Oglethorpe Power CEO Tom Smith dies

Oglethorpe Power said the utility’s executive committee will steer the company in the weeks ahead as it searches for a successor to President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Smith, who died this week.

Smith, 58, died Wednesday after battling cancer. Spokesman Greg Jones said Friday that services are set for June 13 at 9:30 a.m. at Mount Pisgah United Methodist Church, 9820 Nesbit Ferry Road, in Johns Creek.

Oglethorpe provides power to 38 electric membership corporations that serve more than 4.1 million Georgians. The utility operates natural gas, hydroelectric, coal and nuclear generating plants.

Smith had been CEO for nearly 14 years. During his leadership, Tucker-based Oglethorpe said it grew from a cooperative with 3,300 megawatts of generating capacity and $4.6 billion in assets to more than 7,000 megawatts of capacity and $8.3 billion in assets.

“Tom became Oglethorpe’s CEO at a challenging time for the organization and, through his exemplary leadership, significantly contributed toward turning Oglethorpe into the highly effective organization we know today,” the company said in a statement.

Last year, Oglethorpe renamed its 1,250-megawatt gas-powered electric generating facility in Murray County the Thomas A. Smith Energy Facility.

Before being named president and CEO in 1999, Smith served as senior vice president and chief financial officer of Oglethorpe Power from September 1998 to August 1999 and as senior financial officer from 1997 to August 1998. From 1990 to 1997, he was senior vice president of the Rural Utility Banking Group of CoBank.

He received a master’s degree in industrial management-finance from Georgia Tech; a master’s in analytical chemistry from Purdue University and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and chemistry from Catawba College.

The executive was on the board of directors for ACES Power Marketing and Electric Power Research Institute. He also served as a director of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and was a member of the Georgia Tech Advisory Board.

Smith is survived by his wife, Kathy, and son, Kevin.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that contributions be made to the Thomas A. Smith Scholarship Fund for students of Tucker High School. Mailed donations may be made payable as follows: Thomas A. Smith Scholarship Fund, c/o Jean L. Wheeler, Oglethorpe Power Corp.. 2100 E. Exchange Place Tucker, GA 30084.

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