NorthWestern Energy Mourns the Death of Colleague

Mar 20, 2011, 16:42 ET from NorthWestern Corporation

BUTTE, Mont., March 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- NorthWestern Corporation d/b/a NorthWestern Energy (NYSE: NWE) today confirmed the death of its Vice President for Wholesale Operations, David G. Gates, in a private plane crash near Butte, Mont. on Saturday, March 19.  

"This is a very, very sad day for the entire NorthWestern Energy family. We have lost a great leader and a great friend," said Bob Rowe, President and CEO.  "Dave had firsthand experience in most parts of the business, starting as a young intern in Lewistown, Montana, more than 30 years ago. He was talented, hard-working, ethical and compassionate. We will miss his leadership, wisdom, warm humor and especially his friendship. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time."

Gates was responsible for NorthWestern's electric and natural gas transmission, and electric and natural gas supply. On an interim basis, the transmission and supply leaders will report directly to Rowe.

Gates was returning to Butte from Great Falls, Mont., when the crash occurred approximately two miles west of Butte during blizzard-like conditions. Federal aviation investigators are on the scene to determine the cause of the crash.    

Gates is survived by his wife Lorrie (also a NorthWestern Energy employee) and two grown children, Dustin and Jessi, and his son-in-law Brian Brock. Services are pending.  

About NorthWestern Energy

NorthWestern Energy provides electricity and natural gas in the Upper Midwest and Northwest, serving approximately 665,000 customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. More information on NorthWestern Energy is available on the Company's Web site at

SOURCE NorthWestern Corporation