Mark C. McCullough is Executive Vice President of Generation for American Electric Power (AEP). Mark is responsible for the management of AEP’s fossil, hydro and wind generating units and Ohio Valley Electric Corporation/Indiana Kentucky Electrical Corporation generating assets. His responsibilities extend to engineering, construction and operation of generating units, and activities related to fuel procurement, emission monitoring and logistics. The Engineering, Projects & Field Services, Fossil & Hydro Generation, and Fuels, Emissions & Logistics groups report to him.
Mark has served AEP his entire career, since 1981, in a variety of positions. He holds a bachelor’s of science degree in mechanical engineering from Rose Hulman Institute of Technology. He completed the Massachusetts Institute of Technology-Institute of Nuclear Power Operations reactor technology course for utility executives in June 2012, and serves as vice chairman for the Coal Utilization Research Council and the Association of Edison Illuminating Companies. He serves on the board of the Electric Power Research Institute and the Ohio Valley Electric Corporation.
Besides Homeport, Mark volunteers his time on the boards of the Shelter of Hope Kenya and Grace Fellowship church in Pickerington, where he resides. He and his wife, Kelly, have four sons and two grandchildren.
Why are you passionate about the Homeport mission?
I have a connection to struggling families. I grew up in Terre Haute, Ind., and when I was six years old my father left home. My mother, a secretary at a local college, faced many challenges as she worked to provide for my two sisters, my brother and I on a very limited salary. Luckily, she received some valuable help from grandparents, neighbors and friends that provided food, clothing, etc. so she was able to keep our house. Not everyone is lucky enough to have relatives and friends to “stand in the gap” and make the unaffordable affordable. That’s what Homeport does so well. They bring a home to families that otherwise wouldn’t have one. They bring other services, like after school and summer camp for children that bring quality of life that wouldn’t otherwise exist. That is why I am passionate about Homeport. They make a real difference in the lives of hundreds of families in Central Ohio.
What would you tell a friend who was considering getting involved with Homeport as a donor or volunteer?
I hosted a group of friends for a bus tour of Homeport facilities and told them how Homeport serves the families of Central Ohio. To see and hear, first hand, the stories of success and challenge across the families that Homeport serves is one thing. But to understand that there are over 50,000 families in Central Ohio that aren’t getting served at all is tragic. There is a sense of urgency. That number will not improve if we don’t act. All of us have an incredible opportunity to bring hope and make a difference in the future of these families. Homeport is the perfect mechanism through which we can seize that opportunity.
What do you feel is the most critical aspect of affordable housing in Columbus and Central Ohio?
When I think of Homeport I think of kids. In today’s society, children are exposed to many unhealthy options for their time and thoughts. Kids without healthy options are at an incredible disadvantage. Kids that move several times over their elementary school years because parents are searching for affordable rent are at risk. They spend hours without adult supervision after school and are at risk of falling into very bad, life altering habits. It doesn’t have to be that way. Homeport transforms those situations into healthy, life building activities that lead to very productive and high potential futures for these children.