NorthWestern Energy Names New Executive Officers

May 27, 2011, 12:40 ET from NorthWestern Corporation

BUTTE, Mont. and SIOUX FALLS, S.D., May 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- NorthWestern Energy (NYSE: NWE) announced today the appointment of two new members to the executive management team following the death of a senior executive in March.

Mike Cashell has been promoted from Chief Transmission Officer to Vice President - Transmission  and John Hines has been promoted from Chief Energy Supply Officer to Vice President – Supply, effective immediately. The Board of Directors approved the appointments today in a special board meeting.

"In both natural gas and electricity, our key operational areas are supply, transmission, and distribution. These appointments maintain the alignment of the operational areas at the executive level and provide the high visibility and focus necessary to provide our customers the best possible service now and in the future," said Bob Rowe, President and CEO.

Rowe explained, "Mike and John are effective and respected leaders both inside and outside NorthWestern.  Together with their teams, they are responsible for numerous complicated and important tasks such as ensuring the adequacy and reliability of our extensive gas and electric transmission systems that tie together our service territory, keeping our network stable and in balance, and ensuring reliable energy supplies from diverse sources."  

Within the Supply area, Bill Rhoads, General Manager - Generation, and his team are now expanding their responsibility to include much of NorthWestern's environmental compliance work.  "We have significant work in both Montana and South Dakota which requires the focus of a dedicated team," Rowe said.

In addition to the two new appointments, Curt Pohl's title has been changed from Vice President – Retail Operations to Vice President – Distribution, better reflecting the scope of responsibilities, which include electric and natural gas distribution in Montana, Nebraska and South Dakota.  

The position of Vice President – Wholesale Operations has been eliminated.  Rowe said, "Heading up both supply and transmission, Dave Gates helped us develop to the point where our customers would best be served by having separate executive-level leads for each area."

Cashell, a Butte Native, joined Montana Power in 1986 and has held various positions of increasing responsibility in the areas of transmission system and balancing authority operations, planning and maintenance, hydroelectric and thermal power system operation, independent power production, gas transmission and storage system operation and business management.

Cashell graduated from Montana Tech of the University of Montana with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Science and attended the Public Utilities Executive Course at the University of Idaho.  He is active in state and regional transmission and energy forums and represents NorthWestern Energy at the Western Electricity Coordinating Council.  He currently serves on the board of the United Way in Butte – Silverbow.  He and his wife Kathy have one daughter and live in Butte.

Hines joined NorthWestern Energy in 2005 as Director, Energy Supply Planning, and was responsible for leading the company's energy supply planning and long-term procurement activities.  Prior to joining NorthWestern, Hines was appointed to serve as one of Montana's two representatives to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council from 2002 through 2004.  Hines also worked as a senior economist at the Council.  

Hines is a member of Edison Electric Institute's 'Energy Supply Executive Advisory Committee' and the Pacific Northwest Utilities Conference Committee.  Hines, a native of Bozeman, Montana, received his B.A and M.A. in Economics from the University of Montana.  He and his wife Siobhan have two children, and live in Helena.  

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