NW Natural President & CEO Gregg S. Kantor Elected 2014 AGA Chairman

Washington, D.C. – The American Gas Association (AGA) has announced that Gregg S. Kantor has been elected to serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors for 2014. Mr. Kantor is President and CEO of NW Natural, and was elected alongside several other officers during AGA’s Annual Corporate Meeting on Kiawah Island, S.C.

“With nearly two decades of leadership experience in the natural gas industry, Gregg’s commitment to his community and his background in environmental and urban planning make him uniquely suited to guide our organization as we continue to advance the role of natural gas in our nation’s clean and secure energy future,” said AGA President and CEO Dave McCurdy. “Gregg understands the need to engage all stakeholders and bring people together to foster a dialogue about how we can deliver solutions for our economy and our environment.”

NW Natural, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, provides natural gas service to approximately 689,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Oregon and Southwest Washington. It is the largest independent natural gas utility in the Pacific Northwest.

Mr. Kantor became President and CEO of NW Natural in 2009, having joined the company in 1996 as Director of Public Affairs and Communications and serving subsequently as Senior Vice President of Public and Regulatory Affairs from 2003-2006, Executive Vice President from 2006-2007 and President and COO from 2007-2008.

Mr. Kantor has been a board member of the American Gas Association since 2009. He is also on the boards of the Oregon Business Council, Greater Portland Inc., the Portland Business Alliance, and co-chairs the Cradle to Career Council of All Hands Raised. Mr. Kantor holds a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Environmental Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and a master’s degree in Urban Planning from the University of Oregon.

AGA’s other board officers for 2014 will be: First Vice Chairman Terry D. McCallister, Chairman & CEO, WGL Holdings, Inc. (Washington, D.C.); Second Vice Chairman Ralph A. LaRossa, President & COO, Public Service Electric & Gas Co. (Newark, N.J.); Dave McCurdy, President & CEO, AGA, and Immediate Past Chairman Ronald W. Jibson, Chairman, President & CEO, Questar Corp. (Salt Lake City, Utah).

AGA Board of Directors Elected

The following executives will serve on the AGA Board of Directors in 2014. An asterisk (*) indicates newly elected directors. Their names, titles, companies and corporate headquarters follow (NWGA Members in bold):

William J. Akley                      SVP, Maintenance & Construction, National Grid (Brooklyn, NY)

Robert F. Beard                       President & CEO, UGI Utilities, Inc. (Reading, PA)

Lonnie E. Bellar                      VP, Gas Distribution, LG&E-KU, PPL Companies (Louisville, KY)

Doyle N. Beneby                     President & CEO, CPS Energy (San Antonio, TX)

Lawrence T. Borgard               President & COO, Utilities, Integrys Energy Group (Green Bay, WI)

Carl L. Chapman                     Chairman, President & CEO, Vectren Corp. (Evansville, IN)

Kim R. Cocklin                        President & CEO, Atmos Energy Corp. (Dallas, TX)

Kenneth W. DeFontes, Jr.        President & CEO, Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. (Baltimore, MD)

Laurence M. Downes               Chairman & CEO, New Jersey Resources (Wall, NJ)

David R. Emery                       Chairman, President & CEO, Black Hills Corp. (Rapid City, SD)

William J. Fehrman                  President & CEO, MidAmerican Energy Co. (Des Moines, IA)

Kimberly J. Harris                   President & CEO, Puget Sound Energy (Bellevue, WA)

Glenn R. Jennings                    Chairman, President & CEO, Delta Natural Gas Co., Inc. (Winchester, KY)

Christopher P. Johns                President, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (San Francisco, CA)

Kent T. Larson                         SVP, Operations, Xcel Energy Inc. (Minneapolis, MN)

James P. Laurito                      President, Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. (Poughkeepsie, NY)*

John McAvoy                          President & CEO (effective 1/1/2014), Consolidated Edison, Inc. (New York, NY)*

David M. McClanahan             President & CEO, CenterPoint Energy (Houston, TX)

James T. McManus, II             Chairman & CEO, Energen Corp. (Birmingham, AL)

Michael P. McMasters              President & CEO, Chesapeake Utilities Corp. (Dover, DE)*

Scott Miller                              Vice President & General Manager, Dominion East Ohio (Cleveland, OH)

