Concord University Foundation Charleston Dinner Raising Funds for Scholarships and Campus Improvements

For Immediate Release: 
Mar 12 2014

CONTACT: Sarah Dalton
Concord University
Office of Advancement
PO Box 1000, Athens, WV 24712


ATHENS, W.Va. - Charles Patton, president and chief operating officer for Appalachian Power, will be the keynote speaker for the Concord University Foundation Charleston Dinner. This fundraising event helps to support student scholarships and campus improvements and will be held on March 27, 2014 at the Charleston (W.Va.) Marriott Town Center. The dinner begins at 7 p.m.

In his position with Appalachian Power, Patton serves approximately 1 million customers in West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee. He has authority for distribution operations and a wide range of customer and regulatory relationships. Patton has approximately 26 years in the electric utility business and has served in numerous capacities throughout AEP.

Previously, Patton served in Columbus in the parent company’s headquarters of American Electric Power as executive vice president - AEP Utilities West and senior vice president - Regulatory and Public Policy. A significant amount of his career was in Texas where he served as president and chief operating officer of AEP Texas, serving approximately 901,000 customers and in varying executive roles responsible for external affairs in Texas and in the Southwestern region of AEP – Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Charles Patton

Prior to joining AEP, Patton spent nearly 11 years in the energy and telecommunications business with Houston Industries/Houston Lighting & Power. While there, he worked in regulatory affairs assisting in the litigation and management of regulatory proceedings. He later became a policy specialist in government affairs and a lobbyist in Texas and Washington, D.C.

Patton has been active in state energy policy matters. He was appointed to serve on the Texas Energy Coordination Council, the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission and the Texas Energy Planning Council, which was established to advise the governor on energy matters.

Patton received a bachelor’s degree (cum laude) from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, and a master’s degree from the LBJ School of Public Policy at the University of Texas in Austin. He completed, with honors, undergraduate programs at Boston University, Harvard and American University.

He has served and chaired numerous professional civic organizations in the communities in which he has lived. Charles and his family currently reside in Charleston, W.Va., where he serves on the boards of the University of Charleston, the West Virginia Education Alliance, the West Virginia Regional Technology Park, the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences of West Virginia and the Buckskin Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Patton also serves on the Advisory Board for the School of Natural Sciences at the University of Texas. He has received numerous awards, most notably the NAACP’s President’s Award for his support in Texas.

Concord University student-athlete Shawnee Carnett will serve as student speaker. Carnett, a native of Sugar Grove, Va., is one of the most accomplished track and field athletes to have ever competed at Concord University.

Shawnee Carnett

She has qualified for the NCAA National Championships in the 800-meter run five times, twice during the indoor season and three times during outdoor campaigns. In national championship competition, Carnett has garnered four All-America awards and became the first CU track athlete to win a national title with her 800-meter triumph at the 2011 Outdoor NCAA Championships.

Carnett, the current owner of 12 school-records, was recently accepted to the 2014 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships March 14-15 at the JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem, N.C. after running the fastest 800-meter time in NCAA Division II during the regular season.

A six-time United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Region honoree, Carnett is set to graduate in December with a degree in Health and Physical Education.

Entertainment for the dinner will be provided by guitarist Allen Smith. A 2005 Concord graduate, Smith is currently senior admissions counselor at the University. He will perform “classic tunes with a jazz twist.”

Allen Smith

A native of Mullens, W.Va., Smith began piano lessons at the age of five, bass guitar at 11 and guitar at 14. As a versatile and multi-talented instrumentalist, he performs jazz, soul, blues, r&b and gospel.

He released a Christmas album entitled “Silent Night” along with Ronnii Joplin in December 2011. The album can be found on iTunes.

Sponsors for the Charleston Dinner include: Presenting Sponsor – Andy Paterno/Huntington Bank; Partner Sponsor – Appalachian Power, BrickStreet Foundation; Supporting Sponsor – BB&T; Friend or Table Sponsor – Arnett Foster Toothman, David Barnette, First Century Bank, David Kirby, Suttle & Stalnaker.

Tickets for the Charleston Dinner are $125 per person. Along with individual seating, tables and sponsorships of the event are also available.

For further information or to purchase tickets or arrange a table sponsorship, contact Lisa Moore, executive director of the Concord University Foundation, Inc. at or (304) 384-6056.