AGA Presents Distinguished Service Award and Natural Gas Industry Leadership Award

News Release October 15, 2019

Chicago, IL – The American Gas Association (AGA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2019 Distinguished Service Award and inaugural Natural Gas Industry Leadership Award. 

The Distinguished Service Award winners are former AGA President and CEO Dave McCurdy and Ron Jibson, former President, Chairman and CEO of Questar Corporation and 2013 AGA Chair. 

The Natural Gas Industry Leadership Award was presented to Cheryl Campbell, former Senior Vice President of Gas at Xcel Energy and Anita Romero, former Senior Vice President of Staff Operations and Technology at Southwest Gas. All awards were presented during the AGA Executive Conference in Chicago, IL. 

Distinguished Service Award

“I am honored to present Distinguished Service Award to two titans of our industry. I cannot think of two other individuals that have contributed more to this organization and our industry. AGA’s Distinguished Service Award is the highest honor that any member of this Association can receive, and Dave and Ron are unquestionably deserving,” said AGA Chair Jim Torgerson, CEO of AVANGRID.

Dave McCurdy served as AGA President and CEO for eight years and under his direction the organization advanced its leadership position within the industry in the areas of safety, security and environmental protection. Dave joined AGA after leading the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Electronic Industries Alliance. From 1981 until 1995, Dave served in the U.S. House of Representatives as the Member from the Fourth Congressional District of Oklahoma. He attained numerous leadership positions, including Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Ron Jibson has left an enduring mark on the natural gas utility industry over several decades. Jibson was President, Chairman and CEO of Questar Corporation until 2016. Mr. Jibson has shown significant dedication to the LDC community, serving as Chair of the AGA board of directors as well as leading the AGA operations committee. Jibson represented the industry in discussions on preparedness during the formation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in the aftermath of September 11th.

Natural Gas Industry Leadership Award

The Natural Gas Industry Leadership Award was created this year to highlight individuals who have made tremendous strides for their companies and taken those achievements forward by sharing their experiences to improve the industry overall.

“Cheryl Campbell and Anita Romero are shining examples of these achievements,” said AGA Vice Chair Scott M. Prochazka, who serves as president and chief executive officer of CenterPoint Energy. “We have been the beneficiaries of their vision and hard work, as have countless natural gas utility employees.”

Cheryl Campbell has 35 years of energy experience in interstate pipelines and utilities. During her 13-year tenure at Xcel Energy, Campbell developed risk management, regulatory, environmental and operating plans for the company’s gas assets while improving operating and financial results across the enterprise. Campbell served on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Gas Pipeline Advisory Committee from 2013 to 2018, providing guidance to the Secretary of Transportation on the safety of the nation’s gas pipeline infrastructure.

Anita Romero began her career at Southwest Gas in 1992 as Manager of Design and Standards. She served as Vice President of both the Southern California and Southern Nevada Divisions, as well as Vice President of Special Projects and Information Services. Romero was promoted to Senior Vice President of Staff Operations and Technology in 2013, a position she held until she announced her retirement in June. She led Southwest Gas through the development of technology systems that supported the company’s digital transformation journey. Anita helped the company adopt new technology practices that transformed the way they do business and allowed them to better serve their customers.

The American Gas Association, founded in 1918, represents more than 200 local energy companies that deliver clean natural gas throughout the United States. There are more than 75 million residential, commercial and industrial natural gas customers in the U.S., of which 95 percent — more than 71 million customers — receive their gas from AGA members. Today, natural gas meets more than three-tenths of the United States' energy needs.