“John Fainter is perhaps the most important figure in the transformation of the electric power industry in the last 20 years, who nobody knows,” said Bob King, President of the GCPA. “John represented the very utilities that we broke apart in 1999 to create the new competitive market. Because of John’s knowledge of the industry and the legislative process, and his honesty and integrity, people trusted him and relied on him, and together we found a path forward to the outstanding market structure we have today.”
John W. Fainter, Jr. became President and CEO of The Association of Electric Companies of Texas, Inc. (AECT) on January 1, 1998. AECT is a trade organization of electric companies in Texas and provides a forum for member company representatives to exchange information about public policy, and to communicate with government officials and the public. Upon joining AECT, Fainter worked collaboratively with regulators, industry leaders and legislators to restructure the Texas electric power markets. With the passage of Senate Bill 7 in 1999, Texas created a platform for adoption of some of the most innovative, advanced technologies in the electricity industry. Since 1999, Fainter stayed involved with state regulators and elected officials, tending the market, allowing it to grow and meet customers’ needs in ways never imagined.
"How fitting that GCPA honors one of the key people in creating a competitive electric market in Texas. He was, and remains, one of the most intelligent, customer-centered, practical people I know. His common sense, humor and courage were crucial to getting the foundation right for our competitive Texas marketplace,” said Pat Wood, for whom the award is named.
Calvin Crowder, Electric Transmission Texas president and GCPA board member added, "John has been a leader in setting the course of electric competition for two decades. His commitment to the State of Texas and the respect he garnered from those with which he dealt has served AECT, the electric utility industry and the state very well.”
Mr. Fainter’s legal career began with service with the State Securities Board as an investigator. He then worked as an Assistant Attorney General representing the State Securities Board, State Board of Insurance, State Banking Departments, State Savings and Loan Departments and other agencies. He entered the investment banking business in the bond department of a nationally recognized regional investment firm in June of 1969. Mr. Fainter acted as financial consultant to numerous cities, counties, school districts and special districts, and assisted these political subdivisions in the completion of in excess of one billion dollars of financing.
Mr. Fainter served as First Assistant Attorney General of Texas for four years beginning in 1979, and Secretary of State for the State of Texas from 1983 to 1984. He served as Chief of Staff for Governor Ann Richards from 1993 through 1994. Prior to becoming associated with AECT, he had been a partner in the law firm of McGinnis, Lochridge & Kilgore, L.L.P.
Fainter joins an illustrious list of past recipients including: Robert Webb, noted attorney and renewable energy advocate (2015); Judy Walsh, former Texas Public Utility Commission (PUCT) Commissioner (2014), John Stauffacher, former GCPA Executive Director (2013); Mike Greene, former Vice Chairman of Energy Future Holdings (2012); Marianne Carroll, Partner at the law firm of Brown McCarroll (2011); Trudy Harper, President of Tenaska Power Services (2010); Jess Totten, Director of Competitive Markets at the PUCT (2009); F. John Meyer, former Vice President of Regulatory & Transmission Services for Reliant Energy (2008); Sam Jones, former CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) (2007); and Pat Wood III, former PUCT and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman (2006). The award is named for Wood who will assist in presenting the award during a luncheon on April 13th at GCPA’s 30th Annual Spring Conference in Houston, Texas.
Mr. Fainter is a member of the State Bar of Texas and the Travis County Bar Association and has an extensive history of public service commitment. He holds two degrees from the University of Texas at Austin, receiving a B.A. and an LL.B. He has long been active in alumni affairs of The University of Texas at Austin. In 1986, he was awarded honorary membership in the Order of the Coif by the Law School. In 1992 he received the Law School Award for Distinguished Community Service. Mr. Fainter was selected as a Distinguished Alumnus of The University of Texas at Austin in 2000.
Mr. Fainter was born in Pecos, Texas, on April 20, 1939.