K. Frank Morehouse                President & CEO, MDU Utilities Group (Bismarck, ND)

Scott L. Morris                         Chairman, President & CEO, Avista Corp. (Spokane, WA)

Jerry Norcia                             President & COO, DTE Gas Co., DTE Energy (Detroit, MI)

Pierce H. Norton, II                 EVP, Commercial, ONEOK, Inc. (Tulsa, OK)

Morgan K. O’Brien                  President & CEO, Peoples Natural Gas Co. LLC (Pittsburgh, PA)

Ian Robertson                          CEO, Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. (Oakville, ON)*

John G. Russell                        President & CEO, CMS Energy Corp. (Jackson, MI)

Jeffrey W. Shaw                      President & CEO, Southwest Gas Corp. (Las Vegas, NV)

Suzanne Sitherwood                President & CEO, The Laclede Group, Inc. (St. Louis, MO)

Robert C. Skaggs, Jr.                President & CEO, NiSource Inc. (Merrillville, IN)

Thomas E. Skains                    Chairman, President & CEO, Piedmont Natural Gas Co., Inc. (Charlotte, NC)

Anne Shen Smith                     Chairman & CEO, Southern California Gas Co. (Los Angeles, CA)

David F. Smith                         Executive Chairman, National Fuel Gas Co. (Williamsville, NY)

John W. Somerhalder II           Chairman, President & CEO, AGL Resources (Atlanta, GA)

James P. Torgerson                  President & CEO, UIL Holdings (New Haven, CT)

Non-voting Advisory Directors:

Julie A. Dill                             President & CEO, Spectra Energy Partners and Group Vice President, Strategy Spectra Energy (Houston, TX)

Gordon L. Gillette                    President, Tampa Electric Co. & Peoples Gas (Tampa, FL)

Patricia L. Kampling                Chairman, President & CEO, Alliant Energy (Madison, WI)

Rodney O. Powell                    President & COO, Yankee Gas (Berlin, CT)

Craig E. White                         President & CEO, Philadelphia Gas Works (Philadelphia, PA)

Natural Gas Term of the Week: Direct Connect Customers

What it means: Usually very large industrial customers connected directly to an interstate pipeline system. These customers purchase their own gas supplies and contract directly from the pipeline for transportation, thereby bypassing the bundled services typically offered by local distribution companies.

See it in action: What do you do if you want to use natural gas for a large industrial application but you’re miles away from the nearest local distribution company (LDC)? If you’re lucky you can call up one of the pipelines serving the region and buy gas directly from them.

Have a look at our map of the region’s natural gas system to get an idea of where direct connect customers could be located. As you can see LDCs focus on more populous areas, it’s not cost effective to build distribution lines to homes located many miles apart.  Industrial users can consume significant amounts of gas so even if they are located far from the nearest LDC it may make financial sense for them to work directly with a pipeline to secure a clean and cost effective way to power their industrial application.

Natural Gas Terms of the Week are posted each Monday, check back weekly to boost your natural gas IQ.

Follow the NWGA on Twitter: @Ben_at_NWGA

MDU Resources’ Utility Companies Recognized in J.D. Power Study

BISMARCK, N.D. — Two utility subsidiaries of MDU Resources Group Inc. have been recognized for highest customer satisfaction. Intermountain Gas Company and Cascade Natural Gas Corporation received the highest ranking in satisfaction among residential natural gas customers in the midsize natural gas utilities segment of the West Region in a tie, according to a national study.

The 2013 J.D. Power Gas Utility Residential Customers Satisfaction StudySM was released last week. Intermountain and Cascade earned a score of 655, tied for highest among midsize natural gas utilities in the West Region. This is the fourth straight year Intermountain has earned the top spot.

“There can be no higher compliment than hearing from your own customers that they think you are the best,” said David L. Goodin, president and CEO of MDU Resources.

“This is an outstanding recognition for our employees who make it their highest priority every day to provide safe and reliable natural gas service,” said K. Frank Morehouse, president and CEO of Intermountain and Cascade. “Our employees take great pride in serving our more than 264,000 Cascade customers in Washington and Oregon, and our more than 312,000 Intermountain customers in southern Idaho.”

In its 12th year, the study surveys customer satisfaction across a number of factors, including billing and payment, price, corporate citizenship, communications, field service and customer service.