American Electric Power has named Janelle N. Coleman to a new position as vice president, Corporate Philanthropy and Community Engagement, effective Nov. 30. She also will serve as president of the American Electric Power Foundation, effective Jan. 1, 2021, replacing Dale Heydlauff, senior vice president of Corporate Communications and current president of the AEP Foundation, following his retirement Dec. 31.
Coleman will lead the company’s philanthropic community outreach in its 11-state service territory and will oversee the AEP Foundation, which in 2019 donated nearly $30 million to support STEM education programs, meet basic human needs including hunger and housing, and fund the arts and other initiatives. The AEP Foundation also has contributed nearly $4 million in emergency funds to organizations addressing the hardships faced by customers and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Coleman will report to Heydlauff until his retirement.
“Janelle brings more than 20 years of experience in community engagement and corporate philanthropy that will be invaluable as AEP builds a brighter future with our customers,” said Heydlauff. “Her leadership skills and passion for helping others will enhance our continued efforts to empower and invest in our communities, and we welcome her to the AEP family.”
Coleman, 48, joins AEP from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium where she served as executive vice president of External Affairs. Prior to her role with the Columbus Zoo, she worked for L Brands, Inc. for more than 12 years and held multiple roles of increasing responsibility including vice president of Community Relations, chief diversity officer and president of the L Brands Foundation.
Coleman received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She serves as the chair of the Ohio University Board of Trustees and is the chair-elect on the board of directors for both Experience Columbus and the YWCA Columbus. Coleman also is the board president for the KIPP Columbus Foundation and a member of the board of directors for the National Veterans Memorial and Museum.
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