celebrity Chef to benefit scholarships for local youth, and the Chapter again supported the Excel program which also raises money for scholarships.


In September, the Chapter returned to the King Arts Complex to host A Warm Place called Home,” an energy event designed to provide information to the local community on energy conservation, home weatherization and energy assistance. The event featured vendor displays and booths, demonstrations on how to make your home more energy efficient, and product give-ways to assist homeowners with weatherizing their homes.  The Event was presented in partnership with the Columbus Urban League, and garnered the support of local elected officials and a visit from the Mayor of the City of Columbus.


In addition to providing value to the community, the Chapter continued to build a strong infrastructure to ensure sustainability as an organization. A special committee was formed to develop a chapter mission and vision statement, as well as to “fine tune” our Chapter By-Laws. We also worked to finalize our 501(c)3 filing, and to further establish ourselves as an official body.






The first quarter of 2007 has been a busy time for our Chapter.  As we continued to build our infrastructure, we added new members to our Board of Directors to make it a full Board. The Board of Directors then established Board Committees to assist with the management of the Chapter. In addition, the first Annual Board of Directors Retreat was held in order to develop a strategic plan for the Chapter.


The Chapter also hosted several events including a membership mixer and recognition reception, and a presentation regarding Disaster Preparedness and Recovery given by Dan Packer, President and CEO of Entergy New Orleans. Members of the Columbus Chapter also participated in the planning for the 2007 National AABE Conference.  At conference time, the Chapter was proud to be represented by the 20+ volunteers who assisted on-site while in Washington, DC.


Ms. Jatona “Toni” M. Cunningham, Regulatory Consultant for AEP-Ohio was elected Chapter President for the 2007 – 2009 term of office.






The Chapter won an Outstanding Chapter of the Year award at the 31st Annual AABE National Conference in Houston, Texas in April.

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